Lorna McLellan

Lorna McLellan

Roaring Heart Theatre makes debut in Nanaimo

Nanaimo's newest theatre company Roaring Heart Theatre presents The December Man Jan. 5-8.

The December Man, written by Colleen Murphy, deals with the aftermath of the 1989 Montreal Massacre for a young survivor named Jean.

Jean’s elderly parents try their best to help him as he struggles with overwhelming grief.

The December Man explores issues of violence, grief, guilt and healing. During the Montreal Massacre on Dec. 6, 1989, 14 women at Montreal’s École Polytechnique lost their lives.

The play is being presented in Nanaimo by a new theatre company, Roaring Heart Theatre.

Roaring Heart Theatre was founded by Nanaimo resident Michael Armstrong. He said he formed the theatre company because he wanted to bring award-winning plays to life. He said some award-winning plays are produced, have a few runs, and then are put on a shelf.

“I want to do well-written Canadian work,” said Armstrong, about why he started the theatre company. “I want to do high-quality work and collaborate with high-quality performers, people who have a depth of talent and experience.”

The December Man won a Governor General’s Award for best drama in 2007 and the Carol Bolt Award in 2008.

“It deals with issues of violence in the community and those are important issues for me,” said Armstrong. “Events like the Montreal Massacre sink into social consciousness and get removed from the actual human impact because they get removed from the actual human beings involved. It deals with family and the aftermath of the event and talks about the impact on community.”

Armstrong said the play brings the issue back into reality for audience members.

“We are reminded in a way of acts of violence that ripple out into the community and touch people around us and touch us,” said Armstrong.

He is producing the play with his own money.

“This was put together on a wing and a prayer financially, it’s out of my own pocket,” said Armstrong.

The December Man shows at Harbour City Theatre, located at 25 Victoria Rd., Jan. 5-7 at 8 p.m. at Jan. 8 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 available in advance from Amethyst Forest, located at 10-1925 Bowen Rd., or online at www.eventbrite.ca.

Armstrong received a masters in fine arts, specializing in play writing from the University of Victoria. He has worked for a number of years with community theatre groups, written and produced shows and taught theatre for 20 years through university and community workshops and in high schools.

For more information about Roaring Heart Theatre, please visit the Facebook page www.facebook.com/roaringhearttheatre.


Just Posted

Potters Virginia Dunseith and Ruth Porter present their joint exhibit ‘Dig It’ at Art 10 Gallery until the end of June. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Potters show pieces for home and garden at Nanaimo’s Art 10 Gallery

Virginia Dunseith and Ruth Porter’s show ‘Dig It’ on display until end of June

Construction work continues on the City of Nanaimo’s new Fire Station No. 1 on Fitzwilliam Street. (News Bulletin file)
Next phase of borrowing approved as Nanaimo fire hall construction ongoing

City of Nanaimo CAO says construction on Fitzwilliam Street hall on schedule and budget

Nanaimo Fire Rescue firefighters at the scene of a single-vehicle crash on Tenth Street near Southside Drive on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Driver OK after crashing vehicle off the side of Nanaimo’s Tenth Street

Crews say wet roads a factor a crash Sunday, June 13

Emergency crews on scene of a two-car crash at the intersection of Cranberry Avenue and the Trans-Canada Highway on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Crash blocks Cranberry intersection in Nanaimo, no one injured

Incident blocks both southbound lanes of Trans-Canada Highway

Emergency crews on scene of a two-car crash at the intersection of Cranberry Avenue and the Trans-Canada Highway on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Crash blocks Cranberry intersection in Nanaimo, no one injured

Incident blocks both southbound lanes of Trans-Canada Highway

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Harvesting hay in the Fraser Valley. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
COVID-19: B.C. waives farm income requirement for a second year

Property owners don’t need minimum income for 2022 taxes

A view of the outside of St. Andrews Roman Catholic Cathedral on Victoria’s Blanshard Street. (Don Denton/News staff)
Vancouver Island bishop apologizes for church’s role in residential schools

Bishop Gary Gordon of the Diocese of Victoria voices commitment to healing and reconciliation

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

Most Read