Rising star Kevin Bennett began his journey with The Cultch’s Youth Program

Kevin Bennett was a member of our Youth Program from 2004-2006 and his time at The Cultch helped build the foundation for his career as a Director. He now works at the Globe Theatre in London, England. Our Youth Program continues to nurture young artistic talent and provide vital opportunities for our youth. Find out more about supporting our Youth Program here. 

“I was a member of the Cultch’s Youth Panel for two seasons from 2004-2006 and these were very formative years for me as a teen. I was struggling to find a place of belonging and the Youth Panel was it. I was a passionate theatre kid and had just begun my strong desire to work as a theatre director. I gained many skills and had unforgettable experiences from my time on the Cultch’s Youth Panel. I gained experience in producing an arts festival and was able to understand on a practical level what is required to put on a festival with a variety of events.

I was exposed to artists and people I would not otherwise be exposed to like visual artists, film makers, poets and drag performers because of the varied programming during the week. This helped me grow and learn as a theatre director and as a person. My passion and focus was theatre, so I managed to direct a one-act play in the theatre portion of the festival both years I was involved.

I was mentored by experienced professional directors who gave me insight and advice that I still use today (some of the books recommended to me then are still ones I go back to regularly for ideas and inspiration!). I was able to work with new writers, actors, technicians and designers in an absolutely gorgeous theatre space. It began my love of theatre directing and remains an important stepping stone in my career as a director.

Following the Youth Panel I went on to study at Studio 58 and then began my directing career in Vancouver and abroad. Some highlights of the past decade since I have been working professionally include: directing many self-produced Shakespeare productions in Vancouver including Macbeth, Hamlet, King Lear, and Measure for Measure; hosting community based programming, leading workshops and directing productions with organizations such as the Carnegie Community Centre and Templeton Secondary School; spending two years as an assistant director at Canada’s Stratford Festival; touring the world as the associate director on a production of The Merchant of Venice for Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London UK; directing The Madness of George III and Henry V for the Shaw Festival Theatre; and directing King Charles III at the Stanley Theatre for the Arts Club Theatre Company.

Recently I gained a UK ‘exceptional talent’ residency permit and have been based in London for just over a year. Since my arrival in London I have been working on the education faculty at Shakespeare’s Globe, directing a staged reading of a new musical at the Waterloo East ‘New British Musical’s Festival’, and most recently spent two months in Beijing directing Romeo and Juliet as a co-production between one of London’s top drama schools (The Guildhall School of Music and Drama) and China’s top drama school (The Central Academy of Drama). This was the final production for the inaugural graduating class of a brand new international degree where theatre students have the opportunity to train in both eastern and western theatre techniques. The ambitious aim of this program is to create a new type of actor who has an international sensibility so we can create connection, community and understanding while telling stories all over the world.

Through all these experiences, I look back with immense gratitude for the Cultch’s Youth program all those years ago. Not only was it the beginning of my journey as a director but it opened my eyes to different people, with different experiences and stories and helped me grow into the person I am today.”

The Cultch’s Youth Program provides opportunities for young people in our communitty aged 13-26. Find out more about supporting our youth here.

Inside the Elbow Room Café

Photo by Dustin Godfrey
Image credit: journogodfrey.wordpress.com

Holiday at the Elbow Room Café is based on a small breakfast joint on Davie Street that was owned by Patrick Savoie and Bryan Searle until last year – Vancouver’s most iconic café in the city.

“It’s such a theatrical place. It’s hugely colourful. There’s so much to look at. There’s so much to hear.” —DAVE DEVEAU, Playwright & Co-Lyricist

The motto of the restaurant was “Food and service is our name, abuse is our game!” including some special house rules for every customer:

Image credit: straight.com

Savoie says the diner’s feisty roots can be traced back to a busy Sunday morning when a group of customers rudely yelled for some more coffee while he was servicing another table. He gave into his frustrations.

“I turned around and I said, f–k you! I was just over there and asked you if you wanted coffee … and now you expect me to drop everything?

Those customers left — but everyone else applauded.

They said Patrick, you did what every single waiter and waitress in America or around the world would like to have done.”

A Sassy Spoonful: Inside the Elbow Room

If you did not finish your meal, you had to donate to A Loving Spoonful, a local HIV organization.

In 35 years The Elbow Room Café raised over $123,000 for the support of free healthy meals to people living with HIV and AIDS.

Patrick Savoie (left) and Dave Deveau (right)
Image credits: cbc.ca

Holiday at the Elbow Room Café runs Dec 10-29, 2019 at the Historic Theatre. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

Enjoy all the lovely songs in this year’s East Van Panto: Pinocchio!

The new Panto Playlist is here!

Check out all the songs that have been given an East Van spin in this year’s East Van Panto: Pinocchio. Musical Director, and composer, Veda Hille is famous for taking some of the most (and least) popular songs of recent decades and flipping them on their heads with new arrangements and lyrics to add a little pizzazz to Theatre Replacement’s winter tradition. Take a listen to the original songs that have inspired the music of this year’s Panto soundtrack, then come hear the Panto versions at the York Theatre! Scroll through this awesome list of golden age videos and live performances, or check out this Spotify playlist, if you’re on the go!

Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen

You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) by Sylvester

Time to Say Goodbye (Con Te Partirò) by Andrea Bocelli

Karaoke by Big Freedia

Alexander Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Figaro’s Aria by Gioachino Rossini

Feeling Good by Michael Bublé

7 Rings by Ariana Grande

Juice by Lizzo

Mamma Mia by ABBA

A Whole New World by Alan Menken and Tim Rice

Bad Guy by Billie Eilish

You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch by Thurl Ravenscroft

Old Town Road by Lil Nas X

Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel

Come on Eileen by Dexy’s Midnight Runners

YMCA by the Village People


East Van Panto: Pinocchio is onstage now at the York Theatre, 639 Commercial Drive – must close Jan 5, 2020! Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

Pinocchio explores Commercial Drive: an East Van Panto walking tour!

A Commercial Drive walking tour inspired by East Van Panto: Pinocchio

Remember last year when Dorothy and friends traveled to Olympic Village to meet the Wizard of OV? Or the year before when Snow White escaped to the PNE and danced with the SuperDogs? Who could forget Little Red Riding Hood’s adventures along the Adanac bike path in search of Grandma’s house at the Woodwards Building?  Remember Hansel and Gretel lost in the wilderness of Stanley Park; Cinderella cleaning her house on Fraser Street; or even the first East Van Panto, Jack And The Beanstalk, which re-opened the York Theatre on Commercial Drive?

Over the years, Theatre Replacement’s hyperlocal East Van Panto has featured some of Vancouver’s best places and beloved hot-spots – and this year is no exception! This season, Pinocchio and friends explore Commercial Drive, encounter a cappuccino war between the Drive’s many coffee shops, venture to Hastings Racecourse, and end up at so many more East Van spots. Check out some of the local favourites Pinocchio comes across in East Van Panto: Pinocchio below.  

Kin Kao Thai

Kin Kao (‘eat rice’), deliver a compact but diverse selection of authentic Thai dishes.

903 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC V5L 3W8
604-558-1125 | INFO@KINKAO.CA | kinkao.ca

Image credit: squarespace-cdn.com

Bump n’ Grind on the Drive

Bump n’ Grind on the Drive is known for its quality coffee and baked goods. The drinks are unique and tasty.

916 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC V5L 3W7
604-569-3362 | bumpngrindcafe.com

Image credit: tryhiddengems.com

Absinthe Bistro French

Absinthe Bistro is an owned and operated family business based on the idea of bringing fresh and flavourful French food to Vancouver.

952 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC V5L 3W7
bistroabsinthe.com

Image credit: blog.his-j.com

Britannia School

Britannia Community Secondary School is a public community secondary school located in the Grandview–Woodland neighbourhood on the east-side of Vancouver.

1001 Cotton Drive, Vancouver, BC V5L 3T4
604-713-8266 | britannia.vsb.bc.ca

Image credit: cbc.ca

Sunrise Pizza

Find all the pizza, Italian, Greek, steakhouse, and barbecue options you’re looking for at Sunrise Pizza & Steak House.

949 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC V5L 3W8
604-251-2411 | sunrisepizza.ca

Image credit: tripadvisor.com

Joe’s Café

Serving the perfect espresso, the most exquisite cappuccino, the tallest latte. One of Vancouver’s great secrets.

1150 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC V5L 3X2
604-255-1046 | joescafebar.com

Image credit: alamy.com

Grandview Park

The Grandview Park is a big summertime lure for locals and Drive visitors.

1657 Charles Street, Vancouver, BC V5L 2T4

Beckwoman’s Hippie Emporium

Beckwoman’s Hippie Emporium is a real hippie paradise.

1314 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC V5L 3X6
778-709-8516

Image credit: airbnb.ca

Continental

Continental Coffee on Commercial Drive is one of the cities best coffee shops, and a welcome break from the Starbucks and Blenz that dot most corners.

1806 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC V5N 4A5
foodology.ca/continental-coffee

Café Deux Soleils

Cafe Deux Soleils on Commercial Drive is your home for healthy comfort food, morning, noon, and night.

2096 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC V5N 4B2
604-254-1195 | cafedeuxsoleils.com

Image credit: alamy.com

Jam Jar Lebanese

Jamjar tells a story of communal living and sharing food as a means to connect. The idea originates from the heart of Lebanese culture based on hospitality and generosity.

2290 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC V5N 4B5
604-252-3957 | jam-jar.ca

Image credit: jam-jar.ca

Hastings Racecourse

Hastings Racecourse is a horse racing facility at Hastings Park, four miles from downtown Vancouver.

188 N Renfrew Street, Vancouver, BC V5K 3N8
hastingsracecourse.com

Image credit: yellowpages.ca

Burrard Inlet

Burrard Inlet is the fjord that separates the coastal mountain range to north from the city of Vancouver and the rest of the lower mainland to the south. The Lions Gate Bridge crosses Burrard inlet at Stanley Park. 

Image credit: yellowpages.ca

Fox Cabaret

The Fox Cabaret is an independent venue in Vancouver with a focus on live music, dancing, entertainment and good times.

2321 Main Street, Vancouver, BC V5T 3C9
foxcabaret.com

Image credit: mountpleasantbia.com

East Van Panto: Pinocchio runs Nov 20-Jan 5, 2020 at the York Theatre. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604-251-1363.

Introducing East Van Panto’s new scenic illustrator: Cindy Mochizuki!

We are so excited to welcome Cindy Mochizuki to the East Van Panto team!

Theatre Replacement’s East Van Panto features the work of so many amazing artists every holiday season. Part of the magic of the Panto, is having new voices featured each year with new members of the creative team. This year, we are so excited to welcome Vancouver artist Cindy Mochizuki to the team!

Cindy Mochizuki creates multi-media installation, performance, animation, drawings, and community-engaged projects that explore the ways in which we manifest ‘story’. Her community-engaged projects explore the triangular relationship of performativity, social engagement, and magic. 

 A large body of her work investigates narratives and memories within the archive of familial architecture, including childhood spaces, home videos, photography, and oral histories.  These projects revisit the memory and history of displacement and migration of family members both within Canada and Japan.”

Check out some of her amazing work below!

Cave to Dream:

Explores the passage of time, life and death, and the power of dreams.
Image credit: www.cindymochizuki.com

Other Faces of Nihonga:

An embroidery and listening experience that brings to light remembrances of Japanese Canadian mothers and their domestic skills and artistry during the internment camps as conjured by their daughters (now in their 80’s).
Image credit: www.cindymochizuki.com

Loch:

During her residency, Mochizuki opened a fortune shop out of her studio and offered fortunes in exchange for personal monster stories.
Image credit: www.cindymochizuki.com

Check out Cindy’s amazing work on stage at East Van Panto: Pinocchio!


East Van Panto: Pinocchio runs Nov 20-Jan 5, 2020 at the York Theatre. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

A look at the inspiration for Tetsuro Shigematsu’s world premiere of Kuroko!

The four concepts behind Kuroko!

We are so thrilled to be presenting Kuroko, a world premiere from renowned playwright and performer, Tetsuro Shigematsu, Novemeber 6-17 in the Historic Theatre.

Wanna know more about the show? There are four concepts that inspired Tetsuro as he was writing—Hikikomori, Rental Families, Kuroko, and Suicide Forest. Read below to hear what Tetsuro has to say about these four concepts!

Hikikomori. Imagine going to your bedroom and never leaving. This is the phenomenon known as hikikomori. Japanese young people on the road to maturation, experience a setback: bullying, or failing their entrance exams. They retreat to their bedrooms and never leave, spending all their waking hours online, enabled by parents who don’t know what to do apart from leaving trays of food outside their doors.

Rental Families. Would you ever hire an actor to play a relative or friend in your life? How quickly would the lines blur? As bizarre as this may sound, the rent-a-family industry is a mature industry in Japan, a place where manifestations of the artificial aren’t seen as negatively as they are here.

Kuroko. Literally translated, kuroko means black child, or child of darkness, a rather poetic name for the stagehands in traditional Japanese theatre. Clad entirely in black, audiences in Japan claim not to see them, as they occupy a culturally specific blindspot, in the same way that Western audiences pay no attention to the strings of marionette puppets. The shadowy kuroko enable players to achieve feats of virtuosity, and the otherwise impossible. Is there a kuroko in your life?”

Suicide Forest. The original title for this play was Suicide Forest, We changed the title when we discovered that another play of the same name premiered in New York in March of 2019. This is an actual place in Japan, infamous for being the most popular destination for those wishing to end their life. Geologically unique, it is also an attraction for nature lovers, officially named Jukai or ‘Sea of Trees’.


Kuroko runs at the Historic Theatre Nov 6-17, 2019. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

Spotlight on the Music of TRANSFORM: A Cabaret Festival!

A taste of some of the music of the festival!

TRANSFORM: A Cabaret Festival (Oct 2-12) is bringing together artists of all different kinds – comedians, circus performers, drag artists, and more – but we are particularly excited to introduce you to some of the musicians that will be honoring us by taking over our stages during the festival!

LEELA GILDAY

Dene musician Leela Gilday, has toured extensively in Canada and around the world. Her fifth album North Star Calling, which Exclaim! raved was “a guiding light, a beacon for those to find refuge,” was released in early September 2019.

Her first single from North Star Calling, “Falling Stars”, is “a love letter to Denedeh (the land of the Dene in the Northwest Territories).” *

Leela Gilday, featuring Sandy Scofield and M’Girl plays at the York Theatre Oct 10, 7:30PM. AND, catch Leela Gilday: Intimate & Unplugged at the Historic Theatre, Oct 11, 7PM!

SILLA AND RISE

Juno nominated Silla and Rise blend Inuit throat-singing and futuristic dancefloor beats. Their breathtaking sound garnered them Juno nominations for Indigenous Music Album of the Year, and Indigenous Music Award for Best Inuit, Indigenous Language, or Francophone Album, in 2017 for their self title debut album: Silla and Rise.

This group is gaining major momentum in Canada and internationally. If Tanya Tagaq says, “Pay attention” you just know they are a group you don’t want to take your eyes off!

Silla and Rise’s brand new album, Galactic Gala, was just released on October 5, and it is INCREDIBLE! Listen to, and purchase, the album here!

Silla and Rise will be performing with local legend JB the First Lady, at the Historic Theatre, October 10 at 9:15!

JB THE FIRST LADY

Jerilynn Webster, aka JB the First Lady, is a member of the Nuxalk & Onondaga Nations. She is a Vancouver-based hip hop and spoken word artist, beat-boxer, cultural dancer, and youth educator. With four studio albums under her belt, JB sees her songs as a way of capturing oral history, and isn’t afraid to write lyrics that speak to challenging subjects like residential schools and missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Silla and Rise, featuring JB the First Lady plays the Historic Theatre on October 10, 9:15 PM!

COREY PAYETTE

We are so lucky that the co-curator of TRANSFORM: A Cabaret Festival, the incredible Corey Payette, will be taking the stage on the closing night of the festival with a transformative evening of music from his award-winning and critically-acclaimed musicals–featuring songs and stories from Children of GodLes Filles du Roi, plus a sneak peek of the new musical, Sedna.

Corey Payette is proud of his Oji-Cree heritage from Northern Ontario, and has worked across Canada as a playwright, actor, composer, and director. He is the Artistic Director of Urban Ink (Vancouver, BC).

Corey Payette Musical Songbook plays at the Historic Theatre on October 12 at 7 PM! FEATURING: Corey Payette, Michelle Bardach (singer), Chelsea Rose (singer), Sean Bayntyn (piano), Molly MacKinnon (violin), John Kastelic (viola), Doug Gorkoff (cello).


TRANSFORM: A Cabaret Festival, presented with Urban Ink, runs on all three Cultch stages until October 12! Find the full schedule of events at transformcabaret.com

Staff Picks – TRANSFORM: A Cabaret Festival Edition!

The Cultch staff are excited for TRANSFORM: A Cabaret Festival!

It is that time of year again! Time for you to hear from a few of our staff about some of the shows they are excited for in our 19/20 Season. This year we are featuring shows from our inaugural TRANSFORM: A Cabaret Festival!

Louise Chapman, Development Manager

Louise Chapman cannot wait for Steph Tisdell!

FESTIVAL PICK: Steph Tisdell: Identity Steft (Oct 5 and 6, 4 pm, Historic Theatre)

I am a huge stand-up comedy fan, and I’m really excited about Steph Tisdell’s show Identity Steft. She recently took the Edinburgh Fringe by storm, and has been named the rising star of Australian comedy.

It really makes my heart sing to see artists from diverse backgrounds using laughter to stand up to white supremacy and the patriarchy. That takes incredible courage and awe-inspiring skill.  I can’t wait!

Paul Phalen, Business Development & Hospitality Manager.

FESTIVAL PICKS: The Women of Comedy (Oct 4 and 5, 7:30PM, York Theatre), Family Drag Brunch and Dress up (Oct 6, 11AM, Vancity Culture Lab).

There is so much to see in the festival, but these two shows, I will not miss!

I can’t wait to see The Women of Comedy! These amazing funny women are the best in the country, and it also features the smart and funny Steph Tisdall of Australia.

Martha Chavez, the “Grand Dame” of Canadian comedy, who is featured on CBC`s Debaters and Because News, is hilarious and makes me howl with laughter. Nour Hadidi‘s dry sense of humour makes me wish I was her best friend, so I could laugh with her everyday!

Local comedy writer and performer Erica Sigurdson, has become a favourite on CBC`s the Debaters and will have us all laughing all the way to the bathroom!

Peach Cobblah & Isolde N. Barron are hosting Family Drag Brunch and Dress Up!

Our Sunday morning Family Drag Brunch and Dress up, is a chance for parents and kids to have dress-up fun together, and learn that there is nothing too silly or fun when it comes to drag.

Parents and kids will have lessons in fashion, make up and presentation, and be a part of a family drag runway show judged by kids. Enjoy a great breakfast and have fun with the whole family!

This show is so exciting to me because every child is an individual, and allowing them to express themselves in their own way opens the doors to so many amazing adventures in learning, for both the child and the parent.

Lisa Mennell, Communications Associate.

Lisa Mennell is excited to hear great music!

FESTIVAL PICKS: Leela Gilday Featuring Sandy Scofield and M’Girl (Oct 10, 7:30PM, York Theatre), Silla and Rise Featuring JB the First Lady (Oct Oct 10, 9:15PM).

It goes without saying that I am very excited about the entire festival, but two shows that I am particularly stoked for are Silla and Rise Featuring JB the First Lady, and Leela Gilday Featuring Sandy Scofield and M’Girl.

We don’t often present music as part of our season, and though theatre is usually my art of choice, I am really excited to hear some incredible music on our stages.

Leela Gilday is a Dene artists from NWT, and she has recently release a new album, North Star Calling, which she says is about “facing your fears, standing in the pain, and living with courage, boldness and joy.” I have been listening to it, and it is incredible! PLUS – she is performing Sandy Scofield and M’Girl – whose performance at Main St. Car Free Day was one of the highlights of my summer!

I have always been so in love with throat singing, and Silla and Rise combine throat singing with dance floor beats. From what I have seen, they are incredible live performers, and their music is so amazing, that I just know their show with JB the First Lady is going to be sooo fun!

PLUS – Silla and Rise are releasing their new album, Galactic Gala, on Oct 5, five days before they hit our Historic stage. Talk about timing!


TRANSFORM: A Cabaret Festival will be nine days of performance of all types in all three Cultch stages (Historic Theatre, York Theatre, Vancity Culture Lab). For full festival details check out www.transformcabaret.com

Introducing the Comedians of TRANSFORM: A Cabaret Festival!

Comedians poised to take over the York stage – with laughter!

We are so excited to launch our 2019/20 season with a brand new festival to enliven all of our venues every fall. This inaugural year of TRANSFORM: A Cabaret Festival will bring together over 50 Indigenous and non-indigenous performers—comedians, musicians, burlesque performers, drag artists, and more.

On Friday, October 4, and Saturday, October 5, some of the funniest comedians we know are taking over the York in a side-splitting night of comedy – BONUS – they are all kick-ass women!

Hosts of The Women in Comedy, Katey Hoffman and Cheyenne Rouleau

Hosted by Cheyenne Rouleau and Katey Hoffman (familiar to Cultch audiences from sold-out Cultchivating the Fringe hit, The After After Party), and featuring Canadian Comedy Award winner Martha Chaves, Australia’s rising Indigenous comedy star Steph Tisdell, Toronto-based comedian Nour Hadidi, and beloved local comedian Erica Sigurdson, we just know The Women of Comedy will be filled with fun and fierce belly-aching laughter.

Need a good laugh before the festival starts? We have your hook up here!

MARTHA CHAVES

Martha Chaves is a busy comic! She is a Nicaraguan-Canadian, fluent in FOUR languages (English, Spanish, French, and Italian), and does stand-up in all four! Chaves came out publicly in 2009, and has since been very outspoken in her comedy around the realities facing LGBTQ+ people of colour. Her infectious candid style, her captivating stage presence, and her gift to relate to a wide range of audiences grant her numerous presentations at comedy festivals around the world. www.marthachaves.com

PLUS – Martha Chaves is also performing in both Opening Night Bash performances!

NOUR HADIDI

Nour Hadidi is a Toronto-based standup comic and writer, born and raised in Jordan. She has appeared at Just For Laughs, Winnipeg Comedy Festival, Kevin Hart’s LOL Network, and CBC’s The Debaters. Last year she filmed a half hour comedy special for Comedy Central in the Middle East. Nour has written for CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes, and Comedy Network’s The Beaverton.  www.nourhadidi.com

PLUS – Nour Hadidi is also part of the two Opening Night Bash performances!

STEPH TISDELL

Steph Tisdell is steadily becoming one of the biggest names in the Australian Comedy Scene and has been collecting awards, rave reviews, and critical acclaim while selling out runs at the Sydney Comedy Festival and Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Steph is a proud Indigenous woman and is making a fast rise as one of Australia’s funniest Indigenous comedians, putting her in a unique position to encourage other Indigenous artists to come forward and showcase why they’re the funniest race in the world. www.stephtisdell.com

PLUS – In addition to being a part of The Women in Comedy show, Steph Tisdell is also presenting her show Steph Tisdell: Identity Sheft, is going to be a part of the Opening Night Bash performances, AND is offering a workshop on Oct 3 (3 pm) for people to learn how to use comedy as a coping mechanism and a diplomacy tool. 

ERICA SIGURDSON

Local Vancouver comedy gem, Erica Sigurdson is best known for her rapier wit on CBC Radio’s smash hit The Debaters, as well as her numerous television appearances on both CBC and CTV. She is one of Canada’s most beloved comedians, but also beloved around the world, having performed in Iceland, Singapore, Thailand, England, The Philippines, Afghanistan.

As a story-editor Erica has written for CBC’s Mr. D and CTV’s Corner Gas Animated as well as numerous pilots. Erica won a Leo Award for co-writing the 21st Annual Gemini Awards. www.ericasigurdson.com


TRANSFORM: A Cabaret Festival runs in all three Cultch venues, Oct 2-12, 2019. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

Get to know the performers for NASSIM!

Get to know the performers for NASSIM!

Coming up May 7-19, 2019 we have an audacious new theatrical experiment
from Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour (White Rabbit, Red Rabbit), NASSIM. Each night a different performer joins the playwright on stage, while the script waits unseen in a sealed box…Touchingly autobiographical yet powerfully universal, it is a striking theatrical demonstration of how language can both divide and unite us.

We are excited to announce the brave Vancouver perfromers who will be taking on the unique challenge: Carmen Aguirre, Adam Grant Warren,  Maiko Yamamoto, Marcus Youssef,  Craig Erickson,  Christine Quintana, Dawn Petten, Pippa Mackie,  Quelemia Sparrow,  Tetsuro Shigematsu, Conor Wylie,  Donna Soares.

Read below for an introduction to these fabulous actors!

ABOUT NASSIM SOLEIMANPOUR:

Nassim Soleimanpour. Photo by: Nima Soleimanpour

Nassim Soleimanpour (Writer and Performer) is from Tehran, Iran. His plays have been translated into more than 30 languages and performed globally in over 50 countries. Best known for his play White Rabbit Red Rabbit, written to travel the world when he couldn’t, his work has been awarded the Dublin Fringe Festival Best New Performance, Summerworks Outstanding New Performance Text Award and The Arches Brick Award (Edinburgh Fringe) as well as picking up nominations for a Total Theatre and Brighton Fringe Pick of Edinburgh Award.

Each night a different performer joins the playwright on stage:

CARMEN AGUIRRE (May 7):

Carmen Aguirre

Carmen is a theatre artist and author, and a core artist of Vancouver’s Electric Company Theatre. She has written and co-written over twenty-five plays, including The Trigger, The Refugee Hotel, and Blue Box. Currently she is writing Anywhere But Here for Electric Company, an adaptation of Euripides’ Medea for Vancouver’s Rumble Theatre, and an adaptation of Moliere’s The Learned Ladies for Toronto’s Factory Theatre. Her one-woman show Broken Tailbone has just completed a cross-Canada tour. Carmen is the author of the #1 national bestseller Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter (winner of CBC Canada Reads in 2012), and its bestselling sequel, Mexican Hooker #1 and My Other Roles Since the Revolution. She is currently starring in the independent feature Bella Ciao!. Carmen has won multiple awards for her work, has over eighty stage, film and television acting credits, and is a graduate of Studio 58. carmenaguirre.ca

ADAM GRANT WARREN (May 8):

Adam Grant Warren

Originally from Newfoundland, Adam is a theatre-maker, writer, dancer, and arts educator whose career in performance spans almost 20 years —and has taken him everywhere from the basement stage of the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre to the International Pavilion at Walt Disney World. In the theatre, Adam’s west coast performance highlights include productions of his own solo show, Last Train In, Touchstone Theatre’s Kill Me Now, and Real Wheels Theatre’s CREEPS, for which he won a Jessie Award. As an associate artist with All Bodies Dance Project, Adam’s collaborations have featured at festivals including Vancouver’s Art on the Spot, Victoria’s SKAMpede, and Calgary’s Fluid Festival. With the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the British Columbia Arts Council, his new show, Lights, will be featured in a staged reading as part of Upintheair Theatre’s 2019 rEvolver Festival Updrafts Series. For more about Adam and his work, visit www.adamgrantwarren.com

MAIKO YAMAMOTO (May 9):

Maiko Yamamoto

Since 2003, Maiko Yamamoto has been an Artistic Director of Theatre Replacement, a company she formed with fellow artist James Long. The company’s work has focused on building new, experimental and intercultural performances that react to contemporary existence through a highly evolved and extended process of collaboration, and explores unique and challenging ways of using content and staging material. In addition to her work with T/R, Maiko directs, writes, teaches, mentors and creates contemporary performance for and with a diverse range of companies and institutions, including the National Theatre School, Company 605, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the MAKE Artists Residency in Ireland, among others. She holds a BFA in Theatre from Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts and a MAA in Visual Arts from Emily Carr University of Art + Design

MARCUS YOUSSEF (May 10):


Marcus Yousseff. Photo by: Kari Medig

Marcus’ plays have been produced in dozens of theatres in fifteen countries across North America, Europe and Asia, from Seattle to New York to Reykjavik, London, Hong Kong and Berlin. He is the recipient of Canada’s largest cultural prize, the Siminovitch Prize for Theatre, the Rio Tinto Alcan Performing Arts Award, the Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award, the Chalmers Canadian Play Award, the Seattle Times Footlight award, the Vancouver Critics’ Innovation award (three times) and the Canada Council Staunch Lynton Award for artistic achievement. Over the years Marcus has also written for a half dozen shows on CBC Radio and Television and a wide variety of Canadian print and web publications. Marcus is Artistic Director of Vancouver’s Neworld Theatre and co-founder of the East Vancouver-based artist-run production studio PL1422. He was the inaugural chair of the city of Vancouver’s Arts and Culture Policy Council, a Canadian Fellow to the International Society for Performing Arts and co-chair of the Vancouver political party COPE. He is currently an Editorial Advisor to Canadian Theatre Review, and a consulting advisor for the National Arts Centre English Theatre. He teaches regularly at the National Theatre School of Canada and Studio 58 Langara College.

CRAIG ERICKSON (May 11):

Craig Erickson

Craig Erickson has been active in Vancouver’s theatre scene for the past 15 years, working with such companies as Electric Company, Neworld, Pi, PT, and Mitch and Murray. Craig has also spent 10 seasons at Canadian classical theatres (Stratford, Shaw, Bard on the Beach). He earned a Jessie nomination for his portrayal of Mormon lawyer Joe Pitt in the acclaimed runs of Angels in America, Parts 1 and 2 (Arts Club Theatre, directed by Kim Collier).

Theatre: White Noize (Savage Society), East Van Panto: The Wizard of Oz (Theatre Replacement), Forget About Tomorrow (Belfry/Arts Club) Angels in America, Parts 1 and 2 (Arts Club), Titus Buffonius (Rumble Theatre), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Arts Club/Blackbird Theatre), Tear the Curtain (Arts Club/Electric Company), The Great Gatsby (Theatre Calgary).  Upcoming: Coriolanus (Bard on the Beach). Film & Television:  The Man in the High Castle, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Lucifer, Backstrom.

CHRISTINE QUINTANA (May 12):

Christine Quintana

Christine is an actor, playwright, and co-Artistic Producer of Delinquent Theatre, based on unceded Coast Salish territory. This season Christine appeared in the East Van Panto: Wizard of Oz (Theatre Replacement/The Cultch) and Yoga Play (Gateway Theatre), Marine Life (Ruby Slippers) and co-wrote and performed in Never The Last for Delinquent Theatre at the Annex Theatre. Christine received the 2017 Siminovitch Protégé Prize for Playwriting, a Dora Mavor Moore Award and Sydney Risk prize for her play Selfie, and is Tarragon Theatre’s Playwright in Residence. Christine has BFA in Acting from UBC, and is a proud member of the Canadian Latinx Theatre Artist Coalition.christinequintana.ca

DAWN PETTEN (May 14):

Dawn Petten

Dawn has performed with Theatre Replacement for 4 of its renditions of East Van Panto wherein she has had the pleasure of being a harp, a Hansel, a Prince, and Gloria Macarenko(among others). Other favourite theatre companies Dawn has trod the boards with include: Electric Company Theatre, Bard on the Beach, Caravan Farm Theatre, the Arts Club, and Touchstone Theatre. Most memorable shows: Tear the Curtain!, A Doll’s House, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Our Town, Pavilion, Hedda Gabler; Studies in Motion, Unity, 1918, and Butoh on Wreck Beach. Dawn is a glad grad of UBC’s BFA Acting Program, has a bunch of Jessie nominations, and has received some of the hardware/glassware. When not onstage Dawn teaches Shakespeare and sex ed to young people (generally not at the same time).

PIPPA MACKIE (May 15):

Pippa Mackie

Pippa Mackie is an award-winning actor, writer and producer. Since graduating from the National Theatre School of Canada’s Acting Program in 2009, Pippa has worked with: Arts Club, Gateway Theatre, Belfry Theatre, Pi Theatre, Rumble Theatre, Firehall Arts Centre, Delinquent Theatre, Greenthumb theatre and many more. Pippa originated the role of ‘Leap’ in Rumble Theatre’s The Society for the Destitute Presents: Titus Bouffonius written by Colleen Murphy, which earned her and the ensemble a Jessie Richardson award for ‘Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble’. She was also the Vancouver Sun’s, Artslandia Magazine and the Georgia Straight’s ‘Artist to Watch’.

Upcoming: Pippa is co-writing a new show titled JULIET: A Revenge Comedy (with Monster Theatre’s Ryan Gladstone), which will premiere the summer of 2019 and most recently, Pippa teamed up with award-winning UK writer/performer Kit Redstone (Testosterone), as they are developing a show titled The Fucking Garden, a wickedly dark reclamation of the Adam and Eve story. Lastly, she will be playing the title role of Pinocchio in Theatre Replacement’s East Van Panto: Pinocchio this winter. www.pippamackie.com 

QUELEMIA SPARROW (May 16):

Quelemia Sparrow

Quelemia is of Indigenous/English ancestry from the Musqueam Nation. She graduated from Studio 58’s Acting program, and the Langara Film Arts program in Screenwriting. Some of Quelemia’s acting Theatre Credits include: Lysistrata (Bard on the Beach), directed by Lois Anderson,Timon of Athens (Bard on the Beach) directed by Meg Roe, The Bakkai (The Stratford Festival) directed by Jillian Keiley The Snow Queen (Globe Theatre), directed by Rachel Peake, Our Town (Osimous Theatre), directed by Bob Frazer, The Edward Curtis Project (GCTC/NA), directed by Marie Clements, The Penelopiad (Arts Club Theatre), directed by Vanessa Porteous, August: Osage County (Arts Club Theatre) directed by Janet Wright, Ernestine Shuswap Gets Her Trout (Firehall Arts Centre), directed by Lorne Cardinal, and Where the Blood Mixes (Playhouse/WCT) directed by Glynis Leyshon. Various Film and T.V credits include: Clouds of Autumn, Fringe, V, Sanctuary 2, Blackstone, Unnatural and Accidental, Da Vinci’s City Hall, Dead Zone and, Da Vinci’s Inquest for which she won a Leo Award for Best Female Guest Appearance. Some of her writing credits include: A podplay for Neworld Theatre and Raven Spirit Dance called Ashes on the Water, Salmon Girl (Raven Spirit Dance), Papiyek (Full Circle Theatre), The Pipeline Project (Itsazoo and Savage Society), and O’wet (Savage Society).

TETSURO SHIGEMATSU (May 17):

For more than twenty years, Tetsuro Shigematsu has been telling stories across an array of media. He is a playwright, actor, scholar, broadcaster, author, filmmaker, and theatre artist. At the age of 19, he became the youngest playwright to compete in the history of the Quebec Drama Festival. Originally trained in the fine arts, he found a similar creative outlet writing for CBC Television’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes. Then in 2004, he became the first person-of-colour to host a daily national radio program in Canada when he took over The Round up on CBC Radio, where he co-wrote and co-produced nearly a thousand hours of network programming. His most recent theatre work,1 Hour Photo garnered five Jessie nominations, and won for Significant Artistic Achievement. His solo work, Empire of the Son was nominated for six Jessie awards and was described by Colin Thomas as, “One of the best shows ever to come out of Vancouver. Ever.” Empire continues to tour throughout Canada and across the world. Tetsuro’s award-winning body of work in film, television, radio, new media, and theatre is taught in universities as examples of cultural possibility. If you would like to support Tetsuro’s work, visit patreon.com/tetsuro.

CONOR WYLIE (May 18):

Conor Wylie

Conor Wylie is a performer, writer, and director creating experimental theatre. Alongside Nancy Tam and Daniel O’Shea, he co-artistic directs A Wake of Vultures (WOV), a performance company working across sonic, visual, and theatrical disciplines. WOV are currently developing Conor’s new work BODY AND MIND, a mash-up of experimental minimalism and maximalist anime cyberpunk, as well as Nancy Tam’s Walking at Night by Myself. Conor regularly collaborates with Theatre Replacement (T/R), Hong Kong Exile, and many members of Vancouver’s esteemed Progress Lab consortium. He is one of the core artists of T/R’s MINE, and is currently co-creating GIRL RIDES BIKE, an algorithmic multimedia motorcycle chase. Conor received a Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award for Emerging Theatre Artist in 2017 .As an actor, Conor has performed across the country, at the Belfry Theatre, Arts Club, Theatre Calgary, Citadel Theatre, and most recently at Buddies in Bad Times in The Scavenger’s Daughter, the second instalment of Susanna Fournier and Paradigm Productions’ indie-epic EMPIRE TRILOGY. Outside the work, Conor is a single-speed cyclist, a craft beer stickler, casual gamer, low-tier softball ace, and a pretty good person to call if you have a fever for a secret dance party.

DONNA SOARES (May 19):

Donna performed Nassim’s White Rabbit, Red Rabbit at The Cultch in 2012. She is excited to find out what he has in store for her now. Donna has a long history with Theatre Replacement. She played and toured with them in Cinderella: An East Van Panto, Dress me up in your love, and Bioboxes: Artifacting Human Experience, assistant stage managed and helped cast 100% Vancouver, and sat on their board of directors for six years. Some of Donna’s other credits include: Salmon Girl (Raven Spirit Dance),The Enemy (Firehall),King of the Yees (Gateway, NAC),The Drowning Girls (Vertigo),Half Life (Theatre NorthWest),Green Lake (Solo Collective),Benefit (Downstage), and Cock (Rumble).Donna is a graduate of Studio 58 and holds a double major in Theatre and French from UBC. Now, shall we see what Nassim has planned for us?


NASSIM runs May 7-19 at the Historic Theatre. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.


FROM OUR FRIENDS AT RUMBLE THEATRE

Can’t get enough of the work of Nassim Soleimanpour (we don’t blame you!)? You will not want to miss his play BLANK, presented by Rumble Theatre April 29-May 4. Similar to NASSIM in style, during each performance of BLANK, Nassim Soleimanpour’s play full of blanks will be completed by a new performer before a live audience.

Performers include:
April 30, 8pm: Emelia Symington Fedy
May 01, 8pm: Peach Cobblah
May 02, 8pm: Maiko Bae Yamamoto
May 03, 8pm: Allan Morgan
May 04, 2pm: Hazel Venzon
May 04, 8pm: Kim Sənklip Harvey

We know you will want to see both amazing shows from acclaimed playwright, Nassim Soleimanpour!