“Love will keep us together”

“Love. Love will keep us together…”

It is safe to say there is a lot of bad news out there these days. And though we do not want to downplay the seriousness of this time, it is encouraging, despite the widespread international tragedy of COVID-19, just how much people are coming together to show love for each other in unique and poignant ways. From the 7 o’clock cheers for our health workers, to people helping out their neighbors, to local breweries and distilleries heeding the call for more hand sanitizer. And artists are sharing the love too! So many generous artists are taking to online platforms to share their talents with the world! We don’t know about you, but it really is love that is getting us through here at The Cultch.

We asked some staff, patrons, and artists what it was they loved about The Cultch, and we were flooded with such beautiful heartfelt responses—they just warmed our hearts! It means so much to us to hear just how much you value the work we do!

Here are some of the wonderful responses of love we have gotten this week!

Pippa Mackie as Pinocchio in East Van Panto. Photo by Tim Matheson

“I love the Cultch because it brings the community together.
I love the Cultch because the arts are an essential service.
I love the Cultch because they empower me as an artist.
I love the Cultch because they bring people together.
I love the Cultch because they provide an opportunity for local artists.
I love the Cultch because without them…East Van just wouldn’t be East Van.
I love the Cultch because I have seen the impact the Panto has on audience members.
I love the Cultch.”  – Pippa Mackie, local playwright & performer

“I love The Cultch because the shows I’ve seen at The Cultch are some of my most cherished memories. So it’s like the Cultch is this old friend who keeps surprising you.” – Veda Hille, local singer, pianist & songwriter

“I love the Cultch because …
it’s in my neighbourhood
it’s always felt like a second home
Len Gardiner is the world’s coolest Caretaker
it’s where I can see non-commercial art
it’s a not-for-profit
it connects me to the world
it’s the first place I saw a live show in vancouver
it used to be a church
it’s the theatre I’ve performed most in, in my LIFE!
I’ve seen about 200 shows there”
– Marcus Youssef, local playwright & performer

“I love The Cultch because it is a family.” –Louise Chapman, Development Manager

“I love The Cultch because it is a place of connection in a time when connection is difficult.” –Lisa Mennell, Communications Associate

“I love The Cultch because it is a gathering place where everyone is welcomed with open arms.” –Chelsea Isenor, Marketing Manager

“I love The Cultch because when I walk through the doors it feels like a very familiar place. It feels like I’m coming home.” Corey Payette, Urban Ink Artistic Director

“I love The Cultch for the bravery and innovation. The sense of community and opportunity to see performers extend their (and my) reach.” –Rick Barker, patron

Kit Redstone and the rest of the Testosterone cast. Photo by Luke Forsyth

 

“I love The Cultch because I had the great pleasure of bringing my work there all the way from London. It was and still is the most sensational venue I have ever had the privilege to work with. Located in the heart of a wonderful community, every single staff member works tirelessly to make this a really special place. I have never experienced a team so generous, fun, good natured and talented at what they do. A good venue should feel like a family working in absolute harmony, and this was my experience of working with the theatre. The work they program is bold and important – showcasing plays that entertain, delight and most importantly informs, inviting their audience into important questions raised. The theatre is in many ways the centre of a gorgeous community, it’s beating heart is a conduit to the varied voices that it brings to the stage. Without a doubt, my favourite theatre in the world.” – Kit Redstone, Testosterone writer & performer

“I love The Cultch because it’s our cultural living room where we gather and share and converse and remember. It’s this incredible gathering place for all kinds of different communities who are all passionate and devoted to the arts – patrons, volunteers, theatre makers, dance makers – it’s this amazing home for both local artists and visiting artists which is a really beautiful thing.”Dave Deveau, Playwright / Zee Zee Theatre Associate Producer

“I love The Cultch because the crowded lobby feels and smells like one big friendly Vancouver hug.” –Amiel Gladstone, local playwright & director

“I love The Cultch because East Van is my home and the Cultch helps me better feel the rhythm of its pulse. Whenever I’m there it feels like stopping by a friend’s house. Except that friend has a really big house…but lawd do they know how to share every inch of it!” –Jivesh Parasram, Rumble Theatre Artistic Director

“I love The Cultch because it’s my home away from home – where I can spend time with my neighbours, hear their stories, and celebrate our community together.” –Christine Quintana, local playwright & performer

“I love The Cultch because it’s the place where the world comes to me.
I love The Cultch because it’s where I get to see old friends and make new ones.
I love The Cultch because this is the place where my dreams came true.
I love The Cultch because it is a wormhole that transports me across time and space.
I love The Cultch because it celebrates BIPOC and LGBTQ2SIA+.
I love The Cultch because it is where my partner and I have our dates nights.
I love The Cultch because of the people who work there.
I love The Cultch because it expands my mind as an artist.
I love The Cultch because The Cultch audience has become my audience.
I love The Cultch because Heather Redfern never panders. The work she programs is challenging, beautiful and brave.
I love The Cultch because it is a place where womens’ voices are celebrated.
I love The Cultch because its commitment to reconciliation goes beyond land acknowledgments.
I love The Cultch because it is the best thing in Vancouver.
I love The Cultch because it has been the backdrop for a thousand selfies :)”
–  Tetsuro Shigematsu, local playwright & performer


Don’t those messages of love just warm your heart? Thank you for all the love you give us! With your love and support we look forward to when all of this is over, and we can come together again to sit in the dark—friends, family, colleagues, and strangers—and have our hearts and minds transformed by the arts once again.

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Staff Picks #2: 2018/19 Season shows that we don’t want you to miss!

2018/19 Season shows that we don’t want you to miss!

The second blog post in a summer series featuring some of the 2018/19 shows that our staff just cant wait for! Read the first post here!


Lee Newman, Assistant to Head Front of House Manager / Volunteer Coordinator. Still photo from Parlour Panther music video by Grace Gadston at Jaunty Media

Lee Newman, Assistant to Head Front of House Manager/ Volunteer Coordinator, Dakh Daughters, Jan 15- 19, 2019

I am so excited for Dakh Daughters, starting January 15th at The York Theatre, part of the Femme Series. They bring this thrilling and captivating power to their performance that I LOVE. I am fascinated by how modern musicians perform, because these days the performance component is often much more than just people with their instruments. The Dakh Daughters use theatrical elements with their bodies, their voices, their instruments, their costumes, and the lighting, all in a uniquely bold and gritty style to create an unforgettable performance! And this I just got from the youtube clip on The Cultch’s website! I cannot WAIT for the live version.


Natalie Schneck, Development Associate. Photo by Tiana He

Natalie Schneck, Development Associate, This Duet We’ve Already Done (so many times), Nov 27 – Dec 1, 2018

I am excited for This Duet We’ve Already Done (so many times). For me, Frédérick Gravel’s work always feels like a sexy rock show with sophisticated themes woven throughout. I often sense a tension between power/persona and vulnerability. Both Frédérick and Brianna are charismatic performers and I am curious to see the energy that’s created when they work together.

 

 

 


Meghan Robinson, Rentals Sales Manager. Photo by Tiana He

Meghan Robinson, Rentals Sales Manager, NASSIM, May 7 – 19, 2019

I can’t begin to describe how excited I am to have Nassim Soleimanpour at The Cultch. His production “White Rabbit, Red Rabbit” was one of the most powerful pieces of theatre I have ever seen. It established my passion and adoration for the theatre. I have faith that “Nassim” will have a similar affect. I have no doubt that it will both connect audiences, and blow them away, from the moment the script is taken out of its envelope.

 

 


Leslie Dos Remedios, Sales Associate. Photo by Tiana He

Leslie Dos Remedios, Sales Associate, The Ones We Leave Behind, Oct 24- Nov 3, 2018

I’m excited to see The Ones We Leave Behind. It’s been so rewarding seeing VACT, Loretta and the entire creative team develop this show for over a year. It’s also great to have an ensemble show from VACT on The Cultch stage – we get to be a place where underrepresented voices have a platform to tell our stories.

 

 

 


Single tickets go on sale July 16, but you can purchase a subscription today to save! Save 20% with our Choose 5 subscription package or 25% with our Choose 8 subscription package! This season, the more you see, the more save. You’ll enjoy an exciting roster of artists and programs, from the best seats in the house.

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.

“Elbow Room Café: The Musical” opens at the York Theatre March 2

Elbow Room Café: The Musical opens at the York Theatre March 2

Elbow Room Café: The Musical will celebrate its opening on March 2 in the York Theatre and will run until March 12.

Elbow Room Cafe: The Musical is a candid look inside Vancouver’s most iconic eatery The Elbow Room Cafe. Known for its raucous service, celebrity sightings, and hearts of gold, the musical will feature everything you love about Vancouver’s favourite “abuse restaurant.”  You can look forward to a healthy serving of beloved owners Patrice (Allan Zinyk) and Bryan (David M. Adams), the crazy antics of hung-over bachelorette-party guests, flashy drag queens, and lots and lots and lots of love.

“Playwright Dave Deveau and composer Anton Lipovetsky pay homage to downtown Vancouver’s legendary breakfast spot, famed as much for its food as for the sarcastic service.”  – The Georgia Straight

The Elbow Room Cafe on Davie St. has been an local favourite for over three decades. Opened in 1983 by Patrick Savoie and Bryan Searle, it has become know for being an “abuse restaurant” – one of those fun places to go to to get a little witty banter with your breakfast.

The real Elbow Room Cafe, 560 Davie St. – The inspiration for Zee Zee Theatre’s new musical

We are really excited, and it seems we are not the only ones! Elbow Room Cafe: The Musical is one of The Georgia Straight’s “spring picks”  featured in the Spring Arts Preview. Kathleen Oliver  says the draw of the show is it’s “Sassy irreverence, which creators [Anton] Lipovetsky, and [Dave] Deveau, and director Cameron Mackenzie have proven they can dish out in generous portions.”

Not only did Elbow Room Cafe: The Musical get a mention in the spring picks, it was also featured as the cover story! “You know, the place is chaotic and rhythmic and colourful and gaudy and loud. It immediately sort of lends itself to the form.” says Dave Deaveau in the article by Alexander Varty , stating why they chose to create a musical about the local restaurant.

A couple Cultch staff display the Georgia Straight cover featuring Elbow Room Cafe: The Musical

If you’re interested in hearing a little more about how this show has developed, check out this great interview with Dave Deveau and Cameron Mackenzie on Roundhouse Radio’s Janice and Corey. And if you’re a foodie, make sure you check out CKNW’s Food Glorious Food. The Podcast hosts Richard Wolak and Zahra Alani share their enthusiasm for Elbow Room Cafe: The Musical.

“After a remarkable 34-year run, Vancouver’s most deliciously theatrical experience is finally taking the stage.” The Georgia Straight

Zee Zee Theatre Playwright Dave Deveau, and actors Allan Zinyk and David M. Adams on the cover of The Georgia Straight

Get 15% off your food bill at the real Elbow Room Café (560 Davie St) when you show your Elbow Room Café: The Musical ticket stub!

Elbow Room Café: The Musical runs at The York Theatre, 639 Commercial Drive, from March 1 – 12. Tickets are available online, by phone at 604.251.1361, or in person at 1895 Venables St.

The Cultch would like to thank our Production Sponsor -TD Bank, and our Community Partner – Qmunity.

Reviews are in for The Fighting Season…and they are Great!

Reviews are in for The Fighting Season…and they are Great!

Photo by Javier R. Sotres

Last Wednesday we opened The Fighting Season, our first show of 2017, and the winner of the 2015 Cultchivating the Fringe Award. What a way to start!  We are SO happy with the response it has been getting.

The Fighting Season is a deeply poignant play that delves into the heart of the Afghan war through the perspective of three Canadian medical personnel. The play examines the experiences of an OR surgeon, a medic, and a nurse as they deal with their experiences in Afghanistan. The Fighting Season addresses three of the many ways people deal with PTSD, and is partially based on the experiences of local playwright Sean Harris Oliver’s father who was an OR surgeon  in Afghanistan.

The reviews are unanimous, The Fighting Season is not to miss!

“Theatrical make-believe has rarely felt more VISCERAL.” – Jerry Wasserman, The Vancouver Sun

“The performances under the direction of Evan Frayne are uniformly TERRIFIC.”- Mark Robins, Vancouver Presents

“The play feels excruciatingly real and scrupulously HONEST…it’s a powerful piece of theatre made even more potent by three SUPERB performances.” – Jo Ledingham, joledingham.ca

“Visceral and MOVING, The Fighting Season shines as a FASCINATING study of war medics.” – Lauren Chancellor, TheReviewweekly

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The Fighting Season is selling fast! Don’t miss it, get your tickets.

The Fighting Season runs until Jan 21, 2016 in the Vancity Culture Lab. Tickets are $35. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363