Photo of Yasmin D’Oshun by Emily Cooper
The Cultch Presents
Written by Jackie Sibblies Drury
The Search Party (Vancouver)
In partnership with b current Performing Arts (Toronto)
Sept 27–Oct 8, 2023
A radical examination of power, this Pulitzer Prize-winning play confronts notions of theatre, race, and surveillance.
The Frasier family are getting ready for Grandma’s birthday party but things keep going wrong. Beverly wants everything to be perfect, but Jasmine won’t help, Dayton is more interested in the game, Tyrone is MIA, and Keisha—well, Keisha is just a teenager. What starts as a funny suburban comedy about a middle-class black family, a setup straight from a sitcom, escalates into what The New York Times calls “a series of perspective-altering surprises”.
From The Search Party—producer of the critically acclaimed and multi-award winning shows Stupid F*cking Bird, The Father, and Bunny—comes the Western Canadian premiere of Jackie Sibblies Drury’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama.
“I can’t think in the face of you telling me who you think I am”—Keisha
Interview with the Co-Directors
Video by Moonrider Productions
Playwright – Jackie Sibblies Drury
Co-Directors – Kwaku Okyere & Mindy Parfitt
Set Design – Amir Ofek
Costume Design – C.S. Fergusson–Vaux
Sound Design – Ruby Singh
Lighting Design – Sophie Tang
Props Supervisor – Heidi Wilkinson
Choreographer – Marisa Gold
Stage Manager – Rebecca Mulvihill
Assistant Stage Manager – Jessica Bournival
Pre-Production TD/Scenic Carpenter – Jeremy Vreeken
Outreach Coordinator & Active Listener – Monice Peter
Technical Director – Alistair Wallace
Active Listener – Marion Landers
Assistant Sound Designer – Shona Struthers
Scenic Painter – Tegan Klancnik
The Search Party
“Vancouver’s newest theatre company is already proving they’re a force to be reckoned with, debuting with a show as disarming to the cast as it is to the audience.”
—Becca Clarkson, SAD Magazine
“Superior direction by Parfitt and stellar performances by everyone, Stupid F*cking Bird is packed with tremendous sympathy for the human condition and the timely questioning of the function of theatre: then as now.”
—Jo Ledgingham, joledingham.ca
Section A+: $59
Section A: $55
Section B: $49
Section C: $29
Wed, Sep 27, 7:30pm
Thu, Sep 28, 7:30pm
FRI, Sep 29, 7:30pm
Sat, Sep 30, 2:00pm
Sat, Sep 30, 7:30pm
Sun, Oct 1, 2:00PM
Tues, Oct 3, 7:30PM
Wed, Oct 4, 7:30PM
Thurs, Oct 5, 7:30PM
Fri, Oct 6, 7:30PM
Sat, Oct 7, 2:00PM
Sat, Oct 7, 7:30PM
Sat, Oct 8, 2:00PM
Join us for one of these three FREE workshops—and one Community Gathering—being offered during the run of Fairview!
The Search Party has organized these workshops for the primary objective of enhancing the play's underlying themes while offering a nurturing environment for Black and BIPOC artists in Vancouver. The instructors have created these workshops to encourage participants to experiment with their creativity, hone their skills, and establish professional connections within the industry.
OCT 1st | 11am—1pm
For Black Folks
“black like me”
with Marcel Stewart from b current
black like me:
how we got here, how we’re doing, and where we want to go
a workshop with Marcel Stewart
From the moment we began our artistic journeys, as Black artists in Canada, we’ve encountered a multitude of narratives – some bestowed upon us, and others we have courageously reclaimed and reframed. So often we rarely get the chance to unpack and discuss those narratives in a creative space that is predominantly Black.
Marcel Stewart, the Artistic Director of bcurrent, wants to offer a safe, nurturing space where, as a community, we can unravel the complexities of our individual journeys, surrounded by fellow Black artists who understand the nuances of our experiences. Participants will be asked to read an article prior to the workshop that relates to the content being explored during the session. Over the course of two hours through prompts and brief exercises, artists from any discipline will leave with a new narrative of unity, strength, and artistic liberation.
Marcel Stewart is a father, artist, facilitator, and arts administrator who loves cleaning the house while listening to the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack. He is the Artistic Director of bcurrent Performing Arts and as an Artistic Associate for SpiderWebShow Performance. Marcel is a multi-time Dora nominated actor and has performed in numerous Dora award-winning productions. He has worked with Soulpepper, Factory Theatre, Thousand Islands Playhouse, Obsidian Theatre, The Theatre Centre, The Blyth Festival, Festival Players, Studio 180, The Grand Theatre, WhyNot Theatre, Persephone, Theatre Direct, Carousel Players, Theatre SKAM, and Atlas Stage.
For three years, Marcel worked at Suitcase in Point as Outreach Director, co-founding the Nest Artist Residency and Electric Innovations. When Marcel is not creating theatre, he is an arts educator who has facilitated programming for community youth groups, professional actors, and students in university, high school, and elementary. He has taught classes at the National Theatre School, Brock University and Sheridan College. Inspired by the teachings of d’bi young anitafrika, Marcel often returns to the questions: Who am I? How am I? How did I get here? Who have I lost? What is my purpose?
OCT 5th | 6—7pm
For BIPOC Folks
“Finding Your Type In Stereotypes” with Ese Atawo
Finding Your Type in Stereotypes
A workshop with Ese Atawo
Finding Your Type in Stereotypes is a fun workshop to help players get excited to play tropes or rather archetypes of common characters that are often seen in improv stories. An archetype of a character is a set of behavioural patterns commonly associated within a particular group of people; Moms, Dads, Sisters, Brothers and so forth. We’ll explore those patterns through improv games and exercises to create characters that fit your styles, background, personalities and most importantly, your point of view.
Ese Atawo is a Nigerian Canadian actor and comedian. Raised in Toronto, Ese began her love for live performance through local theatre companies and festivals. She enjoyed the diversity of being a part of Canada’s largest ten-minute play festival, InspiraTO Festival, for two consecutive years. She found strength through truthful vulnerability as a cast member of Toronto’s Vagina Monologues production of A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant, and A Prayer as well as Any One of Us; and she embraced the challenge of a German written play in Summerworks production of Kasper and the Sea of Houses. Alongside Ese’s involvement in theatre, she began studying through Second City Toronto, the art of improvisation. With improv being so engaging and spontaneous, Ese completed all six level as well as Second City’s Conservatory program. Ese relocated to Vancouver to expand her training in improv by taking classes through Instant Theatre and eventually became a cast member and frequent player. Her involvement in improv has enabled her to be a part of a successful improv troupe called Your Moms and Nasty Women, as well as being involved in successful comedy events and festivals throughout Vancouver and abroad. In addition, Ese was a part of Vancouver’s Fringe Festival improvised show, Orange Is the New Blank and her latest involvement in Sean’s Reycraft dark comedy, One Good Marriage. Alongside her love of life performance, Ese takes great joy in teaching the new wave of up-and-coming improvisers, as a teacher at Blind Tiger Comedy.
OCT 7 | 11am—12am
For All Folks
“Not That Funny”
with Jesse Lipscombe
Not That Funny
A workshop with Jesse Lipscombe
Step into the transformative world of “Not That Funny” tabletop game workshop. Unveil the subtle webs of microaggressions woven within everyday language as you playfully navigate through scenarios designed to illuminate these often overlooked issues. This interactive experience empowers participants to become everyday activists by honing their awareness and response skills. Through thoughtful gameplay, discussions, and role-playing, attendees gain insights into dismantling harmful language patterns while fostering inclusivity. Jesse Lipscombe’s workshop equips individuals with the tools to engage in crucial conversations, fostering a more empathetic and equitable society. Join us to unravel layers of language and embrace the power of change, one word at a time.
@thelipscombe on all socials
Jesse Lipscombe is an actor, former athlete, activist and entrepreneur. The Alberta native began his career as an actor at age 14 in the film, Children of the Dust, starring legendary actor, Sidney Poitier. At 18, Jesse accepted a full athletic scholarship to the prestigious Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA where he was a breakout track star. He won a Rosie Award for Best Performance by an Alberta Actor for his performance in the 2017 film, It’s Not My Fault and I Don’t Care Anyway, and was one of the executive producers of the sketch comedy show Tiny Plastic Men for which he was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for Best Comedy Series at the 3rd Canadian Screen Awards. Outside of the arts, Jesse invests in various businesses and runs a consultancy, inspired by the #MakeItAwkward campaign he launched in 2016 to combat racism, misogyny, homophobia and hatred. He works with organizations and leaders to help them understand and address racism.
In 2017, Jesse was the recipient of the Obsidian Award for Top Business Leader in Western Canada. That year, he was also named the Community Man of the Year by Diversity Magazine.
Through it all, Jesse makes it his top priority to give back to his community. Jesse works with various annual charity fundraisers and partnerships in his home-base of Edmonton.
OCT 1 | 4pm—7 pm
Community Gathering with FOOD
Evening Shows: 7:30 PM
September 27, 28: Preview
September 29: Opening
October 3: Talkback
Matinees: 2:00 PM
October 1: Talkback
October 7, 8
Save up to 30%
with a Season Ticket Package!
Choose 5, Choose 3, and Flex Passes available
The Cultch offers American Sign Language (ASL) interpreted performances, Live Audio described performance in partnership with VocalEye and Relaxed Performances for a less restrictive environment. Those who do not require these accessibility features will not experience any disturbance to the performance.
Find out more about our Accessibile performance options.