A message from the creators of Hot Brown Honey:

A message from the creators of Hot Brown Honey:

WELCOME TO THE HIVE

The Arts have the capacity to shift culture.
We live in a culture that needs change urgently.
Not tomorrow. Right Here. Right Now. We stand in the Creative Revolution.

At the forefront we give Love and Respect to the First Nations People of this land.
We give Love and Respect to those who have come before us.

To the Game Changers
Myth Slayers
Poets, Movers
Music Makers
Ground Breakers
Truth Sayers
Shake em up Women
Queens, Queers and Risk Takers
We are the Change Creators.

THIS IS OUR TIME AND IT’S TIME TO SHINE.

We are the Latest Models of our Ancestry.
Our Stories. Our Voices. Our Bodies.
We will not apologise for who we are.

Photo credit: Dylan Evans

DIRECTORS NOTES: LISA FA’ALAFI
Hot Brown Honey give our Love and Respect to the Ancestral, Traditional and Sovereign Aboriginal territories of the Coast Salish Peoples, and in particular, the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil Waututh Nations on whose territory we perform.

In an act of Radical Fierce Love, we at Hot Brown Honey lay it on the table. We invite you into our world where we stand centre stage shining brightly for all to see. Too often we are portrayed as the savage, the maid, the victim, the perpetrator, but tonight we defy these labels. We ask you to celebrate with us.
Celebrate all that we are.

Our Truth. Our Courage. Our Complexities. Our Resilience. Join us as we take back our stories and explode the stereotypes that follow us. Together let us laugh at them, dismantle them and re-write them with open arms and middle finger raised.

We welcome you into a world where for a moment, where the paradigm shifts, where we strut as the Latest Models of Our Ancestry, where people cheer and dance, where hearts become open even when confronting truths that are painful.

Even when the lives reflected back may not be a shared experience. You might say well it’s just a 75min show. Maybe it is. Or maybe it’s a moment in time that can be harnessed to create ripples of change.
Some say art has the capacity to make change in the world, to shift culture, so for us this is our call – to dance, to shout, to laugh, to cry, to rise up and transform current conversations.

It will get sticky but we promise, it is totally worth it.

Welcome to the Hive. Welcome to Hot Brown Honey. We are here.

 

Hot Brown Honey runs at the York Theatre Jan 9-27. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

Q&A with Governor General award-winning playwright, Colleen Murphy!

Q&A with Governor General award-winning playwright, Colleen Murphy!

Photo by Heidi Hamilton

How did the idea to adapt a Shakespearean text incorporating Bouffon come about?

When Stephen [Drover] asked me to write an adaptation of Titus Andronicus I wondered how to connect with a play I felt was emotionally vacant but intriguing.  “What makes people so angry they kill children?  What is under such rage? Terrible hurt probably, and terrible grief.”

While adapting the play I was the Lee Playwright in Residence at the University of Alberta, working in the same department as Professor Michael Kennard, aka Mump from the incredible duo Mump & Smoot.  Michael teaches clown there and I was inspired by the rigor and the fearlessness he used in his hilarious student presentations.  I felt that given the blood-bath of the 21st century, Bouffon were more suitable to my adaptation because they bring a primal urgency to a story that both begs to be taken seriously and begs not to be taken seriously.

Can you tell us a little bit about the effect that the Bouffon style has on the piece?

The Bouffon style opens up both the emotional and the farcical aspects that are already in Shakespeare’s play.  He must have enjoyed writing it, and there are some beautiful passages, as fine as any he wrote.  The murders and the outrage might even be funny…and the funny is sometimes sad.  The world of revenge is an over-the-top world driven by sad, angry people.

What is something about the show that audiences may be surprised to learn?

Perhaps members of the audience might be surprised to discover that nothing is sacred, that everything is human, including the worse things people do to each other.

Can you describe the show in 3 words?

Fun Meets Death.

What most excites you about bringing this piece to the stage?

Marrying Shakespeare with Bouffon offers another perspective on Titus Andronicus in the 21st century.

Peter Anderson in “The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius”. Photo by Stephen Drover


The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius runs from Nov 22 – Dec 3 at the Cultch’s Historic Theatre. Tickets are from $22 and can be found here.

Everything you never knew about Titus Bouffonius!

Photo of Peter Anderson by Tim Matheson

We’re getting excited about the world premiere of The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius, by Rumble Theatre opening on Nov 23.

This production is a brand-new play from Governor General’s Award-winning playwright Colleen Murphy and it’s a grotesque “bouffon” re-telling of Shakespeare’s most gruesome tragedy, Titus Andronicus.

Now, if you’re familiar with the original play, it won’t surprise you to learn that this version is also full of murder and other dastardly deeds.

Here’s a brief (tongue-in-cheek) synopsis of the play:

Pretty much sums it up!

About her play, Colleen Murphy says, “In the cack-up of the 21st century, clowns are more suitable to my adaptation of Titus Andronicus because they bring a primal urgency to a story that both begs to be taken seriously and begs not to be taken seriously. A bunch of poverty stricken clowns from the gutters acting out their grief and rage at the world; mocking everyone else at the same time”.

“Bouffon”  is a modern French theatre term that was re-coined in the early 1960s by Jacques Lecoq at his L’École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris to describe a specific style of performance work that has a main focus in the art of mockery.

“The difference between the clown and the bouffon is that while the clown is alone, the bouffon is part of a gang; while we make fun of the clown, the bouffon makes fun of us. At the heart of the bouffon is mockery pushed to the point of parody. The parody isn’t directly offensive with regard to the public; there is no deliberate intention to mock. Bouffons come from elsewhere.”- Jacques LeCoq

We can’t wait to see what Rumble is cooking up. It’s sure to be a provocative and boundary-pushing night at the theatre!


The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius runs from Nov 22 – Dec 3 at the Cultch’s Historic Theatre. Tickets are from $22 and can be found here.

FLASHBACK: It has been an exciting month at The Cultch!

FLASHBACK: It has been an exciting month at The Cultch!

October flew by! The start to our 17/18 season was a huge success and a real blast! We opened four shows: The Goblin Market, 1 Hour Photo, Encounter, and HONOUR: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan. Thank you so much to all of you who attended one (or several) of these amazing shows! We are feeling nostalgic already, so here is a little flashback!

Here are some shots from a few of our opening nights:

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THE GOBLIN MARKET was the very first show of our season, and a big hit with our audiences!

“Breathtakingly beautiful. Heart-stoppingly romantic. Stirringly erotic” — Jo Ledingham, joledingham.ca

The Goblin Market dazzles”- Kathleen Oliver, The Georgia Straight


1 HOUR PHOTO was a beautiful tribute to the life Mas Yamamoto

“Wrestling with questions of life and death, 1 Hour Photo is most heartfelt in its exploration of Yamamoto’s life. Ultimately, we are all a little better off for his willingness to share it through Shigematsu” — Mark Robins, Vancouver Presents

1 Hour Photo animates an extraordinary life with vivid props and projections…the play is a buffet of sensory textures” — Kathleen Oliver, The Georgia Straight


ENCOUNTER was an amazing way to kick off Diwali in BC; a tribute to indigenous peoples history around the world.

“It is no wonder they have gained their reputation as the best physical theatre out of India—the clarity of the physical storytelling from this accomplished company is absolutely expert” — Elizabeth Holliday, SAD MAG

“The show is affecting” — Lincoln Kaye, Vancouver Observer


HONOUR: CONFESSIONS OF A MUMBAI COURTESAN, also a part of Diwali in BC, is a one woman show raising money and awareness for women and children trapped in cycles of sex trafficking.

“I don’t often stay for the talkback sessions after a show but this one was fascinating and added immeasurably to the tremendous pleasure I got from the performance…Dipti Mehta is, as well as a scientist and a social activist, a very fine storyteller” — Jo Ledingham, joledingham.ca

Honour: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan, is ambitious, smart, and a masterclass in character work” — Andrea Warner, The Georgia Straight


THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO MADE IT SUCH A GREAT MONTH HERE AT THE CULTCH!

There are more than 18 shows remaining in our 17/18 season — Don’t miss them!

Honour: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan brings attention to sex trafficking

Honour: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan brings attention to sex trafficking

This year The Cultch is partnering with Diwali in BC, a new organization spearheaded by Rohit Chokhani, to launch the organization’s inaugural year. Diwali in BC has chosen the artistic theme of Shakti, feminine power. On October 17 we hosted the launch of this new initiative with a reception and the opening of Encounter (Oct 17-22).

The celebration of the power of the feminine continues with this Friday’s (Oct 20) opening of Honour: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan.

Created and performed by Dipti Mehta, Honour: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan is the story of a mother and daughter living in the red light district of Mumbai. Dipti Mehta has been using this production to shine a light on sex trafficking, and a portion of her profits is donated to an organization called Apne Aap, a company dedicated to helping at-risk and prostituted women and children.


According to Equality Now, trafficking women and children for sexual exploitation is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world. This, despite the fact international law and the laws of 158 countries criminalize most forms of trafficking.

Sex trafficking is a lucrative industry making an estimated $99 billion a year.

  • At least 20.9 million adults and children are bought and soldworldwide into commercial sexual servitude, forced labor and bonded labor.
  • About 2 million children are exploited every year in the global commercial sex trade.
  • 54% of trafficking victims are trafficked for sexual exploitation.
  • Women and girls make up 96% of victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation.

We, at The Cultch are thrilled to be have local company Atira Women’s Resource Society as the community partner for this important show.

“Atira Women’s Resource Society is a not-for-profit organization committed to the work of ending violence against women through providing direct service, as well as working to increase awareness of and education around the scope and impact on our communities of men’s violence against women and children.”


Here are a few of the many organizations in the city who are resources for our city’s women:

WAVAW

Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre

Elizabeth Fry Society

Pivot Legal

PACE Society

WISH

SWAN Vancouver

HONOUR: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan runs at the Vancity Culture Lab Oct 20- Nov 4. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

FUN FACTS: learn about Indian Classical Dance before you come see Encounter!

FUN FACTS: learn about Indian Classical Dance before you come see Encounter!

 

We are thrilled to be a part of the launch of Diwali in BC; on October 17 we will be kicking off their inaugural year with the opening of an amazing physical theatre piece Encounter from Navarasa Dance Theatre.  Encounter explores dance forms from India we rarely ever get to see in Vancouver; it combines exhilarating physical theatre and dance with elements of Indian classical dance, yoga, martial arts, and folk dances.

You may be interested to know a little more about Indian classical dance (it’s fun stuff to know!), well here is a chance to sound like a pro when you bring your friends to the show.

There are 8 main classical dances generally acknowledged in India:

  • Bharatanatyam, from Tamil Nadu
  • Kathak, from Northern and Western India
  • Kathakali, from Kerala
  • Kuchipudi, from Andhra Pradesh
  • Odissi, from Odisha
  • Sattriya, from Assam
  • Manipuri, from Manipur
  • Mohiniyattam, from Kerala

Here is a little information about six of the main types of Indian classical dance; these beautiful dances are typically what we see in Vancouver:

Bharatanatyam– is a dance of Tamil Nadu in southern India. It traces its origins back to the Natyashastra, an ancient treatise on theatre written by the mythic priest Bharata. Originally a temple dance for women, bharatanatyam often is used to express Hindu religious stories and devotions.

Kathakali– Kathakali comes from southwestern India, around the state of Kerala. Like bharatanatyam, kathakali is a religious dance. It draws inspiration from the Ramayana and stories from Shaiva traditions. Kathakali is traditionally performed by boys and men, even for female roles

Kathak– A dance of northern India, Kathak is often a dance of love. It is performed by both men and women. The movements include intricate footwork accented by bells worn around the ankles and stylized gestures adapted from normal body language.

Manipuri- Manipuri comes from Manipur in northeastern India. It has its roots in that state’s folk traditions and rituals, and often depicts scenes from the life of the god Krishna. Unlike some of the other, more rhythmic dances, Manipuri is characterized by smooth and graceful movements.

By Matsukin – DSC00472, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4085211

Kuchipudi– Unlike the other styles mentioned, kuchipudi requires talent in both dancing and singing. This dance, from the state of Andhra Pradesh in southeastern India, is highly ritualized, with a formalized song-and-dance introduction, sprinkling of holy water, and burning of incense, along with invocations of goddesses.

Odissi–  Is indigenous to Orissa in eastern India. It is predominantly a dance for women, with postures that replicate those found in temple sculptures. Based on archaeological findings, odissi is belived to be the oldest of the surviving Indian classical dances. Odissi is a very complex and expressive dance, with over fifty mudras (symbolic hand gestures) commonly used.

Come experience them!

Photo credit: Christopher Joseph

Encounter runs at the York Theatre Oct 17-22. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

The Goblin Market and 1 Hour Photo are opening The Cultch’s 17/18 season!

The Goblin Market and 1 Hour Photo are opening The Cultch’s 17/18 season!

Next week we welcome two shows to our stages (The Goblin Market at the York Theatre and 1 Hour Photo at the Historic Theatre), and we couldn’t be more excited. It seems we are not the only one. Vancouver critic, Colin Thomas gave us a shout-out in his blog, Vancouver Greenroom:

“There are two piping hot shows sitting on the windowsill this week. They both open next week in venues operated by The Cultch” — Colin Thomas, colinthomas.ca

Want to know more about these shows? Read some of this great press before you see the shows!

The Goblin Market is a contemporary circus re-telling of Christina Rossetti’s poem, following two sisters, their temptation, sacrifice and eventual salvation. Delicious circus is precariously balanced with gritty performances and candid story telling.

“‘Goblin Market’ gets standing ovations everywhere it travels to around the globe. And seeing it within the intimate confines of the York should be eerily, mind-blowingly fun.” – Janet Smith, The Georgia Straight Editor’s Choice

Read ‘Five reasons to check out Goblin Market’ in The Vancouver Sun

1 Hour Photo is the story of Mas Yamamoto, a man whose life was swept up by the major currents of the 20th century. Written and performed by Tetsuro Shigematsu, 1 Hour Photo is a moving portrait saturated with the most vivid colours of our times.

“We’re trying to deepen the experience of listening by allowing the audience to look at different things to enable their imaginations to take flight”— Tetsuro Shigematsu, in interview with The Vancouver Sun

“…on a certain level I just wanted this ritual to continue—to sit at the knee of an elder and be transported to the past”— Tetsuro Shigematsu, In interview with The Georgia Straight

 


The Goblin Market runs at the York Theatre Oct 3-14. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

1 Hour Photo runs at the Historic Theatre Oct 3-15. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

Join us for our Season Kick off Dance Party on Wednesday, October 4 starting at 9:30pm! Everyone welcome! Vancity Culture Lab, 1895 Venables St

SNEAK PEEK: BEHIND THE SCENES OF 1 HOUR PHOTO!

Sneak Peak: Behind the Scenes of 1 Hour Photo!

We are getting closer and closer to the start of our 17/18 season. 1 Hour Photo opens on October 4, in the Historic Theatre!

Written and performed by Tetsuro Shigematsu, 1 Hour Photo is the story of Mas Yamamoto, a man whose life was swept up by the major currents of the 20th century. From growing up in a fishing village on the banks of the Fraser River, to being confined at a Japanese Canadian internment camp during World War II, to helping build the Distant Early Warning Line in the Canadian Arctic during the height of the Cold War, 1 Hour Photo is a moving portrait saturated with the most vivid colours of our times.

If you are like us, you can hardly wait to get a taste of this new show by critically acclaimed VACT. And so here to the rescue, we have a few little glimpses into the behind the scenes world of 1 Hour Photo; just a little taste to wet your appetite!

Check out this great interview that Mark Robins of Vancouver Presents did with Tetsuro (and a few unsuspecting crew members) onsite at the rehearsal hall at PTC Test Kitchen.

And here are a few behind-the-scenes photos taken during the creation of 1 Hour Photo:

1 Hour Photo runs at the Historic Theatre Oct 3-15. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

Great storytelling is coming to the York Theatre September 27!

Great storytelling is coming to the York Theatre September 27!

Vancouver’s preeminent True Storytelling series THE FLAME returns to the York Theatre for an unforgettable evening of poignant and hilarious true tales told live on stage. Inspired by storytelling juggernaut The Moth, THE FLAME is now in its 9th season and boasts over 700 stories told at its sold-out monthly shows and concert events. Join Flame host Joel Wirkkunen and a brilliant roster of risky raconteurs as they boldly step in front of the microphone to share their most personal true life stories!

If you are wondering what kind of things you might hear at this event, here is a hilarious example from The Flame’s 2014 season; Charlie Demers shares the story of the birth of his child.

You can also LISTEN to some audio recordings from THE FLAME a few years ago on Soundcloud or check out some of the stories from THE MOTH here.

The event at the York on September 27 features musical guests Sarah Wheeler and Hannah Epperson.

The Flame: York Theatre 2017 Edition plays at the York Theatre September 27, 2017. TICKETS ONLY $20! Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

Lots and lots of ‘buzz’ for Hot Brown Honey at Edinburgh Fringe!

Lots and lots of ‘buzz’ for Hot Brown Honey at Edinburgh Fringe!

There are so many amazing shows coming up in our 17/18 season, and it is really hard to choose our favourites, but here is one that we don’t want you to miss – we think it is going to be one of our most popular!

If you haven’t gotten your tickets for Hot Brown Honey yet, make sure you get them quickly; this show may be in January (9-20th), but the tickets are already going fast!

Right now Hot Brown Honey is tearing up the stage at Edinburgh Festival Fringe! We couldn’t help but share some of the amazing buzz these amazing performers are getting in the twitterverse. Follow these FierceMamas @hotbrownhoney for the latest ‘buzz’.

Hot Brown Honey runs at the York Theatre Jan 9- 20. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.