About Us

Allen Desnoyers (A.R.C.T.)

Artistic Director – Composer – Playwright – Musical Director

Nominated for three Jessie Richardson awards for outstanding work as an actor, musical director, and composer, Allen is an internationally produced playwright, soundtrack composer, author of over a dozen plays and musicals and composer of over a hundred songs.  Creator of the Rosebud Opera House in Rosebud, Alberta and Co-founder of Vancouver’s Pacific Theatre, he has performed in over 3000 performances of his own musical productions.

Plays & Compositions

Allen created the very first musical plays for the highly successful Rosebud Dinner Theatre.  The first was a successful outdoor summer production of a “Commedia” play he directed, interspersing existing madrigals, Elizabethan songs and magic effects.   The following summer, he presented his first “Canadiana” musical”,  a two-act musical about a depression-era farmer, “When the Sun Meets the Earth” in an abandoned community hall he rechristened, “The Rosebud Opera House”.   The play met with sold out houses and put Rosebud theatre on the map.  Click here to read the article.

For follow up act, he co-founded Vancouver’s Pacific Theatre creating a play about Johann Sebastian Bach told from the point of view of his son. A classically trained pianist, he learned early music style harpsichord for his one-man show, Friedemann Variations, which also enjoyed a run at Orlando Theatre projects in Orlando, Florida.

Commissioned by the Chemainus Arts Council to write songs for their tenth anniversary celebrations, he presented a song cycle called Over Deepest Blue, a collection of songs about Chemainus history presented on the WaterWheel Stage a year before the Chemainus Theatre opened.

The Birth of British Columbia, a musical about the Cariboo goldrush which explored the experiences of immigrant gold miners, was performed over five hundred times across British Columbia.

In 1999, hired by Dawson City’s Palace Grande Theatre for their 100th anniversary, he performed over a hundred shows in the legendary Klondike town where he wrote music to honour Arizona Charlie Meadows, the man who had built the theatre.

In 2000, he was nominated for a Jessie Richardson award for best original score for his music for the Pacific Theatre production Dreams of Kings and Carpenters and launched The Birth of the C.P.R., a musical that has toured over 1000 performances across Western Canada, from the Queen Charlotte Islands to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The Blackfoot and the Redcoats, his musical about the N.W.M.P. in Blackfoot territory premiered in Alberta in Spring of 2004 and toured across British Columbia and Saskatchewan before returning to Alberta in the winter of 2005 (including a performance on the Siksika (Blackfoot) reserve).

In 2006, Canadian Pacific Railway celebrated its 125th anniversary with an inhouse performance of The Birth of the C.P.R..

Later that year he premiered The Klondike Rag at the Victoria Conference Centre where it was nominated for a Critic’s Choice award. Touring the four Western Provinces, this play has been performed over 500 times.

In both 2007, Canadian Pacific Railway commissioned another musical for their annual “President’s Awards” held annually at the Palliser Hotel and another musical in 2008. In Spring 2008, Alberta’s Rosebud Theatre for its 25th anniversary  remounted a revised “When the Sun Meets the Earth” which he rewrote and added new songs.  Click here to read the article.

Also in 2008,  he was selected by National Historic Site Fort Langley as the official playwright for their proclamation presentation.  Fort Langley is the site where 150 years ago,  British Columbia was proclaimed a colony by Governor James Douglas. He revamped The Birth of British Columbia, adding additional scenes and songs and toured throughout British Columbia. This musical was presented on B.C.’s 150th Birthday November 19, 2008 at Fort Langley for the Premier and other guests.

His last musical, Explorer Idol, a rock and roll show about the exploits of famous explorers was the fastest selling show to date for Canadiana with a record 240 performances in one year alone.

For the Fall of 2013,  he launches Emily Carr – Small Wonders,   an intimate portrayal of the extraordinary young life of a young genius finding her creative gifts as a painter and writer.

Performance

He has toured across North America and Europe. In Canada, he has also performed in Halifax, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Regina, Saskatoon, and nearly every city in British Columbia including the Playhouse, Vogue Theatre, Pacific Theatre, Bard on the Beach, Gateway Theatre, Presentation House, and James Cowan Theatre (all in the lower mainland); the Royal Theatre (Victoria), Sunshine Theatre (Kelowna), Theatre Royal (Barkerville), Chemainus Theatre (Chemainus), Cowichan Theatre (Duncan), Evergreen Theatre (Powell River), Arts Centre (Prince George), Terrace Community Theatre (Terrace) Performing Arts Centre (Prince Rupert), as well as a summer in Dawson City, Yukon at both the Palace Grande Theatre, and Diamond Tooth Gerties.

Musical Director

As a musical director, he has worked with some of Canada’s best known actors including R.H. Thomson and Albert Schultz (Soulpepper theatre artistic director). Musical director credits include Theatre Royal in Barkerville, Palace Grande Theatre in Dawson City, Chemainus Theatre, as well as live music co-ordinator for Bard on the Beach, Vancouver.

Record Producer

His recording and producing work has taken him from Bath, England to Nashville, Tennessee and he has produced 3 albums independently as a singer-songwriter.