History/Reviews

BODY AWARENESS by Annie Baker, 2019 at Studio 16. Directed by Aaron Craven. Cast: Jennifer Copping, Suleka Mathew, John Murphy, Zac Scott. *Nominated for a Jessie Richardson Award.

BODY AWARENESS by Annie Baker, 2019

” Mitch and Murray Productions strikes again with the thought-provoking, smart, relevant and very funny Body Awareness. For whom do women make themselves beautiful? And who defines beauty? Under Aaron Craven’s excellent direction, Body Awareness got me thinking about it all over again. I respect a theatre company that consistently recharges my batteries.” ( Jo Ledingham, Theatre Critic, joledingham.ca )

“Don’t miss this little gem of a one act comedy. A gently mocking script, strong performances by an evenly matched cast and a clever elegant set make for an engaging show.” ( Gillian Lockitch, Theatre Critic, Review From The House)

“Some compelling questions are being asked in Body Awareness…Zac Scott is almost unrecognizable. Both physically and emotionally, Scott has captured the essence of this young man on the autism spectrum…David Roberts has created a stunner set design with giant louvred photographs defining the two play spaces. It is beautifully lit by Celeste English.” (Mark Robins, Theatre Critic, Vancouver Presents)

SEX WITH STRANGERS by Laura Eason, 2018 at Studio 16. Directed by Aaron Craven. Cast: Loretta Walsh and Markian Tarasiuk.

SEX WITH STRANGERS by Laura Eason, 2018

“The sex is frequent and hot—but discreet—in the seductive performances at the heart of Aaron Craven’s thought-provoking Mitch and Murray Productions staging at Studio 16. An entertaining and unpredictable evening of theatre.” (Jerry Wasserman, The Vancouver Sun)

“Eason’s play takes flight, in a sometimes twisted bond where we are never quite sure who is using whom. Terrific performances from Loretta Walsh and Markian Tarasiuk, under the direction of Aaron Craven.” (Mark Robins, Vancouver Presents)

“Mitch and Murray Productions never fails to bring edgy, interesting scripts and complex, multi-dimensional characters to light.  Eason’s script crackles. Walsh and Tariasiuk get some real chemistry going.” (Jo Ledingham, joledingham.ca)

“Both actors deliver excellent naturalistic performances and take full advantage of the comedy.  Tarasiuk captures the whole range in Ethan—from the swagger to the trembling insecurity. And Walsh is every bit as alert and responsive.” (Colin Thomas, Fresh Sheet)

SMART PEOPLE by Lydia R.Diamond, 2017 at Studio 16. *Nominated for a Jessie Richardson Award. Directed by David Mackay. Cast: Kwesi Ameyaw, Tricia Collins, Aaron Craven and Katrina Reynolds.

SMART PEOPLE by Lydia R.Diamond, 2017

“This show about race is one of the most stimulating productions of the season. Craven nails Brian’s fury….Ameyaw exposes the vulnerability beneath Jackson’s bluster.  In this political climate, Smart People is poignant.” (Colin Thomas, Fresh Sheet)

“A fascinating bit of time travel…..the characters are likeable and engaging.” (Kathleen Oliver, The Georgia Straight)

“It is particularly fun to watch (Ameyaw and Reynolds) as the two characters fall into the same racial traps as we white people are so often accused.” (Mark Robins, Vancouver Presents)

DETROIT by Lisa D’Amour, 2016 at Studio 16. Directed by Lois Anderson. Cast: Jennifer Copping, Joel Wirkkunen, Luisa Jojic, Aaron Craven and John R.Taylor

DETROIT by Lisa D’Amour, 2016

 “Director Lois Anderson and a crackerjack cast deliver one of the best shows of the year, a hilarious and devastating X-ray of lives on the precipice.” (Jerry Wasserman, The Vancouver Sun)

“Detroit peels back suburban angst, and in this production, what it finds underneath is never less than riveting. Director Lois Anderson and her excellent cast find both absurd humour and an ominous undercurrent in the whiplash-inducing tonal shifts in D’Amour’s dialogue.” (Kathleen Oliver, The Georgia Straight)

“A scorching, darkly funny look at the unravelling of the American middle class. The performances are superb.” (Jo Ledingham, The Vancouver Courier)

“Smart, hilarious and a stylistic puzzle. I’m grateful to Mitch and Murray Productions, which consistently mounts intelligent, adventuresome work.” (Colin Thomas, Fresh Sheet)

Rapture, Blister, Burn by Gina Gionfriddo, 2015 at Studio 16 Directed by Aaron Craven Cast: Moya O'Connell, Courtney Shields, Lori Triolo, Robert Moloney and Anna Hagan
RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN by Gina Gionfriddo, 2015 at Studio 16 *Nominated for a Jessie Richardson Award
Directed by Aaron Craven
Cast: Moya O’Connell, Courtney Shields, Lori Triolo, Robert Moloney and Anna Hagan

RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN by Gina Gionfriddo, 2015

“Mitch and Murray Productions knocks it out of the park – again – with ‘Rapture, Blister, Burn’. Blisteringly true and rapturously funny.” (Jo Ledingham, Vancouver Courier)

“‘The hottest show in town. Don’t miss it. The acting is exceptional across the board.” (Jerry Wasserman, Vancouver Plays)

“‘Groundbreaking…fully realized.” (Cecilia Lu, Vancity Buzz)

SPEED-THE-PLOW by David Mamet, 2014 at Studio 16 Directed by David Mackay Cast: Craig Erickson, Aaron Craven and Kayla Deorksen
SPEED-THE-PLOW by David Mamet, 2014 at Studio 16 *Nominated for 2 Jessie Richardson Awards
Directed by David Mackay
Cast: Craig Erickson, Aaron Craven and Kayla Deorksen

SPEED-THE-PLOW by David Mamet, 2014

“An intellectual treat for the age of reality television. A feast for the ears and brain….provokes almost continuous laughter with intellectual weight.” (Vancouver Presents)

“More exhilarating than waterskiing. Crazy good acting. Go.” (Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight)

“Speed-the-Plow is a dynamite script with a dynamite director and cast. See it now.” (Jo Ledingham, Vancouver Courier)

Becky Shaw by Gina Gionfriddo - Vancouver, Mitch and Murray Productions
BECKY SHAW by Gina Gionfriddo, 2013 at Studio 16   *Nominated for a Jessie Richardson Award
Directed by David Mackay
Cast: Moya O’Connell, Meghan Gardiner, Aaron Craven, Charlie Gallant, Marilyn Norry

BECKY SHAW by Gina Gionfriddo, 2013

“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen an evening of theatre that’s so thoroughly well realized. Gina Gionfriddo’s densely verbal script is wickedly smart, funny, and provocative. And, for this Vancouver production, director David Mackay has cast the show exquisitely: all the players in the five-member company are working at the top of their games.” (Colin Thomas – The Georgia Straight)

“Actors and people who like acting will find a lot here to enjoy and audiences who crave a raw visceral comedy drama will find it compelling.  Becky Shaw is a riveting, funny show about damaged nasty people. We were captured.” (David C.Jones – GayVancouver)

“Gionfriddo’s script is insightful and sharply written, delving into thorny explorations of love, obligation, race, and class while still moving along at a good clip. The play is very well-acted by this cast of five.”  (Vantage Vancouver)

“An example of fine theatre produced by a small independent company, with an interesting script, tight direction and first-class acting.” (Review from the House)

“Taut, punchy, very funny dramatic storytelling and terrific performances make this a show not to be missed.” (Jerry Wasserman – Vancouver Plays)

LUNGS by Duncan Macmillan, 2013 at Studio 16. Directed by David Mackay, featuring Kayvon Khoshkam and Stephanie Iszak.

“Lungs is smart and often very funny. Under David Mackay’s direction, the acting is top-notch.” (Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight)

“A gripping, poignant portrayal of what it means to be uncertain about love and humanity in the information age.” (Vancouver Vantage)

RACE by David Mamet, 2012 - Studio 16. Vancouver.
RACE by David Mamet, 2012 – Studio 16.
*Nominated for a Jessie Richardson Award*
Directed by David Mackay.
Cast – Kwesi Ameyaw, Craig Erickson, Aaron Craven and Marsha Regis

RACE by David Mamet, 2012

“The Production itself is flawless. Director David Mackay moves his actors nimbly through the caustic, breakneck dialogue.  Mamet is a tremendous writer…at times his brilliance is on full display.  See it.”  (The Georgia Straight)

“This play achieves Mamet’s intent to provoke and disturb audiences and is rife with shocking yet witty content.”  (Review Vancouver)

“Race is a rare play that stimulates both heart and mind.  This production more than realizes the potential of the script, crafting a tightly-paced performance that will set your pulse racing in the theatre and your mind returning to it in the days and weeks that follow.”  (Laura Murray PR Reviews)

“Great direction and cast set it on fire.  Race is riveting theatre!” (David C.Jones, Charlebois Post) 

“Strong performances by its four actors and tight direction by David Mackay make the most of a David Mamet script that moves along like a game of ping-pong in which there are no winners.” (Where.ca)

“This production will have you leaping out of the starting blocks and sprinting all the way to the finish line. Directed by David Mackay, it’s all over in seventy minutes. It’s a potent, profanity-studded exposé of racism and misogyny so interlocked as to be inseparable.” (Jo Ledingham – Review from the House)

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FIFTY WORDS by Michael Weller, 2011 – The Cultch
*Nominated for a Jessie Richardson Award*
Directed by John Murphy
Cast: Aaron Craven, Kirsten Robek

FIFTY WORDS by Michael Weller, 2011

“Craven is a softly sexy actor and his Adam is sympathetic….Taylor’s choice are witty.” (Colin Thomas – Georgia Straight)

“Adam’s no saint, but Craven makes his character likeable…Robek has the brightest smile going and personal warmth to make you want to cozy up to her …hip New York set by John R.Taylor.” (Jo Ledingham – Vancouver Courier)

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FAT PIG by Neil Labute, 2009 – Performance Works
*Nominated for 3 Jessie Richardson Awards*
Directed by Michael Scholar Jr.
Cast: Laurence Haegart, Kathryn Kirkpatrick, Jennifer Mawhinney, Aaron Craven

FAT PIG by Neil Labute, 2009

“Director Michael Scholar Jr. has done a great job at staging the play in a way that keeps the audience focused and engaged. The set is minimal and shifts direction, both physically and metaphorically.  Kathryn Kirkpatrick delivers a brave and stellar performance as Helene and Haegert pulls us in completely with his performance, giving us hope that he’ll come through in the end. Jennifer Mawhinney and Aaron Craven’s characters (Jeannie, Carter) provide the cringe. Their dialogue is rich with all we try to hide in ourselves. Fat Pig is a play that everyone should see.”  (Wendy Dallian – Vancouver Observer)

“Director Michael Scholar, Jr. has three fine actors plus one fine, incredibly brave actor… Handsome set by Naomi Sider and lighting by Itai Erdal. Brave performance by Kirkpatrick…”  (Jo Ledingham – Vancouver Courier)