United Players Of Vancouver




United Players of Vancouver Theatre Company began in 1959 as the St. James United Church Drama Group, founded by two English emigrées, Gwen Crowe and Eileen Oliver. The first play was “The Holly & the Ivy” by Wynyard Brown and directed by Ivor Morris. Performances were held in the lower church hall.

In 1963, when the company was incorporated, the name was changed to United Players of Vancouver. The name was chosen to represent the deep bond the members felt for each other, and that bond continues today.

In 1982, Andrée Karas joined the company, becoming President and Artistic Director in June 1983. She continued to work tirelessly for United Players, with her vision inspiring and challenging all who experienced her enthusiasm and joy of theatre. In 2020 CW (Toph) Marshall became Artistic Director, while Andrée became Artistic Director Emerita.

The end of 1989 saw the end of United Players association with St. James United Church. However, it was not until 1991 that the company moved to its current space at the Jericho Arts Centre, to become their resident theatre company.

For over sixty years, audiences have been entertained with wonderful and exciting theatre. Plays ranging from light comedy to Greek tragedy, great plays written by George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, Noel Coward, Tennessee Williams, Neil Simon, Euripides, Anton Chekhov, Charles Dickens, Aristophanes, Molière, Sophocles, Jane Austen and the list goes on.

United Players of Vancouver will continue to bring you, the audience, entertaining and exciting theatre.


United Players of Vancouver Theatre Company is a long-established community theatre company renowned for its exciting and demanding repertoire of high-quality successful productions.

Part of our mandate is to showcase emerging actors, directors and technicians, many of whom are graduates of theatre programs from Vancouver and across Canada. United Players provides them with the invaluable opportunity to demonstrate their skills and talents on the live stage in full view of audiences, theatre critics, and talent agents from local and international companies.

A further part of our mandate is to provide classical and critically recognized contemporary plays which seldom appear on professional stage because of inherent costs, to an increasingly appreciative and sophisticated audience.

We are also, as part of our mandate, actively involved with young people in the various technical and artistic aspects of theatre. With hands-on training, they have built and dressed sets, costumes, designed lighting, sound, and were crew members in all our productions.

The uniqueness of United Players has been this successful blend of artists of all ages, experience and from all walks of life. The result is an exciting, energetic, creative, and fulfilling environment in which dreams can be realized, careers advanced, achievements fulfilled, and magic created.

In the spirit of artistic cooperation and mutual respect, and advantage, we have actively supported many local professional and amateur theatres, and many independent film companies, and schools, in the loan of space, equipment, costumes, props, and personnel for their respective productions.

Due to the uncertainties and reduction of government funding we now have to appeal to corporations, private businesses and the general public for aiding us in our endeavours to continue the high standard of our productions and courses.

The United Players board members. Left to right, front row – Linda Begg, Joan Bryans, Toph Marshall, Andrée Karas, John Harris, Fran Burnside. Back row – Shamin Shivji, Pat Willing, Matt Loop, Becky Fitzpatrick, Nancy Caldwell.

At United Players we aim to provide the best possible environment for all those who work with us – one that is grounded in the principles of collaboration and mutual respect. To learn more, please view our respectful workplace and anti-harassment policy: