When We Were Singing

Sunday June 16, 2024 at 2 pm at the Jericho Arts Centre, 1675 Discovery Street, Vancouver | View Map | Phone

An urban musical about life, love, friendship and what it means to be human.

A quartet of 30-something friends navigates the challenges of loyalty, success and love over the course of a booze-fuelled weekend. Performed entirely in song, this intimate chamber musical captures the rollercoaster of life in the big city with all its wins, losses, tears, fears, love and laughter, and the important role friendship plays in getting through it all.

Written and composed by Governor General’s Award-winning playwright Dorothy Dittrich, When We Were Singing was first produced by Vancouver’s Touchstone theatre then went on to Buddies in Bad times in Toronto and a co-pro between The Belfry in Victoria and the National Arts Centre as well as The Suncoast Theatre in Florida. It was listed in the year’s top ten shows in all locations, it was nominated for 7 awards, (Vancouver’s Jessie Richardson and Toronto’s Dora Awards) winning Jessies for Outstanding Original Script, Ensemble Cast, Musical Direction and Best Production. It was given a workshop by Manhattan Theatre Club in New York in 2003.

Dorothy has been a frequent and favourite guest on VocalEye’s Almost Live Zoom, reading from her delightful storytelling series, Tippi and Stan. We are thrilled to make this live performance of When We Were Singing accessible to members of the Blind and Partially Sighted community!


United Players offers a special $15 ticket price to VocalEye users and one guest. To purchase tickets, please leave a message with the Box Office, 604-224-8007 extension 2, or send an email to info@unitedplayers.com

Music and Lyrics by Dorothy Dittrich
Directed by Roy Surette
Produced by United Players Vancouver and Touchstone Theatre


When We Were Singing doesn’t have shock cynicism or confrontation, what it does have is compassion and understanding. It amused me, it moved me and I like it a lot. When We Were Singing has a quiet integrity and a luminous charm that makes you care about the four lost souls up there on the stage.”
-Richard Ouzounian, The Toronto Star

“Stylistically, this chamber piece for four voices is a remarkable achievement… there are the compositional influences of Broadway, jazz and pop. But mainly there is an impressively seamless tapestry of dialogue set to music that offers a richer and more naturalistic style than the standard, sung-through musical.” -The Globe and Mail

About the Playwright

Dorothy Dittrich is an award winning playwright, composer, sound designer, and musical director. Her most recent play, The Piano Teacher, is the recipient of the Governor General’s award for English-language drama. An Arts Club Theatre Silver Commission, it went on to win the Jessie Richardson Award for Outstanding Original Script. Other of Dorothy’s plays include The DissociatesLesser DemonsTwo Part Invention and If the Moon Falls. Her musical When We Were Singing has been produced across Canada from The Belfry, to Buddies in Bad Times, the National Arts Centre, and in the U.S. It was workshopped at the Manhattan Theatre Company in New York City.

Dorothy’s work – including sound design and musical direction – has garnered her a number of Jessie Awards and nominations including two Dora Mavor Moor nominations for When We Were Singing. She is the proud recipient of the Sydney J. Risk Prize for Emerging Playwright.

A graduate of Simon Fraser University, Dorothy has a Master’s Degree in Liberal Studies. Originally a Vancouver resident, Dorothy has recently moved to Vancouver Island where she continues to write and play music.