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

The world will soon know this man story. #1hourphoto @vact @thecultch

A post shared by Tetsuro Shigematsu (@bigshiggy) on

“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.

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.

A few staff picks for the 2017/ 2018 season!

A few staff picks for the 2017/ 2018 season!

We interrupt you’re summer shenanigans to remind you that before you know it autumn will be here…okay, okay, pipe down with the booing! Though, it may be difficult to think about autumn just yet, we wish to remind you about all the exciting shows coming up in our 17/18 season!

Check out a few of the shows our staff just can’t wait for:

Name: Lisa Mennell

Job Title: Communications Associate

17/18 Season Pick: Goblin Market (Oct 3-14, 2017)

Why: I love poetry and I love circus! This show is based on the narrative poem, Goblin Market by 19th century poet Christina Rossetti. The visuals for this sexy -adult only- circus show are stunning, and I hear that it melds story and athleticism flawlessly. Incredible acrobatic feats combined with classic poetry…what is not to like?!

Name: Elysse Cheadle

Job Title: Head Front of House Manager and Volunteer Coordinator

17/18 Season Pick: Black Boys (Jan 16-20, 2018)

Why: I have been obsessed with Toronto-based Buddies in Bad Times Theatre since I saw their production ‘Obaaberima’ here two years ago. I still get chills thinking about that performance – every element felt so alive and necessary in the telling of their story. Black Boys brings the return of the incomparable Tawiah M’carthy (of ‘Obaaberima’). We are so lucky to welcome back a performer of his calibre to our theatre! I expect ‘Black Boys’ to bring ferocity, humour, honesty, sex, and humanity. What more could you want?

Head Front of House Manager & Volunteer Coordinator, Elysse Cheadle

 

Black Boys runs Jan 16-20. Stephen Jackman-Torkoff, Tawiah Ben M’Carthy and Thomas Olajide by Tanja-Tiziana.

Name: Natalie Schneck

Job Title: Development Associate

17/18 Season Pick: Dublin Oldschool (Jan 30 – Feb 3)

Why: It’s an Irish two hander with DJ tunes and re-connections. It seems gritty and real. I look forward to being invited into a world far away from my own but with (hopefully) some relatable elements.

Single tickets for the 17/18 season are now on saleBook a subscription save to up to 25%!

Vancouver Pride – a great time to celebrate diversity in the arts!

Vancouver Pride – a great time to celebrate diversity in the arts!

It’s that time of year again! Time to dig our your favourite rainbow wear; time to embrace sparkles, sequins and feathers; time to celebrate diversity with friends and family  – IT’S PRIDE!

Although there have been Pride events happening all month,  Vancouver Pride Society has lots of great events planned for the next couple weeks leading up to the Pride Parade on August 6th. Check out their event page here.

The Cultch is proud to be an accepting and open place to work and play for people of all identities and orientations. Over the years we have been honoured to present many LGTBQ2+ performances that have been enjoyed  by all.

Here is a look at a few of the shows in our 17/18 season that celebrate diversity of sexual orientations and gender identities:

Hot Brown Honey – January 9 – 20, York Theatre, Briefs Factory (Australia)

Hot Brown Honey turns up the heat, delivering lashings of sass and a hot pinch of empowerment in the smash-hit that packs a punch of Hip Hop politics. The Honeys will make you laugh, cry, clap and shake what your mama gave you.This stellar posse of phenomenal women make noise as they defiantly smash stereotypes and remix the system.

“Subverting sexual politics is a recurring motif, from a literal “pussy power” routine to a spot of raunchy lesbian beat-boxing.”The Sydney Morning Herald

Black Boys – January 16- 20, Historic Theatre, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre/ Saga Collectif (Toronto)

A raw, intimate, and timely exploration of queer male Blackness. Three individuals seek a deeper understanding of themselves, of each other, and of how they encounter the world, subverting the ways in which gender, sexuality, and race are performed.

The Explanation – April 17 – 29, Vancity Culture Lab, the frank theatre company (Vancouver)

Two heterosexual men – one of whom likes to dress in women’s clothes – just happen to fall in love with one another. An exploration of the constructs we adopt to make our own realities and ways of imagining a life that’s not only endurable but quite possibly magical.

We hope you will join us for these, and more fantastic shows, coming up this season. Purchase a subscription to save up to 25%. Single tickets go on sale August 8!


This week  in the news: President Trump tries to rolls out a new ban on transgender people in the military.

…This week  at The Cultch: Our venues roll out newer and more inclusive bathroom signage!

 We think everyone wins when everyone is included!

CONTEST: Win a night at the theatre with a $200 prize pack from The Cultch!

CONTEST: Win a night at the theatre with a $200 prize pack from The Cultch!

Single tickets for our 17/18 season go on sale on August 8th! We just cannot wait for you to see all of the wonderful shows that we have in store for you this coming season!

A little summer celebration is in order – LETS HAVE A CONTEST!

PRIZE

FOUR seats to any performance in our 17/18 season ($192 value) and four drink tickets ($36 Value)

CONTEST

One winner will receive FOUR seats to any performance in our 17/18 season ($192 value) and four drink tickets ($36 Value).

TO ENTER, for your chance to win a $200 prize pack from The Cultch, do at least one of the following – one entry per action!

  1. WATCH our season trailer (below) and leave a COMMENT on this blog-post telling us what show you’re most excited to see this season (1 entry)
  2. SHARE our season video https://youtu.be/OREBFrVwraE on Facebook (1 entry) with the hashtag #CULTCHCONTEST
  3. TWEET the following (1 entry)

Contest entries will be accepted from the time and date of publishing until 11:59 pm on August 8, 2017 (when Cultch single tickets go on sale). One winner will be chosen at random and contacted through the platform they used to enter.

Congratulations to all 2017 Jessie Richardson Theatre Award winners!

Congratulations to all 2017 Jessie Richardson Theatre Award winners!

On Monday night, June 26, the 35th Annual Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards took place at the Commodore Ballroom. To all the nominees and winners, we want to offer our sincerest congratulations. It is so wonderful to be a part of such a vibrant and diverse community of theatre professionals!

It has been noted by several, including The Georgia Straight, that this year The Jessies celebration highlighted growing inclusivity and a truer representation of the diversity of our community. Truly something to celebrate!

Read the complete list of winners here

If we were to create a list to mention all The Cultch friends and family who were honored by the awards, the list would be too long and complex, however we want to offer a special congratulations to some Cultchers who were awarded Jessies:

Jamie King (award in hand!), Brian Cochrane and Heather Redfern at the 35th Annual Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards! Candid shot captured by Bahareh Shigematsu!

  • Jamie King took home the Ray Michal Prize for Most Promising New Director.
  • Rohit Chokhani won the award for Significant Artistic Achievement – Large Theatre  for Outstanding Work in Expanding the Diversification of Vancouver Theatre through Excellence in Festival Programming for his work with Diwali Fest.
  • Leslie Dos Remedios was part of the Presentation House production of Baking Time, which took home the award for Significant Artistic Achievement – Theatre for Young Audiences  for it’s Outstanding Audience Engagement.

In addition, several shows from our 2016/2017 season had nominees in various categories: The Fighting Season, am a, and Elbow Room Cafe: The Musical. We are thrilled to be able to congratulate Kyle Jespersen for winning Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role – Small Theatre for his role in The Fighting Season.

Kyle Jespersen in The Fighting Season. Photo by Javier R. Sotres

Oh…and pssst, Quelemia Sparrow won the Sydney Risk Prize for Outstanding Original Script by an Emerging Playwright for her new play O’wet/Lost Lagoon, which is part of our upcoming 2017/2018 season! You don’t want to miss it when it plays in the Historic Theatre (May 8 -12).

Congratulations everyone!

Thank you to our Cultch audiences for a triumphant close to our 16/17 Season!

Thank you for a wonderful 16/17 season!

What an amazing year it has been! The 16/17 Season was one of The Cultch’s most successful thanks to the continued patronage of all of our amazing supporters!

With 21 theatrical shows in our three venues, as well as countless amazing rental and festival shows; 11 Gallery shows; plus three nights of great music including, The Sicilian Project, DakhaBrakha, and the inaugural East Side Live, 16/17 was a great season for us, and we are so glad that you joined us for it!

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We had many grand adventures together; here is a look back at a few of the many highlights:

We joined together to watch a version of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night completely in Hindi (Piya Behrupiya).

Piya Behrupiya

Photo by Company Theatre

We saw paper fights break out between audience members and bendy contortionist performers (The Pianist)…maybe we threw a few pieces ourselves…

‘The Pianist.’ Photo by Roaming the Planet

We saw the dawn (dusk?) of a new era in US politics ushered in as we sat in the dark Historic Theatre and did a little voting of our own (Fight Night).

Cast of Fight Night

Together we raised money for Cultch Connects, bringing over 1,200 people into the theatre who might not be able to attend otherwise; including families who are struggling to make ends meet, caring for a child with a serious illness, or who are new to Canada.

Cultch Connects brought over 1,200 people to the theatre with your help!

We joined together with our friends and families to make the fourth installment of East Van’s favourite holiday tradition the biggest selling show in The Cultch’s history! (East Van Panto: Little Red Riding Hood) Go Panto Go!

YAY Panto! Photo by Emily Cooper

We celebrated the powerful work of creative women for an entire month during Femme February!

Femme February included Mouthpiece, NeoIndigenA, am a, and the book launch of Girl Positive

We chuckled, chortled, and cackled together as we paid tribute to the 30+ year legacy of a local restaurant with a big heart, while singing along to catchy hits like ‘Testosterone’ and ‘Let a Girl Eat’ (Elbow Room Cafe: The Musical).

Elbow Room Cafe: The Musical cast members sing ‘Testosterone’. Photo by Tina Krueger Kulic

We spent time with old and new friends as we gathered to watch some of The Cultch’s favourite performers like: Esme Massengill, Mrs. Edna Rural and everyone’s favourite flightless fairy -Schnitzel (The Daisy Theatre).

No one is immune to the cuteness of Schnitzel! Photo by Alejandro Santiago

We felt the spray of ice on our faces as we gathered on the ice of Britannia Ice Rink to see Vertical Influences.

Audience members sit on the ice during Vertical Influences. Photo by Roaming the Planet

We mourned together as we watched heartbreaking and poignant Children of God, and then we sat together in the theatre to discuss how to respond to the dark legacy of residential schools.

Children of God cast members lead a discussion after the opening night performance. Photo by Roaming the Planet

And, after so many shows and fabulous events – we joined together to share meaningful conversation over many a glass of wine!

Sharing a drink with friends in the York Theatre. Photo by Roaming the Planet

We would love to hear some of your favourite memories of the 16/17 season; what are your favourite moments? 

Don’t forget to buy your subscription for our 17/18 Season soon. Shows are already filling up, get the best seating while you can! Click here for the full lineup.

Thank you for choosing to make The Cultch and the arts a part of your life!

Box Office Summer Hours:

Monday- Saturday: 12-4pm

Sunday: Closed

Also, open 2 hour prior to all performances

Q&A with reVolver curator, Elysse Cheadle

Q&A with reVolver curator, Elysse Cheadle

Upintheair Theatre is back at The Cultch for the fifth annual rEvolver Theatre Festival. rEvolver runs from May 24th – June 4th, and presents new work by Vancouver and Canada’s most exciting up and coming performers and theatre creators.

We are so pleased that the fabulous Elysse Cheadle, our very own Head Front of House Manager & Volunteer Coordinator, was able to give us a little behind the scene insight into the exciting fifth chapter of this great Vancouver theatre festival.

Elysse Cheadle. Photo by Elliot Vaughan

Elysse, tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a theatre-maker, performer, and writer living in Vancouver. I am interested in theatre that is curious and playful, that forces you to consider your own spectatorship, and that carefully uses shape, space, movement, texture, and sound as much as it does text and story.

I also happen to work at The Cultch as the Head Front of House Manager and Volunteer Coordinator and was lucky enough to be this year’s guest curator at The rEvolver Theatre Festival.

How did you come to be guest curator for the rEvolver Festival?

I have been involved in The rEvolver Theatre Festival in the past as a performer in both the Reading Series (The Peaceful Sea – Theatre Elsewhere) and Main Stage Series (The Peaceful Sea – Theatre Elsewhere), and have had my work presented in the festival (Mr.Snortoose and the Machine-Children’s Machine). On all occasions, my festival experience with rEvovler was unique; Dave and Dan really put a lot of effort into selecting artists with interesting perspectives, and then providing the opportunity for them to build connections and community with one another. Being given the encouragement to support and connect with the other artists in the festival has led to long lasting, meaningful artistic relationships. The value of these relationships is as useful to a young artist as the opportunity of having work presented. I think Dave and Dan are very smart that way, and I wanted an opportunity to work with them. Therefore, last Spring when they announced that they were looking for somebody to help curate and produce the festival, I jumped at the opportunity and applied.

What was the experience of programming shows like?

Difficult! I did not anticipate the challenge of trying to examine each selection so holistically; a show can be wonderful, but simply not fit within the larger scope of the festival. For example, we had a lot of applications for one-person shows. Many of them seemed powerful and we really wanted to give them a chance to be presented, but for the sake of diverse programming we could not select all one-person shows. We had several different festivals mapped out with various combinations of pieces. Each of these potential festivals had their strengths and weaknesses. In the end, you have to trust your gut with which to choose – and then, of course, you cross your fingers that the artists accept your offer when you send it to them!

Are there any shows or events you are particularly excited about in this year’s festival? Why?

Oh boy – I think we have a great line-up this year! If I had to pick a few, I would say I am really excited to see The Princess Show (gender bending! bass guitar! lip sync!), NeOn (I missed it at the Fringe this year and continually was told how wonderful it is!), and Soliloquy in English (the concept is so perfectly simple!).

The Princess Show, starring Princess Edward & Abel T. Suckizone

Also, I absolutely love seeing work that is still in process. I think some of the most impactful artistic experiences I have had have happened when being invited in to observe something that is not “done” yet. Artists seem to give themselves more permission to take risks and to try out totally new territory in the earlier stages of creation. Pieces can still feel raw and challenging when they are just finding their shape. Therefore, I am really looking forward to going to Resounding Scream Theatre’s Sunday afternoon event Plunge where we will be invited to watch and discuss three separate pieces that are still in the process of being constructed.

What’s next for you?

I am currently working on expanding a new piece called Fuchsia Futures which is a surrealist domestic drama about a family in the wake of a great loss. It is loosely based on the life of infamous population geneticist George F Price, who is known for boiling down altruistic behavior into a neat little probabilistic equation, before losing his mind in an effort to disprove his own findings. In ‘Fuchsia Futures,’ we follow the family after George’s suicide. There is a lot of humor, and existentialism, and music played on the banjo.

Also, I am going to be performing in a festival in Taiwan in July in a piece called Between Two Rocks by Robert Leveroos.

Elysse in Between Two Rocks. Photo by Lukas Engelhardt


Check out the great line-up of shows happening this year!

Here are four ways you can enjoy this years reVolver Theatre Festival:

  1. With the 6-show flex pass, the passholder can see up to six individual shows, take five friends to one show, or any combination in between!
  2. If you can’t see 6 shows, you can still save by purchasing a 3-show pass instead!
  3. Individual tickets are available both through The Cultch’s Box Office and at the door.
  4. Don’t miss the free performances of Habitats and Plunge

reVolver runs at The Cultch, May 24-Jun 4. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.