Western Gold Theatre is a Vancouver theatre company where all the performers are mature actors. In November 2022 their fall season production is Seventeen.
We saw the play and loved it! It shows at PAL Studio Theatre, which is near the Westin Bayshore Hotel in Coal Harbour. The play offers both matinee and evening performances between November 3rd and 20th.
Western Gold is a unique theatre company with a special mandate: all the performers are established senior theatre actors aged 55 plus. From what we’ve seen, the acting is very good!
For specific performance dates and times, see Western Gold’s website.
Western Gold Theatre and the Play Seventeen
Performances by Western Gold Theatre are unique in that they feature the talents of veteran actors (aged 55+). This approach coincides perfectly with Mathew Whittet’s play, Seventeen, where the characters are teenagers on the cusp of change, but played by senior-aged actors.
In this article you’ll find information about the play Seventeen and the company behind it.
Seventeen was written by playwright/author Matthew Whittet about teenagers, adolescence, and a coming of age. It was launched in Whittet’s home country of Australia before hitting the stage in the UK. And, for a couple of weeks in November, 2022, it sees its North American premiere at Vancouver’s PAL Studio Theatre.
About the Play
Seventeen tells the story of one pivotal night in the lives of a group of teenaged friends who get together in a playground park to celebrate their last days as high school students before graduating. They’re on the threshold of whatever the rest of their lives might bring.
As they bandy barbs, reminiscences and jokes back and forth, listen and sing to their favourite artists, and drink too much booze – secrets, insecurities, and fears all come to light. That the actors playing the roles of teenagers are seniors adds layers to the experience of watching them process this pivotal time in their lives.
Note: The play contains swearing and some suggestive language. (It’s actually quite effective hearing senior actors talking and acting like modern-day 17-year-olds. To fit their roles, the actors were advised on language and mannerisms by a group of teenagers!)
For tickets and full details, see the westerngoldtheatre.org website.
Where and When is Seventeen
In 2022 Seventeen runs from November 3rd until the 20th at the PAL Studio Theatre at 300-581 Cardero Street in Vancouver.
Performances are on Wednesdays to Saturdays at 7:30 pm as well as on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 pm.
Admission costs $30 for the afternoon shows and $34 for the evening performances.
Tickets can be purchased at www.westerngoldtheatre.org. Seating is unassigned, but it’s a small theatre and every seat is a good one.
About the PAL Studio Theatre
PAL Studio Theatre is an intimate theatre space located on the top floor of an eight story building at the foot of Georgia Street in downtown Vancouver. Accessed by an elevator, the theatre has a small lounge area, refreshment bar and outside courtyard patio with amazing views of Burrard Inlet and the North Shore mountains. The theatre auditorium seats 100-150 people.
For the play Seventeen, the stage is in the middle of the room with the audience seated on two sides.
Western Gold Theatre
Founded in 1994 by Joy Coghill O.C. in response to the dearth of roles for veteran professional artists in the Vancouver area, today Western Gold Theatre is the only professional theatre company in Western Canada solely devoted to providing work for and supporting senior (aged 55+) artists.
The company is committed to producing plays of the highest quality and relevance to audiences of all ages. They present theatre classics as well as newly commissioned Canadian and other works that reflect and illuminate the rich experience of our senior community.
All productions share a common element, one that guides their artistic choices – the all-important theme of how each of us embraces and/or confronts our lives and the passage of time. And, as part of their mandate, Western Gold also mentors emerging younger professional artists as they ‘share the boards’ with veteran actors and other artists.
The company presents both readings, plays in development and fully-realized productions on stage at PAL.
Tips and Advice
Below are some suggestions to help you make the most out of your experience at the show.
TIP #1: Seventeen lasts for about 90 minutes with no intermission. Street parking in the area is for 2 hours max, which gives you just enough time. There is also a parkade on the other side of the street from the theatre.
TIP #2: After the show there is a short break and then those that wish can join a short Talk Back session where the actors share their experiences with the show and the audience can ask questions. It’s very interesting and we recommend you stay if you can (but just make sure you have paid long enough for your parking). The Talk Back session typically runs for about 15 to 20 minutes.
TIP #3: Pal Studio Theatre is right by the Coal Harbour Seawall which is a lovely area to walk around. The H2 Kitchen & Bar is also right close by at the Westin Bayshore Hotel. It’s a nice place for a bite to eat either before or after the show. In November 2022 the restaurant also offers special Winterlust dining on their patio where you can sit outdoors in your own private glass dome (and where minimum spends apply).
To learn more about the play Seventeen and the presenting company in Vancouver, see the Western Gold Theatre website at westerngoldtheatre.org.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver Theatres & Theatre Companies
- Vancouver Shows & Entertainment
- Rainy Day Activities
- Vancouver Festivals & Events
- Coal Harbour