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.

 

Mies Julie critics and audiences abuzz!

Everyone’s talking about Mies Julie by Baxter Theatre Centre (South Africa), a powerful adaptation of Strindberg’s classic Miss Julie by the internationally acclaimed director Yael Farber. This amazing production has been touring for two years now, and has moved audiences here at The Cultch during its Canadian premiere.

It’s been the perfect time to bring this show to Vancouver, with April declared South African Month by the City of Vancouver. As part of that, we’ve been thrilled to have the Vancouver South African Film Festival as our Community Partner!

The positive comments about this show have been overwhelming! If you’re still wondering if you should come see this play, check out the rave reviews below:

It’s impossible to take your eyes off of Mies Julie”
Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight

“Mies Julie is an absolute stunner
Jerry Wasserman, The Province

It’s not to be missed
Jo Ledingham, The Vancouver Courier

“Mies Julie is a play that demands limitless courage
Steven Schilling, Montecristo Magazine

“Mies Julie takes us to the point where theatre stops becoming an act and truly becomes real life. In this, the play offers an entirely different theatre experience that is rare to find in Vancouver
Cecilia Lu, Vancity Buzz

“Not for the faint of heart, but South African play Mies Julie is brilliant. Disturbing, but brilliant! Go see it!”
Geraldine Eliot, @geraldineeliot

“Mies julie at The Cultch was tense, sexually charged and sad all at once
– Cindy Newman, @cindynewman

Just saw #miesjulie @TheCultch. Powerful performances
– Trina Davies, @TrinaLDavies

@yfarber @hmcronjester @TheCultch @mantsai saw the play on 27th in blore, must say…u won hearts of audiences. Too good! I came out crying”
– Pragya Prasun Singh @pragyaprasun

“Just watched Mies Julie the other day and I have to say it was AMAZING! So powerful and heart pounding. I spent the last 20 minutes on the edge of my seat pulse racing. The small cast of 4 were outstanding. I can not say enough good things about this play, you must see it”
– Kyle Pearson

Just was amazed. Beautiful production. Go see it before it’s gone. Stunning
– Michael Hedden

What a powerful show! Not an easy view but worth every second!
– Bruce McPherson

Do not miss the haunting performances and searing power in #MiesJulie @TheCultch. Go. GO
– Alexis Kellum-Creer, @AKellumCreer

“If you are fortunate enough you will go and see Mies Julie at @TheCultch before they leave us on the 19th. This is what theatre should be”
Kayvon Kelly, @KayvonKelly

Dear #YVR: You must go see Mies Julie at @TheCultch. It is absolutely superb and will take me a few days to process!
– Lois Dawson @SMLois

Just saw Mies Julie at @TheCultch @hmcronjester and @mantsai killed it. Go see it. #intense #emotional
– John deMercado @jdemo67

Many reasons to see Mies Julie at @TheCultch. One is the live saxophone – a low growl that sneaks up on your awareness like a fog. Awesome
– TJ Dawe, @TJ_Dawe

“Mies Julie is at @TheCultch until April 19. Powerful stuff, go see it! And go to one of the talk back performances it was fascinating
– Amanda Mitchell, @iheartcities

Mies Julie runs until Apr 19, 2014 at the Historic Theatre. Tickets start at $31 and can be purchased online or by calling the box office at 604.251.1363.

Mies Julie opening night photos!

Last week we were proud to host the long awaited Canadian premiere of Mies Julie by Baxter Theatre Centre (South Africa). Critics and patrons didn’t take long to voice their opinion about this scintillating production. The Georgia Straight wrote that “it is impossible to take your eyes off Mies Julie” and Jo Ledingham said that “it is not to be missed”!

We hope you enjoy our opening night photos below (taken by one of our wonderful volunteers, Nena Pierre) and a big congratulations to the cast, crew, and artistic team of Mies Julie.

Maureen Flemming, our Business Development Consultant with Nicole McLuckie, our Director of Patron Development, welcoming the guests

Maureen Fleming, our Business Development Consultant with Nicole McLuckie, our Director of Patron Development, welcoming the guests

Emily Stuible with her friend Emma Wolchok

Emily Stuible with her friend Emma Wolchok

Our guest speaker David Chudnovsky with Heather Redfern, Executive Director of The Cultch and Jenn Graham, Head Front of House and Volunteer Coordinator

Our guest speaker David Chudnovsky with Heather Redfern, Executive Director of The Cultch and Jenn Graham, Head Front of House and Volunteer Coordinator

Borja Brown, our Production Manager with Nosipho Bophela, Stage Manager for 'Mies Julie'

Borja Brown, our Production Manager with Nosipho Bophela, Stage Manager for Mies Julie

Marianne Landers, Frank Constanzo, Annalies Camfferman and Dyane Lynch

Marianne Landers, Frank Costanzo, Annalies Camfferman, and Dyane Lynch

Zoleka Helesi, playing Christine, with Bongile Mantsai, playing John

Zoleka Helesi, playing Christine, with Bongile Mantsai, playing John

Mark Leiren-Young with Donna Wong Juliani

Mark Leiren-Young with Donna Wong Juliani

One of our volunteers, Bob Nath, with Hilda Cronje, playing Julie

One of our volunteers, Bob Nath, with Hilda Cronje, playing Julie

Mies Julie runs until April 19, 2014  at the Historic Theatre. Tickets starts at $31 and can be purchased online or by calling the box office at 604. 251. 1363.