Success! Community Day at the York Theatre

18470255793_6fbc677be3_zOn June 21, we proudly opened the doors of the York Theatre for The Cultch’s first ever community day! Hundreds of guests of all ages came to celebrate with us! The day was filled with good food, live music courtesy of Britannia Marimba Ensemble, a craft station for families, a smudging ceremony by Bruce Robinson to commemorate National Aboriginal Day, and a live stream of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Final 16 match! Here are some photos from the event taken by Roaming the Planet.

Many thanks to our performers, staff, volunteers, and YOU for making this event a big success. We couldn’t have done it without you! Please  visit the York Theatre’s page for more info and email rentals@thecultch.com for inquiries about renting the venue.

If you would like a photo of yourself or a loved one removed from this webpage, please feel free to contact ricky@thecultch.com.

Reviews for Stationary: A Recession-Era Musical!

Stationary: A Recession-Era Musical opened last week and critics and audience members are loving this indie-rock musical!

Check out the reviews below! And make sure to get yourself, or the millennials in your life, tickets before the show closes this Saturday!

REVIEWS:

You should run, not walk, to one of the most entertaining nights in Vancouver” – VanCity Buzz

You don’t have to be under 30 to get the message of this charming, compact musical romp. Anyone who’s done time as an office drone will tell you that there are certain fantasies that take over your brain, offering a respite from the seemingly unending day-to-day drudgery” – Vancouver Sun

There are laughs and smiles and the odd tear galore to come from this original score and script… This show is fresh and witty and charming and worth every minute” – Broken Leg Reviews

Hilarious and relatable…Go see this” – Room Magazine

ONLINE BUZZ:

“Y’all must see Stationary by @christinequinty & @MishelleCuttler it’s amazeballs. Full of spunk & angst & great tunes” – Josh Epstein @Josephstein1

“If you’re in #Vancouver see @delinquentheatr’s #Stationary at @TheCultch. It’s sweet AND it’s a protest against pigeon-holed adulting. Must” – Tara Pratt @tarakjpratt

Stationary by @delinquentheatr at @TheCultch is not to be missed! Humour, pathos and fantastic musical numbers – what more do you need?” – Kathleen B @kathleenbee751

“You should really go see #Stationary at @TheCultch. It’s as funny and moving as any entertainment from any medium you’ll find playing now” – Mack Gordon @mackgord

A closer look at Blackbird Theatre’s production of ‘All That Fall’

We are thrilled to welcome Blackbird Theatre back to The Cultch for the first ever Canadian production of All That Fall! The show is running from Dec 29, 2014 until January 24, 2015 at The Cultch’s Historic Theatre.

For more than 50 years, no one was able to obtain the rights to produce Samuel Beckett’s radio play for the stage. Beckett insisted that it was meant to be heard. As he said, “it is a text written to come out of the dark.” However,  in 2012 Beckett’s estate allowed theatrical staging of the script. The show premiered in London and the next year in New York. The reception was overwhelmingly enthusiastic!

Now the focus is on the Canadian premiere! After a sold out and highly praised run of Uncle Vanya in 2013, Blackbird Theatre has been given the rare opportunity to present All That Fall for the first time in Canada. Can you imagine a better way to start the new year on the right foot?

“Beckett at his most Irish and accessible”Michael Billington, The Guardian

“You’re unlikely to find a more salty or succinct embodiment of his fathomless sense of humor”Ben Brantley, New York Times

“The play reveals a different side of Beckett’s artistic personnality. Yes, it’s bleak but it also genuinely funny, with lots of jokes… There is also a mystery at the play’s heart which, as in a thriller, is only resolved at the very end”Charles Spencer, The Daily Telegraph

Check out Artistic Director’s Notes by John Wright here:

Irish playwright, novelist and poet Samuel Beckett was one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. For most of his working years he lived in Paris, writing in both English and French. Waiting for Godot (written in 1948 and first staged in 1953) brought him international acclaim. In 1969 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

All That Fall was written in 1956 and broadcast by the BBC the following year (the title comes from Psalms 145:14 – The Lord upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all thos that be bowed down). It was not a commissioned script; Beckett preferred to complete a work before accepting any obligation to submit it. He refused all requests (even from Laurence Olivier and from Ingmar Bergman) to allow stage performances of All That Fall, insisting that it was meant to be heard. “It is a text written to come out of the dark,” he said. Just recently Beckett’s estate has permitted stage productions, but only if presented as a radio play, and in 2012 and 2013 it premiered in London and New-York.

Blackbird’s production grew out of our interest in producing two of Beckett’s one act plays with Duncan Fraser and Lee Van Paassen – Krapp’s Last Tape and Rockabye – as additions to our regular season. When All That Fall became a possibility I approached Duncan (whose radio experience was extensive) about directing the play and after a preview performance in May for our supporters it became our choice for the 14/15 season.

This production of All That Fall could not have been presented without the substential support and encouragement of The Cultch. Many thanks to Heather and her staff for making possible the staging of this unique modern classic.

All That Fall runs from Dec 29, 2014 – Jan 24, 2015 in The Cultch’s Historic Theatre. Tickets from $19 and are available online, by phone at 604 251 – 1363, or in person at our box office at 1895 Venables Street.

This week: The 6th Annual Community Square Dance!

 

Howdy Folks,

We would like to invite you to our 6th Annual Community Square Dance on Friday, October 17 at The Cultch! Featuring live music by Shout! White Dragon, and Paul Silveria. Dancing is suitable for all ages, no experience necessary. Admission is by donation so grab your cowboy boots and mosey on over to the Historic Theatre!

Here is a little more information about the fun we have planned!

Photo booth in the Vancity Culture Lab – We are launching a Cultch Instagram account and would love to use your best pictures from tonight to kick it off. Hashtag: #TheCultch

Kid’s activities in the C-lab – Cowboy drawings, crafts, and much more!

Food, wine and beer – In the Founder’s Lounge we will be serving hot dogs, snacks, and popcorn, as well as a selection of wine and beer

Bar in the lobby – Drinks will be available for sale in the Lobby.

The Square Dance – Live music in the Historic Theatre and dancing will run from 7-10 PM. Don’t forget your cowboy hat!

Q&A with Peter Chu:
Cultch Artist-in-Residence

Right now Peter Chu can be found completing an artistic residency at The Cultch for his new solo work. We caught up with him to find out a bit more about his project and how he feels about completing an artistic residency with us here at The Cultch!

For those of us who don’t know, can you tell us what a residency is?

A residency can be approached in many different ways. Artists can use a residency to explore movement ideas, themes, or simply to better understand subject matter they would like to explore. I have chosen to use this 12-day residency at The Cultch as a technical residency – a place to dive into exploration of the lighting, sound, and multimedia elements that will be incorporated into this work. Stepping into this space last Wednesday, the first few days were spent with projection and lighting designer Eric Chad, and production manager Lois Dawson to introduce them to the movement vocabulary and themes involved in this piece. Next it was on to the technical side of this residency – getting into the nitty gritty details as to where and how we want to incorporate all the technical elements. I am extremely grateful to Heather Redfern and The Cultch to have been given this amazing opportunity to explore, discover, and research themes technically without the expectation of a final products – something that’s often expected of artists during a residency.

Photo by Lisa Wu

What does a Cultch residency mean to you as a choreographer?

One of the first shows that I saw at The Cultch was Crystal Pite’s Uncollected Work. Many years later, I was fortunate enough to actually perform here with Kidd Pivot. I have always adored this theatre and the range of dynamic shows they present in their seasons. The Historic Theatre has big personality and a beautiful energy, and I feel so honoured to have been given the opportunity to dig deeper into the themes of this new work in such a significant space.

What are your thoughts on the importance of organizations helping out the artistic community though programs such as this?

Support from community organizations is absolutely crucial in allowing for the growth and development of creativity, regardless of the art form. This kind of backing is what allows artists to thrive and flourish, and produce significant lasting works. Without this assistance, there would be countless ‘hidden gems’ – beautiful works of art that would remain as the seed of an idea, never making it through to creation.

Can you talk a bit about your creative process when creating new works?

It’s hard for me to speak on my creative process – like all things in life it’s constantly in flux, changing and mutating depending on the work and the circumstance. I hold my creative process for this specific project very near and dear to my heart: I have been trying to better understand my process while I develop this movement vocabulary for the past several years.

Photo by Lisa Wu

Where do you look for inspiration when creating choreography?

For this specific show, the word ‘ community’ continued to present itself at the forefront of my mind. I was on the road constantly for roughly five years, living out of two storage units until I made the choice to move back to Las Vegas last July. I fell in love all over again with that city and the rich range of art and entertainment it has to offer. Inspired by the opulent history of Las Vegas lounge act artists and sounds from the 1960 s, I chose to use my new home and community as the focus and starting point for this new work. This is why The Cultch is the perfect theatre to develop this performance – it has the same intimate, charming personality as many of the Las Vegas venues that have been my inspiration.

Can you tell us a bit about the work you are currently rehearsing and what your hopes are for it in the future?

I can tell you as much as I can – as this is still a work in progress, things are constantly evolving and changing. This work revolves around themes of obsession, perfection, control, and doubt. It runs with the dangers of glorifying false appearances, and pulls back the curtain to expose the truths behind the “put on” smile. The character I have developed listens to what doubt has to say, almost befriending it in a way to truly understand why doubt has such a driving force in his life. On top of all of this, we’re blending cutting edge multimedia with these deep-rooted concepts and ideas. It is incredibly exciting stuff!

The Orpheus Project: a groundbreaking musical event!

blogAttention Music lovers!

The Orpheus Project by Music on Main is coming to The Cultch from July 16 – 20! This immersive journey is filled with musical and theatrical intrigue and will absorb you into the life of Orpheus: a poet, musician, and prophet in ancient Greek mythology who inspired generations of artists such as Jean Cocteau, Tennessee Williams, and Albert Camus.

The myth of Orpheus is centered around his ability to charm all living things even inanimate stones with his music; his attempt to retrieve his wife, Eurydice, from the underworld; and his death at the hands of those who could not hear his divine music.

Imagine roaming an entire theatre, discovering rooms filled with mysterious music and surprising interactions. Through creations by Jocelyn Morlock, Veda Hille, Cassandra Miller, James Maxwell, Barry Truax, Alfredo Santa Ana, Colin Browne, George Frideric Handel and others, you’ll explore The Cultch’s Historic Theatre, Culture Lab, as well as the dressing rooms and backstage and lobby areas. You might even break a sweat as you climb stairs and roam around! Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and prepare to jump into this unique and fascinating adventure!

Music on Main have developed a growing local, national, and international reputation as tremendous storytellers for a post-classical age, creating music to bring people together. Their aim is to always create shows which give people the opportunity to make new friends, meet the artists, and to escape their to-do list for an hour or two.

Now in its eighth season, Music on Main has produced more than 180 events featuring nearly 500 musicians, creating music that has touched the souls of thousands of listeners, and helping artists around the world connect with each other and The Vancouver community.

The Orpheus Project starts on July 16 and runs until July 20 at The Cultch. Tickets start at $20 and can be purchased online or by calling the Box Office at 604.251.1363.

Q&A with the stars of DVOTE, Noam Gagnon and Nova Bhattacharya

Everybody at The Cultch is thrilled to welcome Noam Gagnon from Vision Impure (Vancouver) and Nova Bhattacharya from Nova Dance (Toronto) for the world premiere of their show DVOTE! The last show of our 13/14 season promises to be memorable! DVOTE offers an intimate world where longing and hope are magnified by the effort to find a connection between what was, what is, and what will be. In this first collaboration, Noam and Nova investigate the topics of spirituality and sexuality. We got a chance to catch up with two of Canada’s most innovative dance artists for an interview about their artistic process and chemistry.

We know you come from completely different worlds with different dance genres and inspirations, how did you decide to work together?

Nova & Noam: Yes, we are both from galaxies far, far away! Seriously though, we are both dance artists and we aren’t the first ones to boldly go into the studio with the assumption that as such we could communicate with each other and with an audience. We had a choreographic idea, we played around with it in the studio, and we decided that there was something there worth pursuing.

What do you like the most about each other’s dance style, and were you following each other’s work before beginning to create this show together?

Noam: I had heard lots about Nova as she had worked with a few of very close colleagues of mine but I had never seen her work. What I liked about her when we first met is her humour and her wit.

Nova: I’ve been watching Noam since the 90s. I love his explosive energy and how visceral and passionate his dancing is.

As shown on the poster, you will wear masks during your performances, which will make you blind from each other. What does it symbolize and how did you manage to dance while being blind?

Nova: The masks started as a device to bring the two of us onto the same page. If we were both “blinded” and destabilized, we hoped it would create a common ground. They then evolved into a metaphoric statement: when are we hiding? When are we revealing? When is it voyeuristic?

Noam: As Nova said the way it started was to create a common state beyond our known personal style of dance. Dancing with it is probably one of the hardest and most challenging tasks I have had to do. It’s an untamed beast with a life of its own, unwilling to be tamed. As for the metaphor for me, it is to reveal what is behind “the mask” and attempt to express what is invisible to the naked eyes.

What was the hardest thing about working together coming from such different backgrounds (contemporary dance and Bharatanatyam)?

Noam: Our very different views on how to generate and develop the theme of a work, and having to face a world of opposites in regards to our methods of accumulating movements into phrasing, and into creating structure. We created a work independently from one another since we were in different cities and that was a new experience for me.

Nova: My technical training is in bharatanatyam but for well over a decade I have been immersed in contemporary practice and have collaborated with many artists including Peggy Baker, José Navas, Louis Laberge-Côté and others whose techniques are different from mine. So the hardest thing about working together was not about background, but probably just the fact that we were trying to create a work while living in two different cities. We had a series of residencies in B.C., Ontario, and Quebec – it’s a challenging way to work – only coming together for short intense bursts.

The show investigates subjects such as spirituality and sexuality, what kind of audience do you think would enjoy this dance piece?

Noam: I honestly have no idea on this one, as this process could not have been farther from anything I have ever known; but that said there is a lot of HEART in this work and I hope it connects with theirs.

Nova: Spirituality and sexuality are not so much the subject matter as they were elements of conversation and inspiration that we drew on amongst others. I hope that anyone who has loved, or has wanted to love, will be moved by the images in the work.

DVOTE starts tonight and runs until May 31 at the Historic Theatre. Tickets arts at $18 and can be purchased online or by calling the box office at 604.251.1363.

An interview with Heather Redfern, Executive Director at The Cultch

Mies Julie has been playing for almost three weeks and has been the breakout hit of our 13/14 season! This love/hate story between Julie, the daughter of a landowner and John, her father’s favourite black servant, in a conservative area of South Africa, is powerful and intense. Yael Farber, writer, and director of the play, is a multiple award-winning director and playwright of international acclaim.

The reviews from both patrons and critics are coming in and they are all unanimous about the show: they love it! We caught up with Heather Redfern, Executive Director at The Cultch, to get some insight about her decision to bring the show to The Cultch’s 13/14 season.

Heather RedfernWhen and where did you see Mies Julie for the first time?
Edinburg Festival Fringe 2012

7What made you pick the show for The Cultch’s 13/14 season, and how did you know it would be a good fit for audiences here in Vancouver?
It is one of the most powerful pieces of theatre I have ever seen and I knew Vancouver audiences would appreciate the quality and excellence of the artists involved and the importance of having this conversation about where we belong in our societies, how we treat each other when we do or do not have power, and how the ownership of land, or being disenfranchised from land, affects all societies everywhere causing wars and disenchantment. Because freedom was won 20 years ago it is important for people outside of South Africa to see just where the country is now. Mandela was a great man but he is only one story.

2Mies Julie is a multi award-winning show that got sensational reviews from New York to London. How does it feel to bring the Canadian premiere of the production to The Cultch?
It is a privilege for those of us who live in the Lower Mainland to have the Baxter Theatre and the wonderful artists who create this production in Vancouver. I am overwhelmed and honoured.

pic3_highres_cmykWe know that another South African play is coming to The Cultch for 14/15 season, Cadre by Chicago by Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Richard Jordan Productions Ltd in association with the Market Theatre of Johannesburg. Is there a reason why you’ve decided to program two South African production in two consecutive seasons?
Yes, it was very deliberate. I believe that one of the things we do here at The Cultch is stimulate dialogue over multiple seasons; that productions do not live in isolation but bounce off of each other and resonate throughout a season and across several years. Having Cadre in the season will deepen the dialogue we have with audiences that we began Mies Julie.

6How would you describe Mies Julie in three words?
STEAMY, BRAVE, STUNNING

Mies Julie runs at the The Historic Theatre from until April 19, 2014 at 8 pm. Tickets are from $31 and can be purchased by calling the box office at 604.251.1363 or online.

 

Announcing: ‘The Underbelly’ cocktail!

We are delighted to present our new cocktail! Underbelly started this week and we decided we needed to celebrate by creating a unique drink: ‘The Underbelly’ cocktail!
Maureen Fleming, our Business Development Consultant and friend, used the inspiration of The Beats to make this delicious drink!

The drink is composed of:
– 1/2 ounce vodka
– 1/2 ounce tequila
– 1 ounce triple sec
– splash of coke and squeeze of lime – served in a martini glass with a wedge of lime

“This drink is based on the drinking patterns and favourites of Burroughs -actually all the Beat poets favoured red wine the most – but when they deviated, they deviated hard. When Burroughs was in Mexico and Texas he was a big tequila drinker – later in life he switched to vodka and coke as soon as it was 6 pm.  So we have married his favourites into the Underbelly.” – Maureen Fleming, Business Development Consultant

This drink will be available at the bar at The Cultch until the last performance of Underbelly for the price of $9!
Come try it before you see the show!

Underbelly runs at The Cultch until March 30, 2014 at 8 pm in the Vancity Culture Lab. All tickets are just $31 and can be purchased by calling the box office at 604. 251. 1363 or online.

GRILLIN’ & CHILLIN’ AT THE CULTCH VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION BBQ!

By Jenn Graham, Head Front of House Manager & Volunteer Coordinator

Our annual Volunteer Appreciation BBQ

Christie (Volunteer Usher) and Nathalia (Volunteer Receptionist)

The end of the season brings a mix of emotions: Relief that we made it through another busy season. Sadness that it’s all over and we’ll not see our cracker-jack volunteers for a few months. But perhaps most importantly…that happy-happy-joy-joy feeling that comes from knowing it’s time for the annual Volunteer Appreciation BBQ!!

Karen Shimokura (Volunteer Usher) Jenn Graham (Head FOH Manager and Volunteer Coordinator) & Nena Pierre (Volunteer Usher and Receptionist)

This year, the sun smiled on us & the BBQ fairy graced us with a brand new grill to help celebrate the end of the season!

‘Griller-in-training’ Nicole (Director of Patron Development)

'Grill Master' Kathryn Kirkpatrick (FOH)

Once again, Choices Markets generously donated the BBQ spread and a gaggle of gifts were donated by local businesses and Cultch supporters.

Wonderful BBQ spread provided by Choices

We’d like to thank The Georgia Straight, Mogiana Coffee, Grandview Lanes, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Science World, Vancouver Aquarium, Long Live Cats & Dogs, The Reef Restaurant, the Arts Club, Bard on the Beach, Safeway on E. Broadway,  Red Bug Bijoux, Kris Boyd & Isa Szeto for their wonderful prize donations. We couldn’t do what we do without our volunteers & we couldn’t show them sufficient appreciation without you!