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!
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!
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.
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 God, Les 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).
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!
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.
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!
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.
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 Risecombine 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!
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 Festivalwill bring together over 50 Indigenous and non-indigenous performers—comedians, musicians, burlesque performers, drag artists, and more.
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 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
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
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 showSteph 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.
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
What have they been up to? Follow up with your favourite artists from our 2018/19 season.
The 2018/19 season has come to an end and we’re getting pumped for our 2019/20 season. But before we dive right into it, here is a look back at some of the amazing artists we got to work with this past year. A lot of them have been up to really cool things since we saw them last!
Read to see what they have been up to, and learn where you can find out more about their upcoming projects.
What a way to start off our 2018/19 season! We had so much fun having Kim Senklip Harvey‘s powerful and hilarious Kamloopa in our Historic Theatre last fall. It was an honour to have such powerful matriarchs bringing down the house each night! After leaving us, Kamloopa continued its tour, heading to Saskatchewan for a run at Persephone Theatre.
What have they been up to?
If you saw Kamloopa, you will recognize Yolanda Bonnell, who played ‘Indian Friend #1’. Bonnell is a playwright, and was recently announced to be one of 50 international playwrights chosen to be part of Climate Change Theatre Action 2019 – “a worldwide series of readings and performances of short climate change plays presented biennially to coincide with the United Nations COP meetings.” Follow Climate Change Theatre Action on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date.
You may have seen Kamloopa Firestarter (who wrote and directed the ceremony), Kim Senklip Harvey, when she and Pippa Mackie hosted Pitch, Bitch or Ditch, a fun Femme Series event in the vein of ‘Dragons Den’, where audience members brought their ideas for a show to the expert panel.
Keep your eyes out for follow up Pitch, Bitch, or Ditch events in our 2019/20 season.
If you don’t already follow Kim Senklip Harvey’s blog, check it out here. Kim is heading to Victoria to take UVIC’s Masters of Creative Writing program this autumn, and we can hardly wait to see the fruits of her time there.
Rhum and Clayrecently premiered a new work, War of the Worlds, a piece inspired by Orson Wells famous broadcast. They will be taking this show to Edinburgh Fringe Festival this August.
Kit Redstonehas been busy with his own projects, including a brand new collaboration with Vancouver’s own Pippa Mackie, The Fucking Garden– A wickedly dark and impishly mischievous reclamation of the Adam and Eve story. That is certainly a collaboration to keep your eyes on!
He too will be bringing a show, called Passengers, to Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer.
At the same time as we had Kamloopa in our Historic Theatre, and Testosterone in our York theatre, our Culture Lab was transformed into a Vancouver Special, as we were swept away by Paneet Singh‘s A Vancouver Guldasta – the story of a 1980’s Sikh family confronting the tumultuous events of the invasion of the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab, India.
FollowSACHA – South Asian Canadian Histories Association – on Instagram and Twitter to be the first to find out about any of their upcoming projects.
Jordan Hall, the writer of A Brief History of Human Extinction, continues to work in support of environmental issues. Recently she was selected to be one of 50 international playwrights for Climate Change Theatre Action 2019 – “a worldwide series of readings and performances of short climate change plays presented biennially to coincide with the United Nations COP meetings.” Follow Climate Change Theatre Action on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date.
Meanwhile, Upintheair Theatre’s rEvolver Festival started THIS week (May 22- June 2, 2019)! We always look forward to having this fabulous festival take over our theatres, and this year’s festival is going to be incredible. Take a look here to find out more about the lineup, and follow Upintheair Theatre on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, for lots of fun content!
We always love having VACT – Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre – with us, and last fall’s VACT show, The Ones We Leave Behind, byLoretta Seto, was such a beautiful look at the ways we isolate ourselves from those around us.
What have they been up to?
We are thrilled to have VACT with us again in our 2019/20 season. This coming November,Tetsuro Shigematsu will bring us the premiere of his latest play, Kuroko, the story of a young Japanese recluse (a Hikikomori), who meets a mysterious stranger in virtual reality, and is faced with a challenge that may, or may not, draw her into the real world.
Follow Testsuro Shigematsu on Facebook and Instagram to see up to date updates on Kuroko.
Hopefully you got out to the Arts Club’s production of The Great Leap. If you did, you would have seen Agnes Tong, who played Abby in The Ones We Leave Behind, playing the character Connie. She was also in the Arts Clubs production of Shoplifters – what a busy performer!
Keep an eye on Loretta Seto‘s webpage to stay up to date with her latest projects.
We kicked off our Ceasefire Series – three shows that explored different aspects of war, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the armistice of WWI – with The Believers are But Brothers, Javaad Alipoor‘s play about young men and the dark web.
What has he been up to?
After stirring up Vancouver audiences with his revealing interactive show, Javaad Alipoor’s The Believers are But Brothers was adapted for television by the BBC.
Follow Gravity and Other Myths on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep up to date…AND, for lots of mind-boggling photos and videos!
The second show in our Ceasefire Serieswas SKaGen Theatre‘s haunting marvel from Valentijn Dhaenen. SmallWarutilized verbatim exerts from soldiers diaries, brought to life by memorizing projections, sound, and performance, to give viewers a glimpse into the experience of war. We were honored to have SmallWar in our York Theatre during Remembrance Day, and everyone who had the opportunity to see it will likely not forget it anytime soon.
What have they been up to?
SKaGen has a long list of shows that will be playing in 2019 and 2020, including Valentijn Dhaenen’s UNSUNG, and TIL IT’S OVER – “a cross-disciplinary collaboration between SKaGeN and the American visual artist Richard Jackson on the themes of civil war, tenderness and revenge.”
Amiel Gladstone premiered Three Winters with us in 2018 – our third Ceasefire Seriesshow. An all female cast told the story of a daring escape attempt from POW camp Stalag Luft III, inspired by the real-life experiences of Gladstone’s grandfather.
What has he been up to?
In the 2019/20 Season Gladstone will be directing Tetsuro Shigematsu’s new play, Kuroko – talk about a dream team!
Currently, Amiel Gladstone is hard at work on the recently revived Magnetic North Theatre Festival, of which he is the 2019 Producer, alongside Amy Lynn Strilchuk. For more information, and for the 2019 Magnetic North Theatre Festival lineup check out their website here.
Since then Gravel has been hard at work in his exciting new role as the Artistic Director of Daniel Léveillé Danse. Even more excitingly, Gravel will be premiering a new work, a solo featuring himself, called Fear and Greed, June 1-2-4, 2019, at Festival TransAmériques (Montreal). Check out the trailer for Fear and Greed here:
The good news is that the team that brought East Van Panto: Wizard of Oz to life are teaming up again for East Van Panto: Pinocchio (Nov 20-Jan 5). Along with taking part in Climate Change Theatre Action 2019, and also having It’s a Wonderful Christmas-ish Holiday Miracle playing at the Arts Club in 2019, Marcus Youssef will, once again, take on the role of Panto playwright (busy playwright!), while Stephen Drover will return to the directors chair once again.
East Van Panto: Pinocchio will feature the amazing Pippa Mackie as Pinocchio, and is sure to be as wacky and wonderful as Vancouver audiences have come to expect.
We are doubly lucky this coming season because we will have Theatre Replacement twice! Along with the Panto, they will be bringing Maiko Yamamoto‘s story about mothers, sons, and playing Minecraft. MINE(Mar 18-22) will be “playing” (hehehe) during spring break, and is a great opportunity for parents to bring their video game obsessed children to the theatre!
We were so excited to have Ronnie Burkett’s hit, Little Dickens, back in Vancouver this past December. Ronnie is a Canadian treasure, and The Cultch brings together some of his most devoted fans year after year!
What have they been up to?
Currently Ronnie Burkett is hard at work creating his latest show, Forget Me Not, which will play in Vancouver (at a secret location!) February 4-March 1, 2020, after premiering at Luminato this summer.
We highly recommend following Ronnie Burkett on Instagram for a behind the scenes looks at all things wild and wonderfully Ronnie!
In April, Dakh Daughters Band released a new album, called Air. Listen to Air on Spotify here.
Follow Dakh Daughters on Facebook, and Instagram for all up to date information on this “freak cabaret.”
MRS KRISHNAN’S PARTY
For three glorious weeks, in January and February 2019, our entire building was filled with the incredible scent of delicious daal. Our Culture Lab was transformed into the back room of Mrs Krishnan’s dairy (convenience store), and one hundred people at a time were invited to the surprise party of the year – Mrs Krishnan’s Party. It is no exaggeration to say that The Cultch staff still misses the leftovers!
What have they been up to?
After leaving us in February, the cast and crew of Mrs Krishnan’s Party continued their tour; bringing joy, laughter, and daal to many!
Power Ballad, Julia Croft and Nisha Madhan‘s feminist performance piece was an essential part of our Femme Series this year. We had so much fun, laughed so hard, and sung our hearts out! The Feminist Karaoke Party is something we will remember for years to come, and it looks like we aren’t the only ones –
What have they been up to?
After leaving The Cultch, Croft and Madhan premiered a new work,Working on my Night Moves, in New Zealand. They will be taking this new show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer.
After leaving The Cultch, in early February, Tony, Dan, and Liz continued their tour, visiting a total of nine Canadian cities. Follow Ahuri Theatre on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with their upcoming adventures!
We will be partnering with PuSh International Performing Arts Festival again this coming season, and co-presenting Quelemia Sparrow’s O’wet(Jan 23-Feb 1, 2020), as well as The Chop Theatre’s KISMET: things have changed(Feb 4-8, 2020).
We are looking forward to working with PuSh’s new Artistic Executive Director Franco Boni.
Follow PuSh International Performing Arts Festival on Facebook, Twitter, And Instagram, and be sure to sign up for their newsletter, to hear about all the exciting things to come for the 2020 PuSh International Performing Arts Festival.
What an honour it was to have Urban Ink‘s Children of God – Corey Payette‘s heartbreaking and restorative musical about residential schools – back in our York Theatre this February/March.
What have they been up to?
After leaving The Cultch, Children of Godtoured BC, opening up dialogue about Canada’s residential school system.
We are so excited to have Corey Payette again with us next season. He, and our own Heather Redfern, are co-curating Raven Transforming Cabaret Festival– a brand new festival bringing together Indigenous, and non-Indigenous performers in a multitude of disciplines to all three Cultch stages in early October 2019. Learn more about the festival here.
What a way to kick off spring in Vancouver – Hot Brown Honey returned to us this past March to turn up the heat and bring the noise!
What have they been doing?
After another hit run at our York Theatre, the Honey’s took off to smash the patriarchy in New York City!
You may or may not be aware, but Hot Brown Honey has a male counterpart – Briefs! We are so excited to have Briefs – “a glittery bomb of circus, cabaret, and boy-lesque” – join us at the end of our 2019/20 season (April 19-May 3, 2020). Here are the Honeys and the Briefs together as one big happy family!
Hot Brown Honey is always travelling the world, smashing the patriarchy wherever they go. They are going to be part of the National Art Centre’s Indigenous Theatre‘s inaugural season, May 5-9, 2020.
If you don’t follow these “Fierce Mamas” on social media you are MISSING OUT! Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to find out what they are up to next!
What fun we had with Mind of a Snail Puppet Co. this past March! Our Cultchivating the Fringe winner, Multiple Organism, sold out show after show.
What have they been up to?
Mind of a Snail artists, Chloé Ziner and Jessica Gabriel, don’t seem to ever sit still! Jessica Gabriel was recently part of the inaugural HUNCH Festival, and the two of them are gearing up for Fringe season once again, and heading to Montreal!
New Cackle Sisters: Kitchen Chicken – a wild meal, prepared right before your eyes, by madcap company L’orchestre d’hommes-orchestres , as they highlighted the songs of the famous DeZurik Sisters (also known as the Cackle Sisters) – enchanted audiences at the York this April.
What have they been up to?
Since leaving us, L’orchestre d’hommes-orchestres has been touring around Canada with Kitchen Chicken. They will continue touring it, along with Tomatoes, in the coming months.
Follow L’orchestre d’hommes-orchestres on Facebook for all the madcap adventures of this daring theatrical musical troupe.
ACT OF FAITH
It was such a pleasure to have Realwheels Theatre in our Historic Theatre this April. The premiere of Janet Munsil‘s newly commissioned play, Act of Faith – inspired by the real-life experiences of a woman in the community (see below) – was a real conversation starter.
What have they been up to?
Since January this year, Realwheels Theatre have been hosting playwriting circles, facilitated by Kim Seary. Every two weeks, participants have been meeting to write, and support each other. On June 8, they will be hosting a cold reading of some of the work created during this circle. Check out the event here.
What a blast it was having a different Vancouver performer take the stage in the incredible show that Vancouver Presents called a “love letter to the audience, to the performer and at its core, a love letter from Nassim to his mother.” NASSIM was a perfect way to wrap up our 2018/29 season!
What have they been up to?
After leaving The Cultch, Nassim Soleimanpour traveled with his self titled NASSIM to Carrefour international de théâtre de Québec. On May 22 it was announced that NASSIM won an 2019 Off Broadway Alliance Award for Best Unique Theatrical Experience.
Follow Nassim Soleimanpour Productions on Facebook, and Twitter to hear the latest news!
Whoa –what a season hey?! Can you believe the incredible people who come through The Cultch’s doors? There are so many incredible artists (not to mention our patrons and donors!) changing the world!
That’s a wrap! We look forward to seeing you next season. Subscriptions are already on sale – book yours today . We look forward to seeing you at the theatre!
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 (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
night a different performer joins the playwright on stage:
AGUIRRE (May 7):
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
GRANT WARREN (May 8):
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
YAMAMOTO (May 9):
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
YOUSSEF (May 10):
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
ERICKSON (May 11):
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,
QUINTANA (May 12):
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
PETTEN (May 14):
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).
MACKIE (May 15):
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
SPARROW (May 16):
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
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,
WYLIE (May 18):
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
SOARES (May 19):
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.
Caspar Ryan, the Director Mentee and Slide Show Designer for Act of Faith, is here to share the excitement with us, and take us behind the scenes!
The date is
April 9. It’s the fourth day of tech week. Pressure is high but the air is
filled with magic and optimism. Our set is freshly built and it is grand.
Tech week is
where the production really blossoms. Light and sound can turn everyday moments
into theatrical wonders. I cannot get over the experience in the room.
Thoughtful designers are bringing to life our director’s vision, which I am so
fortunate to have been included in developing. I feel blessed. I am captivated.
alive. It is organic, growing and taking in a new breath each and every night
— yet always with the same intentions. We cannot guess how audiences will
react to our choices. But we dream big and we are hoping for a beautiful
The props add detail to the world that can bring life to the characters and their interactions. Check out the props table backstage! Each item tells a story and is part of a story. It looks really complicated at a glance, but sharp minds track them all.
Wheelchair movement is also part of Realwheels storytelling. Realwheels Theatre seeks to explore the disability experience in everything they do. In Act of Faith the wheelchair dance bridges a gap between dream and reality.
The day ends with Thank you’s all around!
Thank you, from each of us to all of you.
Caspar Ryan is the Director Mentee and Slide Show Designer for Act of Faith. He has been with Realwheels for eight years as a videographer and performer. His media group, Caspar Ryan Film, has carved out a niche creating video for Miss World Canada and non-profit organizations. Act of Faith is his first opportunity to be part of the directing process for a theatrical production.
Act of Faith runs April 11-20 at the Historic Theatre. Book tickets online, or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.
Last month we celebrated our 45th anniversary at our annual fundraising gala! We had a blast and it was so wonderful to party with our most valued friends and supporters.
I had so much fun and it was hands down the best fundraiser I have ever attended
2019 Gala attendee
Together we raised an incredible $68,000, our highest ever total, to bring live performance to our community right here in East Vancouver.
The gifts made support local youth programs, develop BC artists, and make live performance accessible to everyone in our community. Watch the video below to find out more about the impact of donations to The Cultch.
Children of God is getting all the BUZZ! – Must close March 10!
Corey Payette’s powerful musical, from Urban Ink, about the impact of Canadian residential schools has now been witnessed by over 35,000 people on stages across the country. People can not stop raving about this play; over and over we hear, ‘must-see’, ‘essential’, and ‘vital’, being used to describe it. Check out some of the latest reviews:
“Children of God truly is a must-see for all Canadians, as a lesson about the true history of our country.” —VANCOUVER PRESENTS
“A triumph of dramatic ceremony.” —BROKEN LEG REVIEWS
“Powerful, exciting and emotional.” —TWO CENTS & TWO PENCE
“If you haven’t seen Children of God yet, you should go. Yes, partly because every Canadian needs to understand the legacy of residential schools, but also because it’s an excellent script performed by top-notch double-threat actor/singers and, even when the subject matter gets dark, it’s a real treat to see them perform”—ILIVEINEASTVAN
“One of the most vital and powerful new works in Canadian musical theatre.” —MONTREAL THEATRE HUB
Social media has been lighting up with amazing personal reflections and recommendations:
Children of Godis back in the York Theatre (until March 10, 2019) after a national tour, and its highly successful 2017 world premiere at The Cultch.
In this powerful musical, by Corey Payette, the children of an Oji-Cree family are sent to a residential school in Northern Ontario. This is a story of redemption: for a mother who was never let past the school’s gate, and her kids, who never knew she came. Children of God offers a thrilling blend of ancient traditions and contemporary realities, celebrating resilience and the power of the Indigenous cultural spirit.
The history of residential schools in Canada is a dark part of this country’s history. This selection from the Children of God study guideis a good starting place for those wanting to inform themselves about Canada’s past and present.
Residential Schools In Canada (Background)
The residential school system in Canada was designed to steal Aboriginal children from their home communities and forcibly turn them into Euro-Christian citizens of Canadian society. As former Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s famous epithet from his 2008 apology to residential school survivors goes, the residential schools were meant “to kill the Indian in the child.”
Set up by the federal government, and primarily run by the church, the residential schools sprawled across the nation throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. The last one did not close until 1996.
The system was rooted in the idea that European civilization was superior to the diverse civilizations of the Indigenous peoples, and that it was thus Canada’s moral, and God-given, responsibility to save Aboriginal children from themselves. By isolating the children from their lands, their languages, their relations, and their traditions; and simultaneously immersing them in European customs, primarily rigid gender roles, Anglo-monolingualism, and industrial vocational training, it was thought that Aboriginal communities would die out, and that a unified Canadian nation would emerge.
Residential schools, at their core, were built to commit what is called ‘cultural genocide’. These schools often became places where children would do menial tasks designed to keep the schools open at low cost, rather than as sites of meaningful education. It is also widely reported that these schools were sites of brutal physical, emotional, and sexual abuse against the children, often as punishment for speaking their traditional language, or trying to escape. Many children died while at these schools.
Residential Schools—Lasting Effects
As Children of God will explore, the horrible legacy of the residential school system is still felt today by many Indigenous peoples.
Many of the youth who attended residential schools not only grew up learning to hate their culture, but also grew up not learning how to raise a family, often in an atmosphere of physical and sexual abuse. This has had disastrous impacts for Indigenous communities. For many, survivors of the schools grew into adulthood lacking parenting skills, fostering another generation of children without a nurturing family environment. In many communities today, rates of domestic abuse, alcoholism, and youth suicide are high, many cases of which observers have traced back to the residential school system and the lack of self-esteem it instilled in the students. This ongoing process of undermining community well-being and cohesion, despite the schools being closed, is often referred to as intergenerational trauma.
Healing from Residential Schools
While understanding the vile history of residential schools and the lingering ramifications of this system, it is also important to pause and recognize that this trauma does not define Indigenous peoples and their communities. Many First Nations communities today are healthy and thriving, have a strong connection to their lands and traditions, and are raising younger generations that are eager and ready to continue this process.
On a national scale, it is becoming more common to talk about the residential schools in an honest way for Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples alike—partly in thanks to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (see below)—which sought to offer space and a platform for survivors of the schools to talk about their experiences as a means of mending relations between Canada and Indigenous nations. Reconciliation politics is by no means perfect, as many First Nations are waiting for the federal government to deliver on its promise of better futures, but we now have valuable entry points into necessary conversations around what healing can look like.
Many communities that still experience the lingering impact of residential schools are taking matters into their own hands, and are looking to break cycles of intergenerational trauma through their own community-led initiatives, such as education, residential school survivor-oriented societies, and drug and alcohol intervention programs (see below).
This Valentine’s Day, our staff share their Cultch love stories — how they fell for The Cultch and what gets them out of bed in the morning! Have a love story of your own to share? Let us know!
Members of The Cultch staff with cast and crew from Mrs Krishnan’s Party
Lee Newman, Volunteer Coordinator
I first became interested in the Cultch through online research. I was looking into arts organizations to get involved with. I liked that the ED and Director in the organization were women (a rare treasure even in non-profits and the arts), and I thought the programming looked amazing! Diverse and progressive. I met with Cindy to chat about working in the arts and ended up volunteering…and eventually working here!
The moment that came to mind for when I first “fell” for The Cultch was when my partner attended a Founders’ Lounge music and reading event and me. Ivan Coyote did a reading, accompanied by Veda Hille’s music. I loved the cozy, red, cool vibes of the Founders’ Lounge and I LOVED Ivan Coyote – so hilarious and honest. The music was fun and entertaining and lyrically very local! This made it a very special night for me. With representation of queer folks and musicians, I felt safe here. I thought – this place does what I want to do. Inclusivity is a word that comes to mind as very important here and I am all about that.
Lisa Mennell, Communications Associate
I love The Cultch because…
The Cultch has been a place for me to grow and learn, a place to challenge myself, and a place to belong.
I remember the moment I fell for the Cultch. I had just started at The Cultch as an intern. I was completely overwhelmed—new to the city, new to the industry, new to the theatre scene. I felt out of place and over my head.
I think it was day two. I was familiarizing myself with the upcoming Cultch season and going through the material we had for the shows, and we had a copy of the script for Motherload (created by the amazing Emelia Symington Fedy, Jody-Kay Marklew, Juno Rinaldi,and Sonja Bennett). The script was beautiful; poignant, hilarious…it made me want to call my Mom (I did). I laughed, I cried (it was better than Cats!). I think I will always remember that as the moment I decided this was going to be a good place for me. It is the work that we do, and the people we work with, that constantly inspire me and keep me getting out of bed in the morning. And over the past 2.5 years I have slowly made a place for myself in this incredible company—with an unbelievable group of people that constantly remind me of the human capacity for connection and creativity.
I love you Cultch!
Andrew McCaw, Production Manager
I had been working here a little less than a year when I went to see A Vancouver Guldasta in October. I really enjoyed the show. I felt proud of us for programming a piece that represented the Sikh Community so well. At the talkback, the conversation turned to how the women of colour were portrayed in the piece. The comments were very supportive of the work. The Director, Paneet, then said something to the effect of: “If you liked this, you should see Kamloopa! (The OTHER show being presented that week against Guldasta at the Cultch) In fact, THEY close this week, so tell your friends to see Kamloopa THIS week, and come to Guldasta next week!”
We hadn’t asked Paneet to promote the show, it just came to his mind as another example of a show that was created by people of color that actually REPRESENTED them on a modern Canadian stage.
I thought that night: I love working here!
Yuri Arajs, Gallery Coordinator
I love The Cultch because it is making real progress in making our venues more inclusive and accessible to all people.
Cindy Reid, Managing Director
Why do I love The Cultch? I don’t know. But I do.
Is it the people? The staff, the patrons, the volunteers, the sponsors, the donors, the cleaners? I do love all the people.
Is it the programming? Definitely.
Is it the youth program and Ignite? YEP!
Is it the place, the space? Most definitely. It’s awesome! Even the small York lobby – so sweet.
Is it the culture? Ahhh, yes. We care deeply about what we do and who we do it with. It makes going to work a meaningful experience.
It’s a feeling. The Cultch, where we live, work and play on unceded territory. We should write a song about it!