MAN UP! A Reality Stage Play
Reaching At-Risk Youth in a Dramatic New Way
A must-see if you parent, educate or advocate for youth!
Man Up! chronicles the true story of the original Boys Club. A gritty, heart-wrenching, emotional and life-changing story of two determined eastside educators, a group of at-risk boys on the sharp knife edge of life, a handful of generous and visionary Vancouver businessmen from all walks of life, and the compelling four year journey they took together – from the edge of frustration, hopelessness and despair to the pinnacle of hopefulness and success. Deeply personal stories of individual struggle, overcoming demons, and realizing dreams.
The play, performed by some of Canada’s best-known actors, is raw and gritty and exposes the naked truth about boys-at-risk today and how societal, moral and technological progress has resulted in a break in the continuum of ancient wisdom and intergenerational mentorship of boys, and in turn, how that impacts family, community, and the moral and spiritual wellness of society as a whole.
Central to the story is Manae, a young and fatherless First Nations boy, who leverages lessons taught to him by his elders and by his mother, to demonstrate empathy, tolerance and forgiveness, and negotiate peace. His actions shine light on what the diverse group of adult men in the play have in common, and illustrate society’s need to restore the continuum at all levels of human interaction, education, politics, and technological development. And finally, the audience comes to understand that moral strength, not brute strength, defines good men.
Man Up! is particularly relevant to boys aged 12-19, and their families, educators, law enforcement, politicians and other stakeholders, but its lessons apply equally to all genders and audiences.
Man Up! is a professional reality stage play produced by the Westcoast Boys Club Network Foundation. Thanks to a funding group led by founding patron Frank Giustra, admission is free. To date, more than 25,000 students, educators and stakeholders have seen Man Up! free of charge.
Duration: 60 min performance, plus 30-min talk-back and Q&A. A curriculum for educators and study guide for students in available in advance.
Man Up! is currently on hiatus. To inquire about tickets for next season’s productions, curriculum or the touring production, email or call 778.987.1415
Some of Canada’s best-known actors Man Up! in benefit of at-risk youth across the country.
PETER GRASSO – Writer
Peter has been working on screen and stage for twenty five years as a writer, director, producer and actor. He is an acclaimed acting coach, known for discovering and developing simmering talent. The Boy’s Club Network has been a major part of Peter’s life since its inception. He is proud of his involvement and thanks co-founders Walter and Jimmy for the opportunity to be part of such an important movement. “I have nieces and nephews and I would want them to have such a program available to them if they needed it”.
MICHAEL FERA – Director
Michael has been working in professional theatre since 1987. Favourite directing credits include Salt Water Moon for The Arts Club on Tour, A Christmas Carol, Kindertransport, A Boston Marriage,(UP) Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Corpus Christi, Balthazar and the Mojo Star, Tartuffe,(UP) Three Heads Talking, The Herbal Bed,(UP) The Belle of Amherst, Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding (Seattle, Winnipeg, Edmonton), Romeo and Juliet, The Maids, Macbeth, Life After Hockey, Teechers, Molly Sweeney and Medea. He has received several Jessie Richardson Theatre Award nominations and he is a recipient of the 40 Under 40 Business in Vancouver Award. For nine years Michael was an Artistic Executive for Ailanthus Achievement Centre where he used theatre as a tool to build character and self-esteem with inner city youth.
CAMERON BANCROFT– Vice Principal David Baletic
Cameron is one of Canada’s best-known film and television actors. Currently, he is working on a feature film, but took time away to tour Vancouver/Ottawa with Man Up! Recently, he had a recurring role as Will Jeffers in the US/CAD television drama series Cedar Cove, but is widely recognized as Joe Bradley in the original Beverly Hills 90210, and Charles Ingalls in the mini-series Little House on the Prairie. Cameron has had feature roles in The Cape, Code-Name eternity, 24, Charmed, How to Make a Quilt Out of Americans, Supernatural, and The Town That Came A-Courtin.
BRAEDEN CLARKE – Boys Club member Manae Moses
New to Man Up!, we are thrilled to introduce Braeden Clarke. Braeden is an accomplished young actor with film and tv credits including Imaginary Mary, and DC Legends of Tomorrow, and numerous stage credits. He studied acting at the William Davis Centre in Vancouver and The Vancouver Institute of Media Arts. He is a proud member of the Mikisew Cree First Nation, from Fort Chipewyan, Alberta, leveraging his experiences as a young First Nations man to bring the character of Manae Moses authentically to life.
MIKE DOPUD – SLO Constable Ciaran O’Henry
Mike played a lead role in the movie Project Eden, released in 2017. He was cast recently in the lead role as shadow agent Nash in the feature film Virtual Revolution. Mike plays tycoon Olivier Dubois in the ABC Series Mistresses. He is currently recurring on SYFY’s Dark Matter, and can be seen as Victor on the CW series Arrow, and as Fortesan on CW series iZombie. He just wrapped his second season on Cedar Cove as Roy Macaffe. Many remember Mike as the volatile Kimbo in Arctic Air. He had recurring roles on NBC’s Grimm and Battlestar Galactica, most recently on USA’s Covert Affairs. In 2013 Mike received Best Leading and Best Supporting Actor nominations.
PHILIP GRANGER – Judge Roland Winters, father of Chad
Philip is an award-winning film, televison and stage actor, and head of Academics and Acting at New Image College of Fine Arts in Vancouver. He studied in New York, and co-founded the naked Stage Theatre Company in LA. Film credits include Tucker & Dale vs Evil, Paper Moon Affair, The Barber, Crypto, Monster Trucks, Stagecoach: The Texas Jack Story, Dark Harvest, On the Farm. Television credits include Arrow, Lucifer, Once Upon a Time, Strange Empire, Rogue, Bad Seeds and The Killing. Phil wrote and directed the thriller The Cargo.
WOLFGANG KLASSEN – Boys Club member Chad Winters
Wolfgang is a local up and coming actor in the Vancouver Film and TV scene. He has attended various film schools in Vancouver and spent some time working at a Film Production Company, both behind and in front of the camera. Wolfgang has appeared in such shows as Supernatural, iZombie, Bates Motel and Legends of Tomorrow. He is an active Boys Club Network mentor and volunteers as a supervisor/mentor at our annual Summer Camp.
MIKE KOPSA – BCN mentor Frank Padrone
Michael’s steely blue eyes are familiar to film and television audiences. He’s had principal and lead roles in 20+ feature films including Seven Stories, The Proposal, Miracle, The Watchmen, Apollo 18, Unrecoverable Error, Love Happens and the much-loved Fantastic Four. He appears regularly in television movies and series including The Killing, Arrow, Flash Gordon, Dead Zone, Final Days, Titanic, Supernatural, Stargate SG-1, Cold Squad, The X-Files, The Net, The Outer Limits, and Fringe. Michael has more than 30 character voice credits, including The Beast in X-Men: Evolution, and Char Aznable in Mobile Suit Gundam.
JONATHAN MUBANDA – Boys Club member Marco St. John
Jonathan is a working film and television actor and original cast member of Man Up! He has performed in films alongside Eddie Murphy and Jean-Claude Van Damme, and in Like Mike 2, Streetball, The Hard Corps and One Angry Juror. Most recently Jonathan played a mercenary alongside Stephen Amell in CTV’s Arrow. Jon is a full-time youth and family worker with the Surrey School District, and during the summer, works as an instructor for the Boys Club Network’s Summer Camp Program. He has been involved in BCN for 10+ years, is loved and respected by the boys and is an important member of the Network team!
DZINH NGUYEN – Boys Club member Dzinh Nguyen
Dzinh became a member of the Boys Club Network at age 15 and went on to graduate from BCN and Templeton Secondary School, and then later from BCIT’s Business Program. Dzinh is an original Man Up! cast member. After witnessing auditions for the part of Dzinh, he insisted on playing himself. Hundreds of performances later, he has perfected the role, signed with a talent agent and begun what will no doubt be a long and successful acting career. Dzinh is a BCN Summer Camp leader and hopes to return as a mentor, emulating his own mentor (character) Frank Padrone.
BRENT STAIT – Rory St. John, father of Marco
Brent spent most of his early years playing hockey in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. He attended The Banff School of fine Arts summer acting program and was hooked. Brent packed his bags, sold his 74 Camaro, hitched to Toronto to attend Ryerson theater school, working summers in the mines and railyards of Manitoba. He joined The Stratford Shakespeare Festival Company and spent three years doing Shakespeare and other classics. He then caught the film bug and has since appeared in film and over 200 tv episodes. Favourites include Andromeda, Mystery Alaska, Gunfighters Moon, and Star Gate. Brent is honoured to appear in Man Up!.
" Great theatre is about challenging how we think and encouraging us to fantasize about a world we aspire to" "
– Willam Defoe