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.

Where are they now?

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.

Scroll through, or click on the name of one of the 23 shows, to be taken directly to that part of the post: Kamloopa, Testosterone, A Vancouver Guldasta, A Brief History of Human Extinction, The Ones We Leave Behind, The Believers are but Brothers, Backbone, SmallWar, Three Winters, This Duet That We’ve Already Done (so many times), East Van Panto: Wizard of Oz, Little Dickens, Dakh Daughters, Mrs Krishnan’s Party, Power Ballad, This is the Point, Much Ado About Nothing, Children of God, Hot Brown Honey, Multiple Organism, New Cackle Sisters: Kitchen Chicken, Act of Faith, NASSIM.


KAMLOOPA

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.

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BIG EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT!!! Kim Senklip Harvey (writer/director of Kamloopa) and I have created and are hosting a one night only event at the Cultch Historic theatre titled : Pitch, Bitch or Ditch ! (It’s like the Dragons Den of theatre) This is going to be absolutely insane, wild and surprising! (As part of the Cultch Femme Series) @thecultch Monday January 14th 8pm Only $10 !!!!!!!! This is one of those moments you should buy a ticket in advance. Ticket link in my bio!  What is this? Have you grown bored of theatre? When was the last time a show really excited you? Do you have an idea for a show? Join theatre creators and producers Kim Senklip Harvey and Pippa Mackie for an unforgettable night that puts the power in the hands of the patrons. From anonymous suggestions made by the audience, Kim and Pippa will lead patrons through a lively evening of banter and debate—no idea is off limits, no suggestions taboo or too dangerous—let your imaginations run wild! The bar will be open, and there will be guest appearances, and loads of surprises. PITCH—Bring your ideas—pitches are anonymous, so no judgement! BITCH—Kim and Pippa discuss the pitches, and debate whether they have potential as plays or not! DITCH—The power is in your hands—audience members vote on which pitches are ditched and which ones have promise! “It’s like the Dragon’s Den of Theatre…only without the money…and ideas are anonymous!”—Pippa Mackie

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Kim Senklip Harvey

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.


TESTOSTERONE

We had so much fun having Testosterone – the incredible collaboration between Kit Redstone and Rhum and Clay Theatre Company – in our York Theatre last October.

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Testy in Canada 🇨🇦

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What have they been up to?

Rhum and Clay recently 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 Redstone has 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.

Follow Rhum and Clay on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Follow Kit Redstone on Twitter, and Instagram.


A VANCOUVER GULDASTA

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.

Follow SACHA – South Asian Canadian Histories Association – on Instagram and Twitter to be the first to find out about any of their upcoming projects.


A BRIEF HISTORY OF HUMAN EXTINCTION

Who could forget this face?!

Audiences fell in love with Stephanie Elgersma’ s Ommie the otter in Upintheair Theatre‘s dystopian environmental thriller, A Brief History of Human Extinction – a puppet and live-action smashup – created by Jordan Hall and Mind of a Snail Puppet Co.

What have they been up to?

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!

Mind of a Snail Puppet Co. joined us again in March, with Multiple Organism. Read below to find out more about what they are up to now.


THE ONES WE LEAVE BEHIND

We always love having VACT – Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre – with us, and last fall’s VACT show, The Ones We Leave Behind, by Loretta Seto, was such a beautiful look at the ways we isolate ourselves from those around us.

Agnes Tong and Alannah Ong in The Ones We Leave Behind. Photo by Ray Shum

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.

Follow VACT on Facebook, and Twitter, and don’t forget to sign up for their newsletter!


THE BELIEVERS ARE BUT BROTHERS

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.

This summer Alipoor will be taking two shows to Edinburgh Fringe Festival: The Believers are But Brothers and Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran. Follow Javaad Alipoor on Twitter, and check out his website here.


BACKBONE

Gravity and Other Myths took over the Vancouver Playhouse last October with their dazzling show Backbone.

What have they been up to?

Gravity and Other Myths have been (and continue to be) VERY busy touring Backbone,and A Simple Space, as well as a brand new show, that they premiered in Adelaide this past February – Out of Chaos.

Follow Gravity and Other Myths on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep up to date…AND, for lots of mind-boggling photos and videos!


SMALLWAR

The second show in our Ceasefire Series was SKaGen Theatre‘s haunting marvel from Valentijn Dhaenen. SmallWar utilized 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.”

Follow SKaGen on Facebook, and Instagram to see what they are up to next.


THREE WINTERS

Playwright, Amiel Gladstone revisits the site of his Grandfather’s internment

Amiel Gladstone premiered Three Winters with us in 2018 – our third Ceasefire Series show. 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.


THIS DUET THAT WE’VE ALREADY DONE (SO MANY TIMES)

For five days in late November 2018, we were lucky enough to have the incredible Frédérick Gravel and Brianna Lombardo  in our Historic Theatre with This Duet That We’ve Already Done (so many times).

What have they been up to?

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:

Follow DLD – Daniel Léveillé Danse – on Facebook, Twitter, and Vimeo, to keep up to date!


EAST VAN PANTO: WIZARD OF OZ

Last years East Van Panto, from Theatre Replacement, was a record-breaking hit!

What have they been up to?

Pippa Mackie as Pinocchio

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!

Follow Theatre Replacement on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for fun updates on both shows!


LITTLE DICKENS

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!


DAKH DAUGHTERS

This past January we kicked off our Femme Series with the incredibly theatrical Ukrainian musical act, Dakh Daughters!

What have they been up to?

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!

Follow Indian Ink Theatre Company on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep up with their adventures.


POWER BALLAD

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.

Follow Zanetti Productions on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and follow Julia Croft on Instagram to keep up to date with this feminist duo!


THIS IS THE POINT

Every year we partner with PuSh International Performing Arts Festival to present some incredible work. This past January we partnered with them to bring in the fabulous This is the Point – a play about Love, Sex, and Disability – from Toronto’s Ahuri Theatre.

What have they been up to?

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.


MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

In February Classic Chic Productions took over our Historic Theatre with an all-female cast Much Ado About Nothing. Audiences were treated to a performance of this classic from the Bard, unlike any they have seen before.

What have they been up to?

On Mother’s Day (May 12, 2019) a group of hilarious women took over Yuk Yuks Vancouver Comedy Club in support of Classic Chic, in an event called Chicks at the Mic!

Follow Classic Chic on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram , and join their newsletter list, to keep up to date with all their fun and fabulous feminist events and productions!


CHILDREN OF GOD

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.

Photo by Emily Cooper Photography

What have they been up to?

After leaving The Cultch, Children of God toured 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.

Corey Payette has also been selected as one of 50 international playwrights to be part of Climate Change Theatre Action 2019.

Follow Urban Ink on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep up to date with their latest and greatest.


HOT BROWN HONEY

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!


MULTIPLE ORGANISM

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!

Don’t miss out, keep up to date with this daring duo by following them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Also, check out this amazing card they made us!


NEW CACKLE SISTERS: KITCHEN CHICKEN

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.

Follow Realwheels on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to keep up to date with their latest events and productions.


NASSIM

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!

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!

Behind the scenes of Act of Faith with Caspar Ryan!

Behind the scenes of Act of Faith with Caspar Ryan!

It is the opening week of Act of Faith (April 11-20 – opening April 12) and Realwheels Theatre have been hard at work getting everything ready!

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. 


Set Designer David Roberts and Director Rena Cohen

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.


Danielle Klaudt, our Actor playing Faith, and Stage Manager, Michael “Brooksie” Brooks

Theatre is 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 connection.

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.


Props Table #2 and Props Table #1

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.


Directing Mentee, Caspar Ryan, and Dance Captain, Harmanie Taylor

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.

The 45th Anniversary Gala

The 45th Anniversary Gala

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.