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In this psychological thriller set in a fictionalized 1930s Vancouver, Alex Braithwaite, a troubled but passionate theatre critic, believes he has found the legendary Stanley Lee, director of the infamous avant-garde theatre “The Empty Space.” Alex becomes convinced that this man’s radically subversive ideas are what the artistic community of the city needs to shatter audience complacency. In his pursuit of the truth behind Stanley Lee’s mysterious disappearance and his artistic ideas, Alex becomes caught between the warring factions of two prominent mob families – one controlling the city’s playhouses, the other its cinemas, but both ensnared by the Empty Space Society. At the dawn of the Talkies, can Alex tear through the artifice of these art forms in time to save the city’s art community from ripping itself apart?

The play’s collaborators found inspiration within the walls of Vancouver’s Stanley Theatre, a space that has a dual history as a cinema and vaudeville house. Fittingly, this gritty film-noir production became an exploration of the two kinds of art and how they affect the audience. Tear the Curtain! explores global issues that consider what we want from art: to be shocked and surprised or for order to be restored.

Cast of 2 women and 8 men.

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