For immediate release, April 22, 2013 Media Contact: Rebecca Coleman

Download PDF

Tweets Allowed for the First Time at the Granville Island Stage!

VANCOUVER, BC: A play about a young journalist set in the 1980’s takes on the 21st century by introducing “Tweet Seats” for the first time ever at the Granville Island Stage. Tweet Seats will debut, along with Never Shoot a Stampede Queen – aka #stampedequeen creating a special reserved section for anyone wanting “live-tweet” during the show.

The Tweet Seats will be available at select performances — May 15th and May 22nd — the same nights Leiren-Young (the playwright whose life inspired the play) and star Zachary Stevenson (who plays Leiren-Young in the show) will be sticking around after the show for talkback sessions.

“I always enjoy new experiences,” says star Zachary Stevenson (@stevensonzach). “Just as long as no-one expects me to respond to their tweet during the show. It’s 1985 and I won’t be carrying a cell phone.” Stevenson stars as a 22-year-old journalist (and more) in this solo comedy about a city boy who moves to BC’s still very wild west — Williams Lake, BC.

“Since this is a play that talks about the glory days of journalism when newsrooms still had reporters, and photographers were smarter than their cameras, we thought it would be fun to experiment with what seems to be the future of journalism,” says playwright Leiren-Young (@leirenyoung). “Vancouver’s civic theatres prohibit patrons turning on anything that glows and the Arts Club policy is that Tweeting is encouraged at intermission. I wouldn’t try this for any show — I think it could be a problem at Hamlet, although you’d have to ask Bard on the Beach about that — but since this show is about journalism and since Zach is such an experienced performer, we all think this should be a fun experiment. And if it goes well, we’ll try to set aside Tweet seats for additional shows.”

Theatres in the US, Europe and Australia have been experimenting with Tweet Seats for several years — allowing certain members of the audience to turn on their cellphones, but the practice is still controversial. A spokesman for Mirvish Productions in Toronto has been quoted as saying his company will “never, never, never” introduce Tweet Seats.

” I think in the future — when cell phone cameras are up to taking pictures in theatres without flashes — we’ll be seeing theatres encouraging people to take pictures,” says Leiren-Young. “But until there’s a way to do that without blinding the actor… probably not a great idea. But I think it’ll be fascinating to see if this attracts a new audience, and to see what people decide to tweet about.”

Never Shoot a Stampede Queen is based on Leiren-Young’s Leacock Medal for Humour-winning memoir Never Shoot a Stampede Queen – A Rookie Reporter in The Cariboo (published by Heritage). The one-man show stars Zachary Stevenson – - the Arts Club’s Buddy Holly – and is directed and dramaturged by star solo show writer-director-performer TJ Dawe, who directed One Man Star Wars, which has been seen around the world and played in London’s West End and Off-Broadway.

Director and dramaturge TJ Dawe (@tj_dawe) has some experience being live-Tweeted. Says Dawe, “When I did my talk at TEDx Manitoba last year, the audience pretty much all had smart phones and tablets in front of them, and in the middle of my talk, I slipped onto the trending list for Twitter in Canada. Number nine! But has that ever happened from anything else I’ve ever done? Nope. Has anything else allowed live tweeting? Nope.”

Ironically Tweet Seats can’t be reserved online but must be requested by phone at the Arts Club Box office: 604.629.8849. For tickets and information, please visit

Additional links: 1226563337504–audiences-not-getting-the-word-on- cellphone-use-during-live-theatre

Related posts:

Tav Rayne


Sign up for Newsletter: