Never Shoot A Stampede Queen – Win Vancouver Tickets

I am not sure about the rest of you, but one of my favourite side effects of travelling is taking the time to read.  And a favourite author of mine, that I tend to place at the tops of the holiday reads priority pile, is Mark Leiren-Young.  I still have yet to read Mark’s latest book, Free Magic Secrets Revealed, that has only just hit bookstores in the past few weeks, but up until now, my favourite read of Mark’s has been Never Shoot a Stampede Queen.  And I don’t think I am alone in it being a favourite, as Mark won a Leacock Medal for humour for this novel.

Never Shoot a Stampede Queen - the novel

For those of you that have yet to read Never Shoot A Stampede Queen, it is a humourous account of Mark’s early 20′s, as a young reporter in Williams Lake.  And funny it is!

Why am I telling you all of this? Well, as it happens, Mark is also a playwright, and Never Shoot a Stamped Queen is hitting the stage for the first time  … well … first time in Vancouver, as it is currently making its rounds in Kamloops and Duncan, BC with a great audience response.

The playbill for the Show?
Never Shoot a Stampede Queen, on Stage in Vancouver

Zachary Stevenson (the Arts Club’s Buddy Holly) stars in the stage adaptation of Mark Leiren-Young’s Never Shoot A Stampede Queen — winner of the Leacock Medal for humour. This all-new solo show follows the adventures of a big city (Vancouver) boy who arrives in the crime capital of BC (Williams Lake) and discovers stranger news, quirkier characters, and better friends than he ever could have imagined. Directed and dramaturged by TJ Dawe (hot off his acclaimed solo show Medicine), and adapted for the stage by Leiren-Young (known to Arts Club audiences for Easy Money and The Year in Revue). For more info visit


So … !!!  Mark has given me a pair of tickets to giveaway to the Preview Night in Vancouver, Thursday May 9th, 2013 at 8 pm on the Granville Island Stage in Vancouver, BC.

To enter to win, simply comment below with a favourite author or genre of books that you love to read while travelling, by Sunday May 5th at midnight. I will randomly pull the name of a winner from the entries Monday morning, May 6th.

For a second, third and fourth entry into the contest, share this contest on twitter, facebook, and google+ by sharing something like:

Win tickets to Thursday’s Preview of #StampedeQueen in #Vancouver on @Roamancing  ~

Main thing for the social media entries to be valid, you must hashtag #StampedeQueen, include the link to this post, and use our handle to link us into the conversation (so that we see your entry).

Looking forward to your responses!  This should be a fun Show!


Emme  xoxo

PS And if you don’t win our tickets, you can still catch the Show on the Granville Island Stage from May 9th – 25th.  I’ll be sure to tell you all about it on my personal site, as soon as I see it.



Travel and Charity in Pacific Theatre’s Mother Teresa is Dead

Some people travel to visit friends or family. Some people travel to see the world. And some travel to escape. Such is the case of Jane, a character in Pacific Theatre’s latest show, Mother Teresa is Dead. Jane has travelled from England to India because she wants to help. She is overwhelmed by the poverty and injustice she sees in the world and feels an irrepressible need to help the less fortunate. But she has also left England to escape the life with her husband and young son that she sees as shallow and meaningless and seems to be drowning within.


Kayvon Kelly and Julie McIsaac as Srinivas and Jane. Photo by Ron Reed.


When the play begins, Jane’s husband, Mark, has just arrived in India. Jane has been missing for seven weeks and Mark has only just tracked her down to the house of a British expat, Frances. Frances has kindly taken Jane in, but is unable to shed any light as to why Jane left Mark and their son without a word. When Mark learns that Jane has been working at a shelter helping children, he is livid that Jane would leave their child to help other children. There are explosive confrontations between husband and wife, as well as with Srinivas, the owner of the shelter who also arrives looking for Jane.


Sebastian Kroon and Julie McIsaac as Mark and Jane. Photo by Ron Reed.


Mother Teresa is Dead made me think about travelling and why we travel. As someone who loves travelling and travels as much as possible, Mother Teresa is Dead made me think, why do we travel? Why do I travel? I know that I, as the traveller, learn so much. I learn about other countries and cultures. I try new things and have new experiences. I learn what I like and don’t like, and what I am capable of. I come home feeling enriched. But what about everyone else? How do my travels affect other people? It is clear Jane’s journey to India has affected so many lives, from her family in England, to locals like Srinivas and the children of the shelter, to the good Samaritan Frances. By travelling to India, does Jane really what she sought to do – help the less fortunate – or does she instead bring a world of trouble into Frances’ home?


Julie McIsaac and Katharine Venour as Jane and Frances. Photo by Ron Reed.


Mother Teresa is Dead is a play that asks a lot big questions, but leaves them unanswered. Can one live a guilt-free life when so many people in the world are suffering? Do we do more harm than good when we try to help? Are charities designed just to ease the guilt of comfortable Westerners? In this way, Mother Teresa is Dead is neither preachy or apologetic; it just makes you think. As I was leaving the theatre I found I was asking my own big questions about travel and the motivations for travelling that I could not find the answers for.

Congratulations to Kayvon Kelly (Srinivas), Sebastian Kroon (Mark), Julie McIsaac (Jane), and Katharine Venour (Frances) for their superb performances and to Director Evan Frayne for a truly thought-provoking and enjoyable show.


Mother Teresa is Dead
When: March 1st – 23rd, 2013, Wednesday to Saturday nights at 8pm, with Saturday matinees at 2 pm
Where: Pacific Theatre, 1440 W. 12th Ave, Vancouver
Tickets: Buy online

She Has A Name & So Do Many Other Victims of Sex Tourism

When I travel, I often wonder what life is like for the women that live there.  I know that with my pasty white skin and our roamancing red boots, I stand out and am not seen as one of them ~ treated with the grace and tenderness of a lady, but given the respect of a man in many cultures, in addition to being seen with a great deal of humour (often thanks to the red boots).  You see, I won the lottery of birth.  I was born into a Canadian home of two educated parents that treated each other as equals.  It was me that my Dad tried to get to pursue medicine, not my brother.  We were taught to believe that with hardwork and gumption, we could achieve whatever we set our minds to, and we have, although not necessarily quite in the manner we initially envisioned.  I mean really, how few people get to live their lives the way I am?  Don’t get me wrong I have fought hard to do what I do, and am still not making what I should (and as a single gal, I know I need to start planning for retirement), but had I been dealt a different hand in birth, none of this may have been possible. Heck, the fact alone that I worry about retirement tells you just how lucky I am. I myself may have grown up to be a very different person with none of the confidence and bull dog spirit I posses.


A scene from She Has A Name, showing the two-worlds of the woman in the brothel and that with a life more similar to my own. Photographed by Kelsey Krogman.


I was tenderly and heart-wrenchingly reminded of this when I attended a Vancouver Fringe Festival Play the other night at the Firehall Arts Centre ~ She Has A Name by Andrew Kooman presented by Burnt Thicket Theatre and RaiseTheirVoice. This was the story a young girl who at the tender age of 15 had seen more than I ever wish to see in a Bangkok brothel, repeatedly raped and forced into sexual acts from the tender age of 10, when she went into the city in Burma to work at a factory to help her single Mom support the family, or so she thought, before she was smuggled out of the country and forced into a life of sex slavery.  This is also the story of the dangers and inner turmoil of the men and women from around the world that try to help victims of human trafficking, told from the perspective of Jason, a lawyer who has left his family in Canada to try and navigate his way through a Bangkok brothel in an attempt to gather evidence and build a legal case against them for trafficking girls into Bangkok.  A particularly strong perspective if you ask me, as it reminded me of the turmoils that the men who try to help go through too.


She Has A Name Tours Canada from Unveil Studios on Vimeo.


In leaving this play, it left me wanting to do something to help, beyond telling all my friends to go see the play (which you all should do or if it’s not currently playing in in your area, get one of your local theatres to invite them).  This is a story we all should hear and think about for these women, children (and men) often have no voice of their own and no one to hear their screams.  How very scary is that.  Here I live a life where I can speak my mind on politics, religion and all sorts of other contentious topics, without fear.  A life where I was able to choose when to share my body with another and with whom, and I can assure you that was not at the tender age of 10 or 15, but when I was an adult, ready and at least thought I was in love.  Thinking of having such acts forced upon me sickens me and further terrifies me to think that for these women, children, (and men), they have no one to seek help from.  But what does one do to help?  This is after all a very dangerous issue.  A couple of things that occur to me more superficially in my own life:

  • Don’t laugh or accept that ever so disgusting mantra of “What happens in Vegas (or Whistler or any number of other places) stays in Vegas.”  The things we do when on the road do affect others, and very real people, like the women, children (and men) in brothels and your lovers back home, can be hurt by them.  If you wouldn’t do something at home for moral reasons or fear of what others would think if they saw, then you probably shouldn’t do them on the road.  And while many of us are not guilty of such things, we likely have laughed at the line of “what happens on the road, stays on the road.” Stop laughing and start telling people it’s not cool.
  • Ladies (and men) – be careful and aware of your surroundings and how you are being perceived within them.  Traveling is a wonderful thing, but don’t put yourself into danger.  Just like with men, some women see traveling as an opportunity to be more promiscuous. Be careful, as you don’t want to put yourself or others in danger for ‘a bit of fun’.


There is absolutely nothing sexy or titillating about Sex Tourism. Those that partake are creating somebody else’s nightmare. Photo by Kelsey Krogman from She Has A Name.


On a broader scale, the play She Has A Name has given us some ideas on how we can help the victims of human trafficking and sex slavery, as from Play It Forward and encouraging others to see it. Here are their suggestions:

1. Write your MP and sign a petition
It’s not glamorous, but it’s effective.  Let your MP know that as your representative you want them to be a strong voice against human trafficking. Visit to find out your MP’s address and to learn about petitions you can print and share with others and send to Parliament, urging government to change the way we address the crime of trafficking in Canada.

2. Give to our partner project in Thailand
Home of New Beginnings is a safe-house in Bangkok that helps children and women leave the sex trade and begin new lives. You can read more at and donate online at – click on the Canada Helps “Donate Now” button, then select Fund/Designation as “Specify Project in Message Box” and then enter “She Has A Name” in the message field. You may also telephone A Better World Canada at 403.782.1140.

3. Fuel the Tour
If this story impacted you, help us ensure we make it across the country so more Canadians can engage the issue.  You can donate mileage or fuel the tour vehicle between cities at

4. Connect with Organizations Combatting Trafficking
Learn more about the issue and then volunteer your time and resources to bring change in a way that utilizes your unique gifts.  Your life is so valuable, and we firmly believe you will experience great meaning as you use your gifts to change real stories of despair into real stories of hope!  View a list of great organizations at

5. Report warning signs of human trafficking

  • in your community, at work, when traveling to: Crime Stoppers 1.800.222.8477 (1.800.222.TIPS)
  • online child sexual abuse imagery, child sex tourism, child trafficking, and child luring to: The Canadian Centre for Child Protection.


Give victims of Sex Tourism, like No. 18 in She Has A Name, hope. Photographed by Kelsey Krogman.


If you are in Vancouver, I encourage you to catch the final production of She Has A Name tonight at 9:30 pm at the Firehall Arts Centre. The next stops on their Canadian Tour are Kelowna (September 18th-21st), Edmonton (September 25th-30th) and Red Deer (October 2nd-6th).

Remember She Has A Name.  Help give these women, children (and men) a voice and combat sex tourism.

Vancouver Theatre Giveaway: Victor Victoria at the Metro Theatre

Oh to be in Vancouver this Saturday, and to be whisked away in my mind to Paris, France in the 1930′s with a prime seat for the entertainment in the Clubs, in just the right spot in the room to eavesdrop on all the shenanigans going on around me, because you know as a writer that is what we absolutely love to do (or at least what I personally absolutely love to do, and then concoct a tale of the people’s lives that I am eavesdropping upon).


Victor Victoria at Vancouver's Metro Theatre, March 17th - April 7th, 2012


So what exactly am I rambling on about?  Victor Victoria at the Metro Theatre in Vancouver.  Saturday night is Opening Night of the Musical in Vancouver and I often feel like when I am in the theatre, that I am being whisked away to another part of the World, eavesdropping on conversations, only where I’m validated for my speculations and where no one gives me looks of disgust when they catch me in the act of listening in.  Now for those of you that are familiar with the story of Victor Victoria, you’ll know that this will be one juicy conversation to eavesdrop on, as we’ve got a woman that pretends to be a man playing a woman to land a role …  now say that 5x fast … and becomes the bed ‘fellow’ of a gangster that knows she’s a woman, but must hide this from his associates, in order not to be perceived as a homosexual in a macho, gun wielding line of work.  Yes, if I were actually in a Club in Paris listening to this, I am sure I’d be caught in the act of eavesdropping, as this would have just been too juicy not to want to keep edging myself closer, until I was practically sitting in someone’s lap, and then I’d probably end up getting roughed up by the gangsters, and I haven’t taken Ian Mallory’s travel defence training yet, so it’s good thing this is in a theatre, where eavesdropping is allowed.

Sadly I won’t be there, however, as I’m in Ontario this week.  The theatre has kindly extended our tickets to you our readers, so we are hosting a contest here and on Being Emme, giving a pair of tickets away on each site to one lucky reader to attend the Musical on April 4th.

To make this even juicier, I haven’t mentioned who is playing the leading fellow yet, have I?  None other than Jeff Hyslop, the quintessential Phantom of the Opera from the travelling Canadian Production and Jeff the mannequin in the children’s show Today’s Special, will be playing the role of Toddy, Victor/Victoria’s middle-aged gay confidant.  Oh to be able to see Jeff Hyslop on stage in a musical in the intimacy of the Metro Theatre!  No wonder, I’ve been looking green when I eye myself up in the bathroom mirror.  Begrudging missing this one.  Jeff will be complimented on stage by Sylvia Zaradic, as Victor/Victoria.


Victor/Victoria and Toddy will be played by Sylvia Zaradic and Jeff Hyslop


So how do you win the tickets?  As I mentioned, we have a pair of tickets to giveaway here and a pair to giveaway on Being Emme  for the April 4th Show.  To enter:

  • Comment below with a memorable conversation you once eavesdropped on;
  • The Deadline to enter is Wednesday March 21st, 2012 at midnight PST.

To be entered a second, third and fourth time:

  • Tweet this post with @Roamancing and #VancouverTheatre somewhere in the tweet, so I see the tweet;
  • Share this post on facebook and include @Roamancing in the text when you post it (this should link our facebook page, so I’ll see the post); and/or
  • Share this post on G+ and include @Roamancing in the text when you post it (this should alert me on G+ of your post).

I shall pull the name of one lucky winner from commenters, tweeters, facebookers and G+ers, and announce the winner on Thursday March 22nd.  Very much looking forward to making somebody happy!

Oh, and if sadly you don’t win, the play is running at the Metro Theatre in Vancouver from March 17th – April 7, 2012, with performances on Wednesdays to Saturdays at 8pm and two Sunday Matinees on March 25 & April 1 at 2pm. Tickets can be purchased here.


Emme xoxo


Congrats to Our Winners!

As far as I’m concerned, you darling are all winners.  That aside, I did want to congratulate Bonnie and Brendouchio for winning our Vancouver Theatre Giveaways this past week to catch Intimate Theatre Production’s I Love You Because … and Studio 58′s gender bender of a Julius Caesar.

If you didn’t win, you can still book tickets to these plays. Here are the details:

  • I Love You Because … plays at Studio 1398 on Granville Island from February 8th – 25th, 2012.
  • Julius Caesar plays at Studio 58 at Langara College from February  2nd – 26th, 2011.



And Intimate Theatre Productions is hosting their own ticket giveaway to their Valentines Performance, which is a bit of alright, as it includes roses for every woman attending and all the champagne you can drink. Here’s the contest ~ ITP’s Valentine’s Day Show & Contest. Just please note that they have the wrong closing date marked down for the contest. It now closes Tuesday February 7th, 2012 at midnight. To enter, simply comment on the post with your most romantic story.


Emme xoxo