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Vancouver, BC: Empire of the Son at Pacific Theatre

September 28 @ 7:30 pm October 21 @ 8:00 pm

Empire of the Son at Pacific Theatre
BY TETSURO SHIGEMATSUTetsuro Shigematsu’s ‘Empire of the Son’ returns to Vancouver, reimagined for PacificTheatre’s intimate stage.

Radio broadcaster Tetsuro Shigematsu wants to know his reserved, ailing father. As Tetsuro pieces Akira’s story together, two generations of crossed radio wires ripple out into a transcontinental tale of familial love, grief, and joy. After captivating audiences globally for nearly a decade, this beloved Canadian storytelling treasure has been reimagined and is set to grace the Pacific Theatre (PT) stage, offering a fresh and profound theatrical experience.

Plays from September 28 to October 21. 7:30 pm Wed – Thurs, 8:00 pm Fri / Sat with 2 pm Sat and Sunday matinees at Pacific Theatre, 1440 W 12th Ave. Pay-what-you-can preview Thurs, September 28th at 7:30 pm. For tickets ($15.00- $40.00) call 604.731.5518 or visit pacifictheatre.org.

“My father died on September 18. And I failed not once but twice.”

As Pacific Theatre celebrates its 40th anniversary season, it is with great honour that we welcome home Tetsuro Shigematsu’s globally renowned, Empire of the Son, reimagined for our cherished stage. Of this new presentation, Shigematsu says, “This upcoming production at Pacific Theatre represents the show in its rawest form. I’ve never had a presented production be so ‘a cappella,’ so stripped down to its barest essence. This new version, reimagined by a new group of artists led by Kaitlin Williams, feels like an old soul being reborn into a new body.” 

Empire Of The Son’s rich and autobiographical tale unfolds as Shigematsu endeavours to understand his ailing father, leading audiences through the intricacies of familial love, grief, and joy. In this collaboration, Pacific Theatre’s very own Kaitlin Williams joins forces with Shigematsu. With a focus on the heart and raw emotion, they breathe new life into this Canadian theatre classic, allowing Shigematsu, even after nearly 300 performances, to “experience the story as if for the very first time.”

Premiering in 2015, Empire of the Son has been Shigematsu’s passport to global acclaim, Described by Colin Thomas as, “one of the best shows ever to come out of Vancouver. Ever,” it has played in 18 cities to over 20,000 people. Having once required an elaborate set involving a truck for transport, this iteration strips back the show to the essentials, revealing the potent core of the narrative. “The most powerful dimension of the show is the text,” Shigematsu shares, reflecting on the evolution of his creation. “This production represents the show in its rawest form – stripped down to its barest essence.”

As Pacific Theatre steps into its monumental 40th year, this rendition of the six-time Jessie award-nominated Empire of the Son is a perfect fit with the company’s mandate – to tell stories that express the real, messy, and complicated nature of being human. “Tetsuro’s Empire of the Son struck a chord with Vancouver audiences when it was first performed in 2015,” says Kaitlin Willams, Pacific Theatre’s artistic director, “Since then, he has toured the world with the show and considers our upcoming Pacific Theatre production a homecoming. It is an honour to host Tetsuro at Pacific Theatre and to launch our 40th anniversary season with this reimagined version of his seminal work.”  

Empire Of The Son opens Friday, September 29th, and runs until October 21st at Pacific Theatre. Pay-what-you-can preview Thurs, September 28th at 7:30 pm.

For special events, including talkbacks and our theatre club featuring guest speakers, visit pacifictheatre.org

This show contains strong language and is suitable for ages 13+. For more information, please visit pacifictheatre.org or call 604-731-5518. We hope to see you at the theatre!
1440 W 12th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V6H 1M8 Canada
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