The Grubstake Remix (trailer)

The Grubstake Remix [2016, 72 min] Written by Daniel Janke, Celia McBride, and Eric Epstein, Directed and composed by Daniel Janke


“An act of inspired creative repurposing, a live event that uses Shipman’s melodrama as a springboard to something else.” – Geoff Pevere, The Globe and Mail

“A Unique Amalgam of film, theatre, and music…one of the highlights of VIFF
Vancouver International Film Festival

“New life is being given to a Canadian silent-screen gem through a multi-disciplinary remix of music, film and theatre” – Heaghan Baxter, Vue Weekly


Grubstake Remix began as a live touring show featuring five musicians and six actors, and is a unique cinema hybrid that crosses between the worlds of performance documentary and dramatic fiction. The actors and musicians perform live with a 1923 silent film in a redux, where the on-screen characters are speaking and thinking in Shakespearean English and French.

What emerges is a wonderfully upbeat and intricate parallel text. The Shakespearean dialogue – extracts from numerous plays – washes over us, at times literal, at other times providing an oblique counterpoint. The audience is lulled into sharing that liminal state between film and live theatre.

The result is imbued with humour and irony, but is never cynical or jaded. Grubstake Remix remains true to the original story, and respectful of the original works. For Shakespeare buffs it is a testament to the Bard’s enduring relevance. For silent film fans it gives new life to a long ago gem of the silent screen.

The original 1923 silent film The Grub-Stake is a ‘Northwoods melodrama’ written, produced by and starring Canadian cinema icon, Nell Shipman. A young woman [Faith] goes north to the Klondike to seek her fortune only to be deceived and manipulated in a world of men. When Faith discovers that she has been brought to Dawson City to be sold into prostitution by the man who has promised to marry her, she escapes into the bush with a team of sled dogs, her ailing father, and a half-wit prospector where she will lead a fight against her wrongful suitor and his henchmen.

Nell Shipman

Canadian-born actress, writer, producer and animal trainer Nell Shipman was best known for her portrayals of strong, adventurous women, with many of her productions being filmed in Canada. Born: October 25, 1892, Victoria, BC, Canada. Died: January 23, 1970, Cabazon, California, USA.

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Original Cast

Sarah Moore – Faith Diggs
Aaron Janke – Jeb, Shopkeeper
Celia McBride – Klondike Kate, Wong
Dave Haddock – Father, Boss
James McCullough – Malamute Mike
Roy Ness – Leroy
Eric Epstein – Mountie

Original Band

Jesse Zubot – violin
Peggy Lee – cello
Andrea McColeman – percussion
Jordy Walker – guitar, banjo
Daniel Janke – piano / composer


Andrew Connors


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Performance History

July 1, 2, 5, 2018
Winnipeg Film Group

The Grubstake Remix

September 22 – 30, 2017
Local Sightings Festival, Seattle, Washington, USA

September 23, 2017
Live performance at the Babylon Theatre, Berlin (Mitte), Germany
Mayfair theatre, Ottawa, Canada
Tiff Light Box, Toronto, Canada
Yukon Arts Centre, Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada

Garneau Theatre, Edmonton, Canada
Vogue Theatre, Vancouver, Canada
Calgary Cinemateque, Calgary, Canada