Two Views from the Sylvia - Kol Halev - Waterfront Theatre

2017 I was hired to direct a show about the Sylvia Hotel. It was a hugely rewarding experience, but a lot of work. I had to dramaturg as well as direct. The show had 2 separate plays in one show with different playwrights and composers for each. I believe we put on a great show, and workshop in one.

Photo: Christopher King

Photo: Christopher King

The evening has a decidedly home-grown quality; it is not a slick Broadway show but an evening that evokes memories of gentler times in Vancouver when “Dine in the Sky” meant having dinner eight-storeys up.
— Jo Ledingham - VanCourier.com

Director’s Notes:

When I was first approached about directing this project, I was immediately struck with interest.The name Sylvia Hotel conjures images of the history, the iconic building, the stunning location. Well known to me and any other life long Vancouverite, it’s apart of who I am and how define myself. As work started I told friends about what I was working on, and I found that as soon as I mentioned the Sylvia to them, they had the same struck feeling I had. I realized after this happened a few times, that the Sylvia really has had an impact on almost everyone that knows this city. Everyone has a connection with the hotel.

This work has been down a long road to this point and this production is another step in its development. The team and I have worked hard with passion to help realize a fully staged production of this new work. This is a new work, and will hopefully have another life going forward. Just like the real Sylvia hotel, I hope that the story of the Sylvia and the people that have lived/stayed there endures far beyond just one week of performances. I hope the story goes on and it told for years to come.

I hope you will enjoy the stories told here. I hope you will contribute to its history going forward. As much as we celebrate the Sylvia hotel as the beautiful building with its is with ivy and incredible view, it is the people that endow a space with life. It’s the stories of the family that started the hotel, and the residents and guests that truly make the Sylvia what is is: Our Vancouver jewel, in the crown of English bay overlooking the ocean, and all the possibilities that still lay in the future of this little brick building.

Christopher King