Announcing the 2017 rEvolver Festival Mainstage!

A man stuck in a London train station. A live game show. A cardboard puppet sci-fi western. A live drag attari video game musical. An embarrassing birthday gift. A Spanish Vampire bar. A bespoke handmade book. The meaning of love.

Upintheair Theatre is thrilled to be back at The Cultch for the fifth annual rEvolver Theatre Festival. rEvolver runs from May 24th – June 4th, presenting new work by Vancouver and Canada’s most exciting up and coming performers and theatre creators. Past rEvolver Festivals have included world premieres of hit shows such as Jordan Hall’s ‘Kayak’, Delinquent Theatre’s ‘Stationary: A Recession-Era Musical” (which featured as part of The Cultch’s 2015/16 season) and Mind of a Snail’s gorgeous shadow puppetry in ‘Caws and Effect’.

This year’s programming represents the rich diversity of voices, aesthetics, and styles among Vancouver and Canadian emerging professional theatre makers. Join us in seeing all that this incredible community of artists has to offer.

Got to revolverfestival.ca for all the information you need!

MAINSTAGE SHOWS:

FREE EVENTS:

  • Habitats Isabelle Kirouac & Nayana Fielkov (Vancouver)
  • Plunge in collaboration with Resounding Scream Theatre (Vancouver)
  • SHINY Kelly McInnes (Vancouver)
  • UPDRAFTS Reading Series featuring new works by emerging playwrights

Excited by what you see? There are a number of different ways you can purchase tickets!

  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. And of course individual tickets are available both through The Cultch’s Box Office and at the door.

BEHIND THE SCENES – Children of God in Rehearsal

BEHIND THE SCENES – Children of God in Rehearsal

The Cultch, in collaboration with Urban Ink Productions, National Arts Centre English Theatre, and Raven Theatre is thrilled to present the world premiere of Corey Payette’s powerful new musical Children of God opening May 19th at the York Theatre!

Pulling musical inspiration from Indigenous traditions as well as Broadway hits, this musical is a timely piece that tells the heartbreaking story of the residential schools through the eyes of one Oji-Cree family. Offering a thrilling blend of ancient traditions and contemporary realities, Children of God celebrates resilience and the power of the Indigenous cultural spirit.

Writer/ Director Corey Payette and Assistant Director Julie McIsaac looking over the script. Photo by Brain Chan

The creative team, along with the cast and a whole host of support personnel, have been hard at work getting ready for next weeks opening night performance. Here are some fabulous shots  by Brian Chan from the early days of rehearsals.

Actress Cathy Elliot, who plays Rita in Children of God, wrote a powerful piece about how working on the workshop of this show impacted her life; “It gets a little difficult sometimes to remember that the word “healing” had more power before it became a made-for-tv catchword, or a politician’s promise or a meme. I have difficulty saying it. Its meaning has been worn down, polished thin through constant use. But it is the only word I can use for what I wish to attempt to describe as a monumental event that has had an effect on my life.”

We love this shot of Kim Harvey (The Cultch’s own Youth Program Manager – we are so proud!) toasting the whole team on the first day of rehearsals! Kim plays Joanna in Children of God.  A huge cheers to Children of God!

Kim Harvey makes a toast to Children of God cast and crew. Photo by Brian Chan

Children of God runs at the Historic Theatre, May 17-Jun 3. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

Rave Reviews for Vertical Influences!

Rave Reviews for Vertical Influences!

The cast of Vertical Influences take a bow! Photo Credit: Roaming the Planet

The Cultch celebrated the opening of a very special show on April 18. Montreal’s Le Patin Libre brought down Britannia Ice Rink with an unprecedented performance – unlike any ice dancing you are likely to have seen! No sparkles, no fuzzy costumes, just pure and beautiful skating!

Check out some of these AMAZING REVIEWS for Vertical Influences:

“Do your body a favour: GO SEE Vertical Influences” – Colin Thomas

“In Vertical Influences, we get five young dancers on skates, wearing ponytails, dreads, and baggy street clothes, VIRTUOSICALLY reinventing the form and PLAYFULLY using it to upend notions of time, space, and physics. With equal amounts of sass and technique, THEY TEAR UP THE SHEET OF ICE” – Janet Smith, The Georgia Straight

Vertical Influences is a STUNNING combination of figure skating and dance” – Mark Robins, Vancouver Presents

Vertical Influences is a BEAUTIFUL MASH-UP of sophisticated figure skating with contemporary street dance” – Carly Whetter, Vancouver Magazine

“Five Performers…DAZZLED us with straight ice skating with no tu-tus, or schmaltzy music” – Alex Waterhouse Hayward

VERTICAL INFLUENCES runs at Britannia Ice Rink, April 18-30. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

Vertical Influences offers FREE workshop at Britannia Ice Rink

Vertical Influences offers FREE workshop at Britannia Ice Rink!

We are so EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE that Le Patin Libre – creators of VERTICAL INLFUENCES – will be hosting an amazing FREE Workshop on April 27 1-3pm at Britannia Ice Rink – for ALL AGES and ALL SKILL LEVELS! This is a great event to take the whole family to!

Photo credit: Rolline Laporte

Led by the artists and company choreographers, these playful activities can be enjoyed by all skaters. Through choreographic games and simple teachings, the artists will convince participants that anybody can feel the magic of glide and enjoy the freedom and liberation of ice-dancing. It’s optional to bring your own skates and helmets. There will be FREE rentals for workshop participants.
 
Please RSVP to communications@thecultch.com if you are interested in joining the workshop.

Photo Credit: Alicia Clarke

Wanna know more about Vertical Influences? Check out these great interviews in The Georgia Straight, The Vancouver Sun, and Vancouver Presents!

 

“We are able to bring together groups that wouldn’t otherwise come together and have an opportunity to introduce them to this contemporary performing art. IT REALLY IS QUITE EXCITING.” – Alexandre Hamel in interview with Mark Robins, Vancouver Presents

VERTICAL INFLUENCES runs at Britannia Ice Rink, April 18-30. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.
This event is generously supported by
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Vertical Influences comes to Britannia Ice Rink April 18-30

Vertical Influences comes to Britannia Ice Rink April 18-30

After a sold-out European tour the award-winning Canadian ice dance group Le Patin Libre makes their debut in Vancouver. From Apr 18-30 they will be performing their unique show Vertical Influences at Britannia Ice Rink (1661 Parker St) – Don’t miss your chance to see them!

Vertical Influences has been getting amazing reviews all across Europe

“It is JOYFUL, uplifting, creative, and inspiring.” The Age

“Liberating, EXHILARATING, breathtaking” – The Stage

“One of those rare shows I could willingly have sat through all over again…A PURE BODY RUSH. Astounding ★★★★★” — The Guardian (UK)

Check out this great video showing the “Making of ‘Vertical Influences’.

Vertical Influences has been described as a form of “contemporary dance on ice”.  Rising stars Le Patin Libre, a fresh and inventive group of former championship skaters, are creating a new kind of ice dancing, far beyond the confines of traditional figure skating. Electronic beats, melodic lyricism, and refreshing dance moves mean maximum fun for the whole family!

Vertical Influences runs from April 18-30, 2017 at Britannia Ice Rink. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

Rental availability at The Cultch!

Check out our 2017 rental availability by clicking the image above

The Cultch is a supportive rental facility for dozens of local performing arts and community groups. Last year alone, we welcomed 79 different companies who hosted 99 different events. All together they put on 267 performances plus 119 days of rehearsal! Companies who have called The Cultch home include Blackbird Theatre, the Vancouver Fringe Festival, Unpintheair Theatre, Standing Wave, the Talking Stick Festival, and Touchstone Theatre. We have also been host to dozens of meetings and conferences, book launches, lectures, and play readings, and even a wedding! Check out our rental availability above or email rentals@thecultch.com or call 604.251.1766 x. 107 for more information.

Thank you for making Mouthpiece a huge success!

Thank you for making Mouthpiece a huge success!

The reception that Mouthpiece has received is incredible! We were so thrilled to be able to bring Quote Unquote Collective to Vancouver to present their amazing show. Mouthpiece is a powerful piece of theatre that portrays one woman (played by two women- Amy Nostbakken and Norah Sadava) as she struggles to find her voice in the wake of her mother’s death. If you were lucky enough to manage to get tickets to this SOLD-OUT HIT, then we want to thank you for spreading the word and making this show the amazing success that it is.

 

We would also like to acknowledge the amazing support of our community partner for Mouthpiece, West Coast Leaf. For each show presented at The Cultch we try to find a matching community partner – A company with a similar mandate, and with similar values. West Coast Leaf has been an amazing community partner and we are so grateful for all their work helping us get the word out for Mouthpiece. If you haven’t heard about West Coast Leaf and their amazing work in the community, we recommend that you check them out. “[Their] goal is to achieve equality by changing historic patterns of systemic discrimination against women through BC-based equality rights litigation, law reform, and education.”

Our Community Partners for Mouthpiece – West Coast Leaf. Jessica Lithwick, Clea Parfitt, and Robyn Trask pose with The Cultch’s Executive Director, Heather Redfern. Photo Credit – roaming-the-planet

Mouthpiece is a part of Femme February at The Cultch. For the whole month of February we are presenting shows and events created by women. Now more than ever we think it is important to promote the things we believe in, and so all month long, events at The Cultch will highlight the strength and power of the female voice and experience. We couldn’t do these kind of things without the generous support of our sponsors, donors, community partners and our patrons. So thank you everyone -we truly couldn’t do it without you!

We especially want to thank Charlotte and Sonya Wall. It is their generous support that has made Femme February possible, and we are so grateful.

Heather Redfern poses with Femme February sponsors, The Walls, at the opening night reception for Mouthpiece. Photo Credit – Ric Lam

If you weren’t able to get tickets to Mouthpiece (and even if you were!), consider checking out some of the other events coming up for Femme February. NeoIndigenA (Feb 15-19), Women in the Arts Panel Discussion & Girl Positive Book Launch (Feb 9 – FREE EVENT), and am a (Feb 21- March 4)

Femme February runs all February long at the Historic Theatre and the Vancity Culture Lab. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363

EARLY REVIEWS: Fight Night is “unlike any piece of theatre I’ve ever seen”

img_7365Fight Night opened last night at The Cultch’s Historic Theatre and audience members and critics are abuzz!

Reviews

“Invigorating…it is subversive and shocking. It is also very, very real” – Mark Robins, Vancouver Presents

“Cast your votes for actors in this clever deconstruction of election systems” – Georgia Straights, 6 Things To Do in Vancouver

“They were manipulating the hell out of me and I loved it…I recommend this show” – Colin Thomas, Colinthomas.ca

“Part TheatreSports and part Survivor…it offers a lot to think about.” – Jerry Wasserman, The Vancouver Sun

“The most fun I’ve had at a participatory theatre show…thrilling, innovative, and one of the most intelligent works I’ve seen in a long time.” – Tessa Perkins, Center Stage

Social Media

“It was a crazy opening night, and UNLIKE ANY PIECE OF THEATRE I HAVE EVER SEEN. This crew from Belgium have crafted an AMAZINGLY THOUGHT PROVOKING PIECE of theatre” – Tetsuro Shigematsu

“Fascinating theatrical event from Europe. LIKE NOTHING YOU HAVE EVER SEEN. Audience interaction that makes you giggle and worried at the same time” – David C Jones

“I saw Fight Night last night and it was an incredibly fun and engaging evening. And not in a 90s improv pulled up on stage to be embarrassed way.

The house lights were up for a lot of the night, people were chatting with their neighbours and the audience ultimately decides the outcome. If you’re at all curious about voting, strategy, alliances, judgement and how the power of them work alone and in combination – then go and see this show.

I was shocked, appalled and delighted so many times over and I’m definitely going to see it again.

With an 85 min running time, its definitely a punch of fun not to be missed!” – Kim Harvey

“THE MOST ENGAGING PIECE OF THEATRE I’VE SEEN. Fun as hell study on the deep dark corners of democracy” – Joel Ballard @jphballard

Fight Night plays at The Cultch (1895 Venables St, Vancouver) from October 18-29. Plus, tonight (Wednesday, October 19) a special edition of Fight Night will incorporate the US presidential debate in a pre-show debate party in the lobby. Visit https://thecultch.com for tickets and information.

Announcing the 2016 rEvolver Festival Mainstage!

1617_RevolverThe Cultch is thrilled to welcome back Upintheair Theatre for the fourth annual rEvolver Festival.

The rEvolver Festival runs from May 11-22, and is dedicated to providing presenting opportunities to emerging professional theatre makers both locally and nationally. Past rEvolver Festivals have included world premieres of hit shows as Jordan Hall’s Kayak, Delinquent Theatre’s Stationary: A Recession-Era Musical (which featured as part of The Cultch’s 2014/15 season) and Mind of a Snail’s Caws and Effect, the shadow puppet hit of the 2015 festival.

This year’s programming represents the rich diversity of voices, aesthetics, and styles among Vancouver and Canadian emerging professional theatre makers. From immigrant stories as a live boxing match to technologically guided meditation to mesmerizing narrative juggling, 2016 is a high-water mark for stylistic exploration at rEvolver. Join Upintheair Theatre in seeing all that this incredible community of artists has to offer.

MAINSTAGE SHOWS:

* Happiness TM (May Can Theatre, Ottawa)

* Kolejka (star star theatre, Vancouver)

* Mis Papas (rice & beans theatre, Vancouver)

* Never the Last (Delinquent Theatre, Vancouver)

* The New Conformity (Cause and Effects Circus, Vancouver)

* okay.odd. (Hong Kong Exile, Vancouver)

* Silenced (Urban Ink Emerging Artists’ Collective, Vancouver)

SITE-SPECIFIC EVENTS:

* Beowulf, Marc Castellini (Vancouver)

* Booth Connection, The Biting School (Vancouver)

FOUNDER’S LOUNGE CABARET EVENTS:

* Charisma Furs, Katie Sly (Toronto)

* I want to tell you something, Caroline Sniatynski (Vancouver)

* Storytelling, Riel Hahn Presents, Riel Hahn (Vancouver)

* Demostage Upintheair Theatre (Vancouver) – FREE

* Ta Gueule Translation and Workshop Series, BoucheWHACKED! Theatre Collective & Ruby Slippers Theatre (Vancouver) – BY DONATION

* The Updrafts Reading Series – BY DONATION

Excited by what you see? There are a number of different ways you can purchase tickets!

  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.  And of course individual tickets are available both through The Cultch’s Box Office and at the door.

Leftovers, An Interview with Charles Demers

Leftovers_Landscape

Charles Demers and Baby Demers. Photo By Simon Hayter.

One of the stars of CBC Radio’s The Debaters, a best-selling author, and one of Canada’s finest stand-up comedians, Charlie Demers also lectures in creative writing at UBC and continues to fight the good fight as a political activist. His newest adventure Leftovers, which he co-created with Marcus Youssef and also stars in, is presented by The Cultch and PuSh International Performing Arts Festival from Jan 26 to 30 at the York Theatre. We had a chance to chat with Charles about his latest show, its inspirations, and the political landscape in general.

1. You are the playwright for the hugely successful East Van Panto, which has its own brand of political speak. How does Leftovers differ?

I’d say that the biggest difference is that, in Panto-land, we’re in a marshmallowy, cartoon world where everything is ultimately going to be okay — we never really feel unsafe in the Panto. So the political mockery, the potshots, the little jokes, even when they are about real, awful stuff happening in the world — gentrification, uncontrolled speculation, political corruption, whatever — the jokes come from a place of safety. Those bad things can’t get at us in the Panto, because we’re playing pretend. In Leftovers, we’re leaving the door open to all the vicious beasts and monsters in the world. Capitalism isn’t a harmless subject of satire in this world — in this particular show, it’s a bulldozer, it’s everywhere, and we’re scared of it. We’re supposed to be scared of it, even when we’re laughing.

2. You are a very busy man engaged in many varying projects from being a lecturer to an author/playwright, to standup/acting, where does the inspiration and drive come from to create these artistic feats?

Well, the cynical part of me would say that core, unshakeable feelings of financial and emotional insecurity will forever drive me to try and find the greatest number of both paycheques as well as strangers to tell me I’m doing good things. That’s partially true, at least. But I love the life of ideas, I love engaging people with ideas, and I’ve been lucky and privileged enough to get the opportunity to do that on a really nice scale, with a number of people and in a number of different ways, and I will work as hard as I have to and say yes to as many opportunities as I’m presented with that will keep that process alive.

3. Ronald Reagan has been the poster boy for dumb politicians, which Canadian politician do you feel comes close to him?

Well, Jean Chrétien play-acted that he was dumb, but he was actually brilliantly cagey and that was all Machiavellian performance, I think. I had thought that our new man, Justin Trudeau, was a major intellectual lightweight, but as it turns out, there may be something of Chrétien in him after all. No, I’d say the closest thing we’ve seen to the Reagan brand of oblivious cruelty here is probably Bill Vander Zalm, or our current premier, Ms. Clark.

4. Do you find it easier collaborating with others as you have done with Marcus Youssef for Leftovers or creating solo?

It’s interesting — in some ways, I think there’s a mistaken feeling that sets in early on in the process that working with a collaborator is going to be easier, because there’s someone else there to share the load, and that’s true. But having a co-creator ultimately, I think, means that you’re going to work harder, because you’re constantly being challenged about what the piece is, beyond the limited, comfortable thing that you maybe thought it would be. So it makes the show an infinitely richer thing, because you’re being pushed and challenged in ways that you wouldn’t ever do if you were working on your own. In a really good way.

5. East Van and The Cultch have a history of challenging the status quo in what they represent, does the area of East Van, the neighbourhood, play into how and what you present?

I didn’t grow up in East Van, but I lived here when I was a baby (my first home was the rented ground floor of a Vancouver Special on Kaslo street), and I started coming back to hang out on the Drive, at La Quena and for foosball at Joe’s, as a teenager. I’ve lived here for years and the neighbourhood has shaped me culturally and politically and socially and in every other way possible. I’ve been watching shows at The Cultch since I was a teenager, seen so many of the amazing shows that made me want to create theatre myself, that it’s almost impossible for me to answer this question, it’s so big. Let me put it this way: the first time my aunt and uncle babysat my daughter, when she was still shy of a year old, they took her for a a walk in her stroller, and the only time she stopped crying was when they were on the Drive.

6. You pose the question,” Why are we so accepting of the world as it is?” Without giving away too much info about Leftovers, do you have the answer?

Ultimately, I think that the often bloody back and forth of the 20th century drained us of our political imaginations. We’ve hardened against the idea of utopia — and while it’s true that we can’t build utopia in the real world, there’s something profoundly depressing and disempowering about a world where we don’t even entertain the idea, where we don’t even play with thought experiments about what profound changes in the way we organize society might look like. Given this context, I think that a non-cynical comic sensibility is important for the left; to be a little bit ironic, a little bit smirking, is a useful guard against the nightmares of the 20th century, I think. But without other feelings — feelings of love, or fear, or anger — that sort of comedy can become politically harmless, and that harmlessness makes us even more cynical. That’s why we’re excited to be doing a comedy show that isn’t, in this case, only stand-up — to be able to tell jokes but also have those real moments of feeling alongside them

Get your tickets now before they’re gone! An extra show has already been added due to demand!

A LEFTOVERS GLOSSARY

Toussaint Louverture: (1743 –1803) Leader of the Haitian Revolution.

Maximillien Robespierre: (1758 –1794) One of most influential figures of the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror.

Tibet: A region on the Tibetan Plateau in Asia northeast of the Himalayas; occupied by China

Frederick Douglass: (1818–1895) African-American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman.

Emma Goldman: (1869 –1940) Anarchist known for her political activism, writing, and speeches.

Oakridge: An area in south-central Vancouver with an average household income of $65,000.

Jean Jaurès: (1859-1914) French Socialist leader.

The Paris Commune: Radical socialist and revolutionary government that ruled Paris from 18 March to 28 May 1871.

Commercial Drive: Roadway in Vancouver, BC that goes through the neighbourhood of Grandview-Woodland. Better known as “The Drive”.

Rosa Luxemburg: (1871 –1919) Marxist theorist, philosopher, economist and revolutionary socialist of Polish-Jewish descent.

Leon Blum: (1872 –1950) French politician, identified with the moderate left, and three time Prime Minister of France.

Michael Corleone: Main character in the Godfather film trilogy

Clement Attlee: (1883 –1967) British politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1945-1951) and the Leader of the Labour Party (1935-1955).

Jawaharial Nehru: (1889 –1964) The first Prime Minister of India

Ho Chi Minh: (1890 –1969) Vietnamese Communist revolutionary leader who was prime minister

Deng Xiaoping: (1904 –1997) Chinese revolutionary and statesman influenced by Marxism-Leninism.

Salvador Allende: (1908 –1973) First Marxist to become president of a Latin American country through open elections.

Che Guevara: (1928 –1967) Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, guerrilla leader, diplomat, and military theorist.

Stuart McLean: Canadian radio broadcaster, humourist, host of the CBC Radio program The Vinyl Cafe.

Henry Kissinger: American diplomat and political scientist.

Karl Marx: Philosopher, economist, sociologist, journalist and revolutionary socialist.

Maoism: Political, social, economic, and military theories and policies advocated by Mao Zedong.

Bernie Sanders: American politician and the junior Senator from Vermont self-described socialist and democratic socialist.

French Revolution: A period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France that lasted from 1789 until 1799.