Travel Blog

8 Mar

Tony Award-winning family drama comes to Vancouver

The cast of The Humans. David Cooper photo.

A Tony Award-winning Broadway hit about a family at odds is coming to Vancouver.

Stephen Karam’s The Humans won the Tony Award for Best Play in 2016 and was named as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

In a review, The Guardian called The Humans “… funny, mournful, richly detailed, and deeply humane.”According to the media release, the play is “both bitingly funny and poignant… [and] a richly detailed, compassionate portrait of an ordinary family at odds, with itself and with the uncertainties of life, amidst a changing America.”

The Arts Club Theatre Company is mounting The Humans at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage (2750 Granville St.) March 22-April 22. See below for more details.

Amiel Gladstone, director of The Humans. David Cooper photo for the Vancouver Sun.

The Humans synopsis: “When three generations of the Blake family descend on a rundown lower Manhattan duplex for Thanksgiving dinner, each family member’s fears and burdens are magnified. Erik Blake (Kevin McNulty) worries about his daughters—Aimee (Briana Buckmaster), for her recent breakup and health concerns, and Brigid (Samantha Rose Richard), for her new neighbourhood and employment prospects. Erik and his wife, Deirdre (Nicola Lipman), attempt to mask their own anxieties, too, while simultaneously caring for his aged mother (Gina Stockdale).”

In a media release, director Amiel Gladstone says, “Stephen Karam has written a deeply personal play about families and fear. Sometimes our fears are worse than we could ever imagine, and sometimes the things that go bump in the night are just the neighbours doing their laundry. The Humans looks at what it’s like to be alive right now, our place in our families, and what happens to us as we get older. It’s an unblinking, elusive, challenge of a play.” Gladstone also directed the Arts Club’s hit musical adaptation of Pushkin’s Onegin.

The Arts Club production of The Humans features a unique two-storey set. “I love how old spaces shift and grow with time; how bad renovations and poor utility repairs lead to a textured and often peculiar arrangement of space,” set designer Drew Facey said. “I think that the two-story set provides an exciting cross-section into the lives of the characters in the play and becomes a character in its own right.”

The Pulitzer committee called the play “a profoundly affecting drama that sketches the psychological and emotional contours of an average American family.” Karam’s earlier works include Emma (2000), Girl on Girl (2005), columbinus (2005), Speech Debate (2006), and Dark Sisters (2011).

The Humans stars Kevin McNulty (Erik Blake), Nicola Lipman (Deirdre Blake), Briana Buckmaster (Aimee Blake), Samantha Rose Richard (Brigid Blake), Gina Stockdale (“Momo” Blake), and Parm Soor (Richard Saad).


Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage
March 22–April 22 (Tue–Thu at 7:30 pm, Fri Sat at 8 pm, Wed at 1:30 pm, and Sat Sun at 2 pm)
Tickets: from $29 at or the Arts Club Box Office at 604.687.1644

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