Behind The Wonderheads

We are thrilled to have the Wonderheads back at The Cultch for their presentation of Loon, running until November 23 in the Historic Theatre. If you missed their presentation of Grim and Fischer in 2013 be sure not to miss this one! The Wonderheads are an award-winning physical theatre company specializing in mask performance and exquisite visual storytelling for both adults and children. Their work is performed in hand-crafted full-face mask; a wordless style that has been described as watching a living cartoon.

Loon

 

Loon tells the whimsical story of Francis, a lovelorn cinema janitor. The Wonderheads step into the life of this lonely man and look for love. In this strange and beautiful story, we are left wondering, can a man truly love the moon?

“A magnificent mix of puppetry, mime, soundscape and mask-work that gives the life of a poor urban schlemiel such dignity and pathos, you can’t help but be moved, first to laughter, then to tears.”
– Edmonton Journal

“Genius both in concept and execution doesn’t begin to describe what Braidwood and Phoenix accomplish.
– Calgary Sun

Check out another great review here from the Winnipeg CBC.

If you’re interested in who is behind the Heads, listen to this podcast with Kate Braidwood and Andrew Phoenix and find out how the Wonderheads met, how they were inspired by mask work, and how their shows have evolved over time.

Also, here is a really fun video of how the masks are made by Kate Braidwood titled Behind the Heads: Making a Mask.

 

‘Connect the Plots’: Gardening the Stage

The Cultch, in conjunction with the Environmental Youth Alliance, IGNITE!, Strathcona Community Gardens, and Theatre on Earth is proud to present Connect the Plots, an exciting youth program that has blossomed thanks to the nurturing hand of Rob Leveroos. This summer, the youth environmentalists/artists underwent a truly comprehensive experience, as they not only worked on the art of performance and acting, but cultivated their own ecological theatre/performance space.

Young actors giving the garden some TLC with spunky paint

An actor sporting a spooky mask, made by a member of Theatre on Earth

The garden boasts impressive local superlatives. It contains BC’s largest public heritage apple espalier and it’s the first public building in Vancouver to be granted a permit for the use of environmentally sustainable energy and waste treatment systems (the Eco-pavilion).

Vancouver's first Eco-pavilion

Refreshments will be prepared using the garden’s abundant harvest, coming from an orchard with 30 different kinds of fruit trees, a corn stalk wall, an herb garden, and a greenhouse. The seasonal pond and native trees are extra bonuses as they render the garden a friendly spot for wildlife. The theatre lobby includes a lovely lavender promenade and a spot with an upright ‘planted’ piano.

The orchard containing 30 different kinds of fruit trees

The Environmental Youth Alliance greenhouse

The seasonal pond

'Planting' the piano!

Connect the Plots has also received wide media coverage for its wholly unique and environmentally sound approach to theatre. The experience was learning about sustainability and local food sourcing as much as it was about improving the young artists’ craft in acting, music, and puppetry.

Read about the preview of Connect the Plots as covered by the Vancouver Sun here.

Check out the detailed review by the Georgia Straight here.

Check out the awesome work done by the Environmental Youth Alliance here.

Connect the Plots is ready for its sprightly unveiling on August 16 at 7pm.  It is running until Sunday (only three performances from Aug 16 – 18) so come on down to enjoy some theatre, outdoor fun, and lovingly-cultivated treats! Admission is by donation.