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Dinosaurs, ballet dancers and popular guitarists are coming to New West’s Massey Theatre

After a mellowed down couple of years, Massey Theatre is going big this new season with a line-up that’s especially catered to children.

Massey Theatre just dropped the lineup for its new season, starting November end through March 2023 — and it has performances that you never knew you wanted to see on stage: like dinosaur puppets and the Cinderella story played out as a ballet.

The lineup is the grandest it has been in the last two years, confirmed Jessica Schneider, executive director of Massey Theatre.

“The arts are still kind of reeling from the pandemic. In the distant past, we had all kinds of really big shows. And then during the pandemic, it was difficult for artists even to rehearse, let alone to tour. So this will see the return to touring,” she said.

Which means the 1,260-capacity theatre will now host performances by national and international artists. 

“During the pandemic, it was mostly B.C. artists, because there were so many travel restrictions. So it's going to be really exciting to start to see what artists are making from elsewhere in the world and in the country,” said Schneider, who has been associated with the theatre for 17 years.  

This season will also see larger scale performances as opposed to the solo shows that were a trend during the pandemic.

Performances for children

The theatre has specifically chosen performances that could be enjoyed by audiences across generations.

"I've missed seeing children in the theatre more than anything over the last few years, and so I'm extremely excited that we have these chances for them to come back,” said Schneider. 

“During the pandemic, a lot of kids weren't even allowed to play; they didn't even really socialize like young children. The kids who were one when the pandemic started, are, maybe four years old now. Here, they're going to be sitting in the theatre watching Cinderella ballet — and I'm gonna probably cry when that happens. To me, that's just so exciting, right? The first time!" 

Though the performances are all set to roll now, Schneider admits that she and her team had a challenging time planning this particular season.

“Arts was one of the hardest hit sectors (during the pandemic). So, getting commitments has been totally different than it used to be, where everything was in motion before."

"To identify who's actually been working, making work and is ready to travel, and is the right scale and scope for our spaces; and offers the right product for our community — all of those things just got more complicated,” she said.

Also, a lot of facilities haven't quite returned to full activity, she noted. "So the whole network has sort of come a little bit apart. We're still figuring out how long it's going to take to get back to some sort of flow.” 

“But we're getting there,” she said.

Massey’s staff count shot up from 10 to 25 in the last six months; and its community art space Eight and Eighth, which launched last year, is now all ready to host small-scale performances, community nights, volunteer programs and more.

“I think we feel like we're further ahead for sure than we were a year ago,” she added.

Performance lineup

November 25, 2022

Tom Jackson: Stories, Songs and Santa Causes

Enjoy the performance by Indigenous storyteller and recipient of the 2014 Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement, Tom Jackson.  

December 3, 2022

Michael Kaeshammer: Coast-to-Coast Tour

Internationally-acclaimed pianist, singer and songwriter Michael Kaeshammer will stop at Massey Theatre as part of his Canadian tour.

January 28, 2022

International Guitar Night 2023

The 23rd International Guitar Night will feature: Canadian jazz guitarist, vocalist, and recipient of the 2021 Juno for Jazz Album of The Year Jocelyn Gould; Flamenco master Jesus Guerrero from Spain; soloist and chamber musician Stephanie Jones; and Israeli Canadian nylon string guitarist Itmar Erez.

Feb 18, 2023

Ballet Jörgen’s Cinderella

The performance combines the fairy tale elements of Cinderella with a contemporary treatment of the story. 

March 18 & 19, 2023

A Dinosaur Tale 

This live action fantasy adventure with puppets features a plot where a mysterious time-warping wormhole brings the dinosaurs back into our world and how a pair of intrepid eighth graders work to send them home.  

For tickets and details, visit Massey Theatre website.