Whitehorse AUDITION POSTING - Call for Performers

Open Pit Theatre is accepting actor submissions for the premiere production of Busted Up: A Yukon Story in Whitehorse, YT.   The production is a part of Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations and will take place at The Old Fire Hall in September 2017.  This is a professional contract and compensation will reflect current industry and Equity standards.

  • Contract dates: August 15th - September 24th, 2017 (six weeks with a possible one week extension)
  • Contract rehearsal hours: 9am-5pm, Tuesday - Sunday

Busted Up: A Yukon Story is a verbatim play set in Canada's far north, and features over twenty real life Yukon characters whose opinions and stories are as varied as their age and ethnic backgrounds. Throughout the play, the juxtaposed voices of these people gather and evolve around the relationships between aboriginal people and settlers, natural resource extractions, the growing immigrant population and the fast paced changes Canada's north is experiencing.  The result is a powerful play full of humor, violence, absurdity, and tenderness.

We will be holding auditions in Whitehorse, Vancouver, and Victoria to find six actors to perform over twenty characters.  We encourage actors of Indigenous backgrounds, and those who self-identify as members of underrepresented communities to apply.  Our characters represent a large span in ages, therefore we also encourage actors of all ages to apply.  

Open Pit Theatre’s aesthetic is very physical, and therefore all actors must be comfortable experimenting and using movement as a means of storytelling.  This does not mean that you need to be a trained dancer.  We are seeking actors who are open to physical contact with other performers, and those who can handle a physically demanding rehearsal process.  

  • Whitehorse Audition dates:  Saturday, March 25 & Sunday, March 26
  • Whitehorse Callback date:  Sunday, April 1
  • Whitehorse deadline to apply:  Wednesday, March 22 at 5:00pm

The Vancouver and Victoria auditions will take place mid-April.  Dates and times TBC.  

The auditions will be held by co-directors Jessica Hickman and Geneviève Doyon and will be comprised of a 15-minute individual audition, followed by a 45-minute group movement audition. 

Submission Instructions:

  • Please submit a resume and a recent photograph via email to our producer Selene Vakharia at selene@smrtpopups.com.  

    • If you do not have a performance resume, then please outline your experience in the body of your email.

    • If you do not have a headshot, then please attach a photograph that currently looks like you.

  • Please also include the following information in your email:

    • Your full availability on March 25, March 26 & April 1 so that we can attempt to schedule your audition slot within that time frame.

    • Please indicate if you are Equity or Non-Equity.

    • Please indicate your age (or age range if you prefer to not reveal the specific year)

    • Please indicate if you speak a language other than English.


Upon receipt of your submission, our producer will send you an audition side with 8-10 small character monologues from the play.  Please choose and prepare two of the offered monologues for your individual audition.  All of our actors will be playing characters of different ages and ethnicities, so please choose two contrasting characters.  

We have been working on this play for three years, and we are very excited to finally share it with our community! We hope to see you at the auditions!

For more information please visit our website at www.openp.it.  

If you have additional questions or concerns please email Selene at selene@smrtpopups.com




Open Pit Theatre is currently accepting applications for a Producer for the premiere of Busted Up: A Yukon Story as part of Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations. The approximate dates of the contract will be from March 1, 2017 to October 1, 2017 with the time commitment increasing as we move towards opening.  

The Producer is responsible for realizing the visions of the Co-Artistic Directors within the overall budget and time constraints. This includes seeking sponsorships, budget management, artist liasoning, and overseeing additional hired production staff such as the production manager, and stage manager.  

In addition to management and financial skills, the Producer will have an overall knowledge of all production disciplines and how they interact during the production process.

Contract Dates:

March 1, 2017 to October 1, 2017 (working as required to achieve proposed project goals & timelines)

  • Rehearsals: August 14 - September 14
  • Whitehorse Performances: September 15 - 23
  • Dawson City Performances (TBC): September 25 - 30

Qualifications and Required Skills

  • experience and/or education in theatre management
  • strong financial experience including management of large project budgets
  • experience with developing and executing a sponsorship campaign
  • knowledge of Equity contracts and negotiations
  • experience booking flights, accommodation, and artist liasoning
  • experience planning and booking a tour

To apply please submit a cover letter, resume, and salary expectations to Jessica Hickman at jessica@openp.it.  

The deadline for submissions is Sunday, January 15, 2017 at 12pm.  

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to send us an email.  We would be happy to talk more about the position and/or project if that is helpful.  It is going to be a very exciting project, and we are looking forward to building our team!



Open Pit Theatre receives $45 000 from Canada 150

We're excited to share that Yukon MP Larry Bagnell announced on October 21st that Open Pit Theatre was successful in obtaining funding from Canada 150 to produce our verbatim play in 2017! 

Open Pit Theatre has been developping the first verbatim play of the territories since 2014 and is thrilled to receive this generous support from Canadian Heritage for the production of this unique northern piece of theatre. 

Photo Credit: Thibaut Rondel (L'Aurore Boréale)

Photo Credit: Thibaut Rondel (L'Aurore Boréale)

Press Release: 

Our Communities: At the Heart of Celebrations for the 150th Anniversary of Confederation in 2017

October 21, 2016- Whitehorse – Department of Canadian Heritage

The Honourable Larry Bagnell, Member of Parliament (Yukon), today announced $45,000 in funding to the Open Pit Theatre for their Yukon Verbatim project. He made this announcement on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.

Open Pit Theatre has spent the last two years recording over sixty interviews with Yukon residents in the communities of Ross River, Teslin, Carcross, Keno, Dawson, Mayo, and Whitehorse for the Yukon Verbatim Project.   Interviews focused at gathering the broadest and most accurate Yukon perspectives were conducted in all sorts of locations; wall tents, yurts, log cabins, outhouses, conference rooms, offices, and coffee shops.  Playwright, Geneviève Doyon (co-artistic director of Open Pit Theatre), took the interviews (which ranged from thirty minutes to six hours in length) and wove together themes from individuals of various age, race, ethnicity, gender, location, and social background into a play.  Thanks to the Canada 150 Fund, Open Pit Theatre will be able to present a full production of this exciting and unique play; showcasing both the harmonious and conflicting views existing in the Yukon today. 

The Government of Canada is providing this funding through the Canada 150 Fund. To make 2017 a year that all Canadians will remember, the Government of Canada will continue to invest in local, regional, and Canada-wide projects.

The 150th anniversary of Confederation gives Canadians the opportunity to celebrate our shared values, our achievements, our majestic environment and our country’s place in the world. It is also an ideal opportunity for Canadians to get involved in their communities.

As we prepare for a year of celebration, the Government of Canada invites all Canadians to take part in activities surrounding the Canada 150 countdown. This is an opportunity for all of us to express what it means to be Canadian and how we will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation.


“In 2017, Canada will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation. This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate all that it means to be Canadian. The Government of Canada will create opportunities for Canadians to participate in local, regional, and national celebrations. Communities across the country will proudly take part in the festivities throughout the year to mark this significant anniversary in Canada’s history. Join the celebration—it’s happening in your community too!”

—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage


“In typical northern style, Yukoners are reminding all Canadians that we have a proud story and history of accomplishment to tell, demonstrating the Yukon is larger than life. The 150th anniversary of Confederation is an opportunity for communities to acknowledge the many facets of Canada’s diversity.” 

— The Honourable Larry Bagnell, Member of Parliament (Yukon)


“Open Pit Theatre's play is the very first verbatim play north of 60. It is an authentic and honest piece of theatre that portrays our community today and asks important questions about our future."

— Caili Steel, President, Open Pit Theatre


Quick Facts

·          Open Pit Theatre is a professional theatre company dedicated to exploring new approaches to play development and focused on providing the Yukon with play development, public workshops, and co-productions.

·          The Government of Canada’s vision for the 150th anniversary of Confederation includes four major themes: diversity and inclusiveness, the environment, young people, and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

·          The Canada 150 Fund, established in April 2015, has an overall budget of $210 million.

·          Through this fund, the Government of Canada will continue to invest strategically in activities that support the 150th anniversary vision and promote the direct involvement of Canadians.


Bust out your 1920s outfits, give it a spooky twist, and get ready for a unique multidisciplinary evening of films, music, improv and much more! 

Saturday, October 22nd
The Old Fire Hall
Doors @ 7:30pm
Tickets $20


Discover short horror silent films from the 1920s while kick-ass musicians Daniel Janke, Paul Bergman and Olivier de Colombel improvize a live soundtrack and as top notch improv actors Brian Fidler, Mary Sloan and George Maratos make up the dialogue before your eyes.  

The amazing Alistair Maitland will be capturing everyone's outfits with a 1920s horror photobooth! We will be serving tasty drinks! You can win prizes from many local businesses including flights from Air North! 

We will be presenting excerpts from the following silent films:

LE SPECTRE ROUGE (1907) by Segundo de Chomón.


A demonic magician performs a magic show in the depths of Hell itself, however his mistreatment of his female assistants incurs the wrath of a good spirit who starts to interfere. Some ground-breaking special effects are on display here (including miniature women in glass bottles) in this early example of a “trick” film which even predicts the invention of the TV. The film was shot in black & white, and the colours were later hand-screened onto each print via a stencil process which originated in 1904 and was used throughout the silent film era. 

NOSFERATU (1922) by F.W. Murnau


Released as an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula with names and other details changed because the studio could not retain the rights to the novel. Part 5 synopsis; Fear and sickness was spreading through the town as people are dying. The agent Knock became a scapegoat for all unexplained deaths. Ellen reads the book of vampires and learns that a young woman must give her blood to a vampire to distract him until the first light of day appears.”  Ellen lures the vampire Nosferatu in as Knock is arrested, and he dies as the dawn appears.

THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (1920) by Robert Weine


Arguably the first horror film. Considered the quintessential work of German Expressionist cinema, tells the story of an insane hypnotist who uses a somnambulist to commit murders. Themes include irrational authority (preluding the Nazi Party), the destabilized contrast between sanity and insanity, the subjective perception of reality, and the duality of human nature. Features a dark and twisted visual style, with sharp-pointed forms, oblique and curving structures and landscapes that lean and twist in unusual angles. 

THE MAN WHO LAUGHS (1928) by Paul Leni


An adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel of the same name (also wrote The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Les Misérables). A melodrama, at times even a swashbuckler, but so steeped in Expressionistic gloom that it plays like a horror film. Plot centres around Gwynplaine, the son of an English nobleman who has offended the king. The monarch sentences his father to death and calls upon a surgeon to disfigure the boys face into a permanent grin, “to laugh forever at his fool of a father." His wide and mirthless grin inspired the Joker character in the original Batman comic book series. 

THANK YOU to our main event sponsors: 
       Jazz Yukon
       Yukon Brewing
       Alistair Maitland Photography

And to our Make a Plane Game sponsors:

       Potluck Food Coop 
       Yukon Brewing
       Baked Cafe
       Mack's Fireweed
       Yukon Film Society
       The Guild Hall Theatre       
       Breath of Life Yoga Studio

This event is a fundraiser for our mighty theatre company! We've got some REALLY exciting projects coming up in 2017 and could definately use a hand making them happen.

Open Pit Theatre @ Theatre in the Bush!

Ramshackle Theatre has invited Open Pit Theatre to create and perform a new piece as part of Theatre in the Bush for the Magnetic North Theatre Festival.  CLICK HERE to purchase tickets! 

Set deep in Yukon’s boreal forest Theatre in the Bush takes the ritual and mad magic of a bush party and distills it into an interactive, multidisciplinary event. Against a backdrop of scrubby spruce, pine and willow, audiences are led through the woods to see original performances that artists cook up over the course of a week. Featuring a line up of the best and brightest Yukon creators and special guests from across the country, Theatre in the Bush offers playful, daring theatre,dance, underwear fights, spoken word, gourmet food, bonfires and music mixed with a healthy dose of folksy Yukon charm. Traditionally held on the fall equinox, our 2016 event will be presented under the midnight sun on June 11th and 12th.

Come and see our new work, and also a plethora of other amazing interactive performances set in the woods!  Some of the performers are local, and others are national artists who will be visiting the north as part of the festival.  Check out this line-up!

Local Performers and Installation Artists:
     Miche Genest
     Jordy Walker
     Geneviève Doyon
     Jessica Hickman
     Eric Epstein
     Tara Kolla Hale
     Barb Hinton
     Joclyn McDowell
     John Streicker
     Emily Woodruffe

National Artists:
     Cliff Cardinal
     Lucas Myers
     Conor Wylie

Musical Guests:
     Ryan McNally and Brigitte Desjardins

Made in Yukon Showcase @ Magnetic North Theatre Festival

Open Pit Theatre is happy to announce that they will be presenting the company at the Made in Yukon Showcase as part of the Magnetic North Theatre Festival.  The showcase is designed for local companies and artists to showcase their work to the national and international delegates that will be visiting Whitehorse for the festival.  

We will be outlining our company history, our creation aesthetic, and our upcoming shows.  

The Made in Yukon Showcase will take place at the Kwalin Dun Cultural Centre on Monday, June 13th at 6:30pm.  We hope to see you there!   

Projection Design Workshop with Jamie Nesbitt


Whitehorse, YT

May 6-8, 2016


Open Pit Theatre invites you to attend a Projection Design Workshop facilitated by award winning projection designer Jamie Nesbitt. In this hands-on workshop, you will learn and experiment with image treatment, mapping and create your very own projection designs. This week-end workshop is intended for videographers, multimedia artists, performers, musicians, directors, set and lighting designers and anyone interested in learning a new skill!

Join us for a creative week-end with one of the most in demand projection designers in Canada! 

Photo courtesy of Jamie Nesbitt

Photo courtesy of Jamie Nesbitt

Thank you to the Cultural Industry Training Fund for making this workshop possible!

Incubator Project at The Belfry Theatre

Open Pit Theatre just spent a week in Victoria, BC at The Belfry Theatre developing a new work currently called Mary Marry.  Ten local performers participated in a week long development workshop where we explored the relationship between family history, verbatim text, and ensemble physicality.  Over the next six months more interviews will be collected, and the material generated during the workshop will be incorporated into the script. 

1950s Sock Hop Film Night

Tickets are on sale for the 1950s Sock Hop Film Night!

Get ready for a 1950s dress-up evening of multidisciplinary entertainment!

Bust out your best 1950s outfit and come enjoy some movie excerpts of that era being dubbed live by actors while musicians Brooke Maxwell (Victoria) and Brigitte Desjardins create and perform an original live soundtrack on keys and drums!

Swing dance classes! Photo booth by Alistair Maitland Photography! Snacks! Prizes! Floats! Cocktails! Gosh!

Saturday, November 7
Doors at 7:30pm
Entertainment starts at 8:00pm
Old Fire Hall

Tickets available at Dean's Strings (corner of 4th Ave. and Wood Street) or with any Open Pit Theatre Board Member

Movie excerpts from:
Dial M for Murder by Alfred Hitchcock
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Howard Hawks
Forbidden Planet by Fred M. Wilcox
The Wild One by Laslo Benedek
Racket Girls by Robert C. Derteno

WORDS of the YUKON: A staged reading

Open Pit Theatre presents a staged reading of:

Words of the Yukon 
written by Geneviève Doyon
directed by Jessica Hickman

Saturday March 28, 8pm
Sunday March 29, 2pm
The Old Fire Hall
Admission by donation
Each reading will be followed by a talk back with both the director and playwright.

Words of the Yukon (working title) is a verbatim play by Geneviève Doyon. The script was created with transcriptions of interviews that took place in several Yukon communities over the past 9 months. Open Pit Theatre went to Dawson, Keno, Carcross, Teslin, Ross River and Whitehorse to lead interviews that always started around the theme of "Home and Land in the Yukon". The interviews were carefully transcribed with every hesitation, "um", "like", sniffle and laugh. 

50 interviews later, Open Pit Theatre is inviting the community to a staged reading of the very first draft of this play. This presentation of this work in progress is crucial step for the playwright to take before jumping into a second phase of interviewing and writing. 

Come and discover a piece of theatre, made from the exact words of Yukoners! And contribute to what it will become!

Please be advised there is coarse language and mature content in the script.

Thank you to Canada Council for the Arts | Conseil des Arts du Canada and Yukon Government's ArtsFund for making this project possible. 


Open Call: Readers required for The Verbatim Project

Open Pit Theatre is casting five local actors for a Staged Reading of The Verbatim Theatre Project happening at the Old Fire Hall on March 28 and 29. This is a great opportunity to be a part of an exciting local project. We are seeking actors of all genders, age groups and cultural backgrounds, especially First Nations.

To find our readers, we will be holding a group audition that will consist of the applicants reading short excerpts from the play.  

Audition details:

                Date: Wednesday, March 4th

                Time: 5:30pm – 7:00pm

                Location: Centre de la francophonie (302 Strickland Street)

To attend the audition, please send a short email to Geneviève Doyon (genevieve@openp.it) with the following information:

- Name

- Contact info

- Previous acting experience

- Head shot (or photo of any kind)


Please note that all actors need to be available for evening rehearsals the week of March 21-27 and for two public presentations on March 28 and 29.  This is a paid contract.

About The Verbatim Theatre Project:

Since July, Open Pit Theatre has been interviewing and collecting words from over 50 different people across the Yukon.  The interviews always started around the themes of "home and land in the Yukon." With the help of community members, Open Pit Theatre then transcribed these interviews word for word, with every sniffle, hesitation and "um". With only the words of the interviewees, the playwright Geneviève Doyon is creating a script for the Verbatim Theatre Project. Jessica Hickman (co-artistic producer of Open Pit Theatre) will be directing the staged reading. 

Talk about Verbatim'

As we ease into the fall and continue to gather interviews from Yukoners from all over the territory, let's catch our breath and take a look at the development of The Yukon Verbatim Project so far.

To this day, Jess and Geneviève interviewed 40 people in Carcross, Dawson, Keno and Whitehorse. They talked to a 4 year old boy. An 89 year old man. A mother who's descendance goes back to the Gold Rush days. A Tlingit dancer. Yukon residents from Ireland, the Philipines and Switzerland. People in the Yukon for a week-end. Long timers who established themselves 40 years ago. Born and raised young Yukoners who left and came back. Some told us hunting stories, some confided they don't understand why anyone would kill an animal when you can get meat at the grocery store. There have been tears, laughter, long silences and bourbon. 

Every conversation brings a new perspective and colour to the theatre mosaic we are building, one interview at a time. Themes and stories are already starting to emerge and intertwine, but before we decide on a direction to take, there are more stories to be gathered. Geneviève is headed to Teslin, Haines Junction, Faro and Ross River in October and November to collect more interviews. And if anyone wants to bring her to Old Crow, she'll happily tag along.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far, and a special thanks to our transcribers who took on the long and labour intensive mission of transcribing these stories. Word for word for word for word for word for word....

In November, Jessica and Geneviève's creative brains will get together in front of the thousands of words collected over the past months to start shaping and landscaping all these stories into a script. 

We are often asked what the play is about, and it's always exciting to answer "You tell me."

An evening in the 1920's

Open Pit has been busy organising a multidisciplinary event under the esthetic of the Silent Movie Era as a fundraiser for our Yukon Verbatim Theatre Project. 
A 1920's evening of fun is coming your way! Get ready for silent movies, a live soundtrack created and performed by kick ass musicians, actors improvising the dialogues before your eyes, pop corn of all flavours, a photo booth, door prizes and more. 
And it's all happening on Saturday November 8th! Names and details to come in the next few weeks.

On veut vous entendre!

La compagnie de théâtre Open Pit développe un projet de théâtre verbatim sur le thème de « chez soi » (Home en anglais). Geneviève Doyon , codirectrice artistique de Open Pit, rencontre des Yukonnais et Yukonnaises à travers le territoire pour discuter du Yukon et leur « chez eux » : Pourquoi décide-t-on de s’installer au Yukon ? D’y rester ? Comment a-t-on vu le Yukon changer depuis nos premiers souvenirs sur le territoire ? 

Pour développer ce projet verbatim, Open Pit enregistre toutes les entrevues et les transcrit mot à mot. Avec uniquement les mots des Yukonnais et Yukonnaises, sans ajouter ou modifier un seul caractère à ce qui aura été récolté au cours des entrevues, Geneviève va ensuite créer une toute nouvelle pièce de théâtre.

Souhaitez-vous contribuer à un nouveau projet artistique yukonnais ? Il suffit de contacter Geneviève Doyon à genevieve@openp.it ou au 867-336-0176 pour organiser une entrevue. 

Open Pit welcomes Joel Bernbaum to The Yukon Verbatim Project

Open Pit is happy to announce that Joel Bernbaum, from Saskatoon, will be working as our project dramaturge on The Yukon Verbatim Project!   

Joel is an actor, playwright, journalist and the artistic director of Sum Theatre. He is a graduate of Carleton University, where he did his Master’s Thesis on Verbatim Theatre’s Relationship to Journalism. In 2014, his verbatim play Home Is A Beautiful Word premiered at the Belfry Theatre and his play Operation Big Rock premiered at Dancing Sky Theatre. Later this year Sum Theatre will tour his play My Rabbi (created and performed with Kayvon Kelly) to Edinburgh, Victoria,  Vancouver, and Saskatoon. As an actor, Joel has performed across Canada and in Europe. 

"As a theatre artist and journalist, I see verbatim theatre as an infinitely potent opportunity for both artistic creation and community engagement. Open Pit’s artist’s are proposing an ambitious and pertinent project: They want to know what people in the North feel about their connection to the land. I am impressed with the proposed scope of the project, and the fact they have already cultivated several community partnerships. This type of artistic project engages and strengthens communities in both the process and the product. It is wonderful to see. "



We need transcribers!

Would you like to be part of the development of our new play behind the scenes?

As part of our verbatim project, Open Pit will tour the Yukon to interview Yukoners around the theme of home. In order to create a script with Yukoners' stories, we are looking for people to donate some of their time to transcribe the audio files of these interviews!!!

Because all the interviews need to be transcribed the same way (with all the hesitations, ums, pauses etc), Open Pit is offering free training and snacks on Tuesday, August 5th from 6 pm to 8 pm at the meeting room of the Public Whitehorse Library.

Please contact genevieve@openp.it if you'd like to be a transcriber and sign up for the training. 

Also feel free to contact me if you have any questions 867-336-0176. 

You can chose to transcribe only one interview, or a dozen if that floats your boat. There is no minimum commitment required and any help is welcomed with open (pit) arms. 



Thank you and enjoy the sun!

The Yukon Verbatim Project - Press Release

Yukon theatre company uses people's words to create a play


The Yukon theatre company, Open Pit, received a total of $21, 000 in grants from both the department of Tourism and Culture of the Yukon Government and Canada Council for the Arts to develop a new verbatim play. It will directly involve Yukoners throughout the territory and will be based on the theme home.   


Verbatim theatre is a form of art that uses the exact words of those interviewed to create a play. Throughout the summer and the fall, Open Pit will interview Yukoners from at least 8 different communities to discuss their homes, their land, and how they feel about living in the north.


To gain the widest and most accurate Yukon perspective, Open Pit will be interviewing people of different generations, cultural backgrounds, and social standing. Based only on the transcriptions of these interviews, Open Pit will create a script for a new play.


"Home is a theme that is relevant to us all, but that exists in different forms and that triggers different responses. Whether you are an immigrant or First Nations, whether you live in a van, a big log house or an overpriced and crowded downtown apartment, we want to explore what it means for people to live right here, right now." explains Open Pit's co artistic producer Geneviève Doyon. 


A first draft of this play will be presented to the Whitehorse audience in the spring of 2015. In their 2016-17 season, Open Pit plans to tour the final production back into the communities where the initial interviews took place.


In order to generate enough raw material, Open Pit hopes to conduct over 200 hundred territory-wide interviews.  If you, or someone you know, would like to participate in the Yukon Verbatim Project please contact Genevieve Doyon at genevieve@openp.it to arrange an interview. 

Funding for this project is made possible through the assistance of Arts Fund, Department of Tourism and Culture, Mike Nixon, Minister, and Canada Council for the Arts.


Open Pit in Banff!

Jessica and Geneviève are currentely at the Banff Centre working with Ramschackle Theatre to develop a brand new puppet show, Tombstone : A Sci-Fi Western. 

What we do all day: Build puppets, experiment with different shadow screens, develop robot and cowboy characters and hike the occasional mountain.