We party because we are grateful!

July 12 was our annual Volunteer Appreciation BBQ!

Over the course of the 2017/18 season, over 5000 hours were contributed by Cultch volunteers! Every time you attend a Cultch or rental presentation, our wonderful team of volunteers is there to greet you, answer questions and guide you to your seats. Volunteers also help us as event photographers, office receptionists and assist with a variety of administrative jobs.
We are so very grateful to have this amazing group of over 200 people as a part of The Cultch family, and we had a blast partying with them earlier this month!
If you, or someone you know, would be interested in volunteering at The Cultch this season, please contact Lee Newman, Volunteer Coordinator, at volunteer@thecultch.com

The 2018 rEvolver Festival shows are getting RAVE REVIEWS!

The 2018 rEvolver Festival shows are getting RAVE REVIEWS!

Two actors perform Shakespeare’s Macbeth… without words! A dance theatre duet full of charm and laughs! An award-winning Fringe duo tackle the near-post-apocolyptic future! Week 2 of the rEvolver Festival has begun with more incredible shows!

Rave reviews are heating up the rEvolver Festival stage, with Jo Ledingham Theatre Reviews saying “See it!” for La Fille du Laitier’s Macbeth Muet and the Georgia Straight praising writer/director/actor Elysse Cheadle as “wickedly clever” for Fuchsia Future.

MACBETH MUET. Photo Credit: Sophie Gagnon-Bergeron. In Photo: Jérémie Francoeur

Macbeth Muet (La Fille du Laitier- Montreal)

“Mostly it’s the most wildly imaginative take on the Scottish play I’ve ever seen. See it!” ~ Jo Ledingham

“Macbeth Muet is one of the most innovative shows you’ll see this season” ~ Colin Thomas

“…. inventive and oxygenating tiny-cast retelling of Macbeth… sent me back onto the street refreshed, energized and pretty charmed as well” ~ New York Times

Fuchsia Future. Photo Credit: Paula Viitanen Aldazosa. In Photo Left to Right: Carmine Santavenere, Elysse Cheadle

Fuchsia Future (Elysse Cheadle, Vancouver)

Fuchsia Future is packed with these laugh-out-loud moments, and yet it never shies away from its dark side either…Unpretentious and experimental, with a huge heart and a wickedly clever brain, Cheadle is the writer, producer, and colead actor of Fuchsia Future, one of the strangest and most bizarre local plays in recent memory”  ~ Andrea Warner, Georgia Straight

KITT & JANE: : An Interactive Survival Guide to the Near-Post-Apocalyptic Future.
Photo credit: Jam Hamidi. In photo: Ingrid Hansen, Rod Peter Jr

Kitt and Jane (SNAFU, Victoria)

“ABSOLUTELY GENIUS. Flawless comedic timing, dynamic physicality, and a beautiful and complex friendship.” ~ New Ottawa Critics

“THIS PLAY IS GOLD. An unexpected roller-coaster of an evening, with whimsical humour, manic energy, and intelligence. You will not leave this show in a bad mood.” ~ West of West

Wanna know more? Check out this preview from Vancouver Presents!

DISTRACTINGLY SEXY. Photo Credit: Cal Wood. In Photo: Mily Mumford

Distractingly Sexy (Nebula Theatre, Vancouver)

“Funny, smart, and, yes, sexy” ~ Meghan Bell, Room Magazine

Wanna know more? Check out this preview piece from The Georgia Straight. “Tracing history with barbed wit… Mumford intermingles tales from the past with contemporary observations from her fields” ~Janet Smith, Georgia Straight


Check out rEvolver’s FREE or BY DONATION events.

PLUNGE: Showcase of Emerging Works in Progress:

the SPEAKEASY: Friday Night cocktails, live music and conversation.


rEvolver runs at The Cultch until June 3. Buy tickets online, or call The Cultch Box Office 604 251 1363

Our 17/18 season takes its final bow – thank you for making it so much fun!

Our 17/18 season takes its final bow – thank you for making it so much fun!

With the closing of Bears we have officially finished our 17/18 season — and what a season! Thank you for taking the journey with us, and making our 17/18 season our most successful one to date.

The cast of Bears gets a well deserved standing ovation! Photo by Roaming the Planet.

With 21 theatrical shows across our three different stages, three great Soft Cedar shows (and more to come!), partnerships with some of the most amazing companies in Vancouver and around the world, and a million amazing memories, it has been a busy year, and we can’t help but get a little nostalgic. Take a peek at a few of the great curtain calls from the season — we bet you can’t help but get a little nostalgic too!

And now it is your turn — take a bow — we couldn’t do any of this without you! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!


 Don’t forget to buy your subscription for our 18/19 season soon. Shows are already filling up!

Thank you for choosing to make The Cultch, and the arts, a part of your life!

Corporate Sponsor Spotlight: Giulio Recchioni from the Italian Cultural Centre

Corporate Sponsor Spotlight: Giulio Recchioni from the Italian Cultural Centre

Giulio Recchioni

Can you tell us how the Italian Cultural Centre first got involved with The Cultch?

Our very first time at The Cultch was in March 2012 with FRESCO, a play the Italian Cultural Centre commissioned from Lucia Frangione and BellaLuna Productions, telling the lesser known story of the internment of Italian citizens in Canada during WW2.

However the first proper partnership with The Cultch was in May 2017 with LA MERDA, featuring a naked Silvia Gallerano sitting on a stool on a dark stage… what a tough show that was!

What has surprised you and your colleagues most about partnering with The Cultch?

I was surprised by the richness and diversification of the shows offered at The Cultch, and also by the number of people that created a community around this historical institution in Vancouver;  some of the audience changes according to what’s playing, but there is also a hard core audience that comes to every show. I think that’s great. They trust The Cultch, they know whatever gets put on stage will be good and will have an impact on them, and they come with an open mind.

Over the years, the Italian Cultural Centre has supported several Cultch shows. Are there any highlights or memorable moments?

I still can’t help but smile when I think of Pss Pss and what they did with the ladder. Pss Pss was a funny show by Compagnia Baccalà that made adults and children laugh with non-verbal humour. In our line of work, cross-generational and cross-cultural are adjectives we use constantly, but this show brilliantly embodied both concepts.

How important do you think it is that the arts organizations continue to cultivate and sustain partnerships with corporate sponsors and local businesses?

It’s of paramount importance. The population is growing in this expensive city, and we are also seeing the consequential multiplication of cultural and artistic organizations. Often putting up cultural activities costs more money than ticket sales can generate, and government grants (municipal, provincial, federal) do not always keep up with the growing demand for funds. I hope more and more thriving businesses will want to share some of their wealth with the local community to keep this city interesting and interested.

What are you curious about right now?

I am curious about the new Creative City Strategy that the City will be rolling out – hopefully soon. There have been a number of explorative meetings to get an idea of what is needed in the arts and culture sector, and I can’t wait to see how all that knowledge will convert into an action plan.

Do you have a favorite show?

This is always such an unfair question… I see a decent number of shows throughout the year, and I have to constantly update my list of favourites. If I had to single out something I saw recently, though – I am a jazz fan, and I was lucky enough to go to Pyatt Hall for the live concert of the great baritone sax player, Gary Smulyan, with strings. He is a powerhouse!


As a registered Canadian charity, The Cultch relies on the support of the community to operate as a cultural hub; bringing diverse and engaging live performance to the stage.
Please consider making a donation today! Contact Natalie Schneck, Development Associate: natalie@thecultch.com; 604.251.1766 x.121
Charitable registration # 11928 1574 RR0001

Donor Spotlight: Lynda Stokes

Donor Spotlight: Lynda Stokes

Lynda, can you tell us about how you first got involved with The Cultch?

I first got involved with The Vancouver East Cultural Centre as an audience member. The first show I recall was the Holy Body Tattoo’s Circa in 2000, shortly after I moved to Vancouver. It was a remarkable, tango-influenced duet between Dina Gingras and Noam Gagnon with film and a live band, the Tiger Lilies. I became a regular season subscriber and then a donor and a few years ago I was asked if I would be interested in joining the Board.

What has surprised you most about volunteering with The Cultch? 

As an audience member who is also on the Board and therefore privy to the financials, it is amazing how subsidized tickets are! We think of artists and venues benefitting from government grants and sponsorships, but really it is the audience who benefits. Accessibility is a priority for The Cultch and staff work hard to keep ticket prices low and pay it forward by making tickets available for free through the Cultch Connects Program. Regular monthly donations really help with cash flow, I recently learned (although this should not have surprised me). 

Your legal practice spans several years – can you tell us how this skill set intersects with your involvement at The Cultch?

My practice consists predominantly of solicitor and advisory work on behalf of local governments. Basically, I practice municipal law and I do not go to court. There was a vetting process when I looked into joining the Board and for whatever reason I was feeling pretty flat and lacklustre when I was interviewed but I sold myself by expressing an interest in being the Board Secretary and preparing  meeting minutes. I read, write and think for a living and while I really enjoy my work, I also recognize that most people would find a lot of what I do very tedious. I do not act as a lawyer for The Cultch, but because of my legal skills and experience, I understand Board governance and I am happy to help with important but boring bits like minutes, bylaws and contract negotiations.

Can you tell us what you wish other people knew about The Cultch?

I suspect that many people know more about The Cultch than I do! It has such a long history as an important performing arts institution in Vancouver, and I know that Cultch staff engage, and are connected with many, many people locally, nationally and internationally. If I have to wish, though, I wish more people knew that it is worth the risk. Get a subscription. Invite your friends. The upcoming season looks fantastic, and it’s easy to book a whole year’s worth of entertainment and take care of birthday and other presents. You will be grateful you did when rainy winter inertia takes hold. And you can always change the dates of your tickets if something comes up. 

Is there a Cultch show that has really inspired/stayed with you? 

I just saw The Explanation and really enjoyed it. It reminded me of some of the shows that influenced me in when I was in high school – like Michel Tremblay’s Hosanna and Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls (shout out to the Grand Theatre in London, Ontario, particularly its experimental Under Grand series). The Explanation is a really lovely, empathetic exploration of a relationship and a reconciliation of self.

I am partial to dance and I really loved Company 605’s The Sensationalists from 2015 (full disclosure – I recently joined the 605 Board) and Frédérick Gravel’s All Hell is Breaking Loose, Honey from 2016. Wow those were great shows.

What are you curious about right now?

I am curious about engaging with others in The Cultch, so I am trying to start up a Cultch Club. I see it as a kind of book club alternative for theatre and theatre adjacent nerds by theatre and theatre adjacent nerds, without a lot of rules or terrible attitudes. I am curious about how can we use The Cultch to connect with other people. The potential of theatre many of us recognized at a young age: “Wherever you are from, welcome home.”

  • If you are interested in joining The Cultch Club please email Georgia Beaty, Patron Development Associate (georgia@theculch.com ) and she will put you in touch with Lynda Stokes

As a registered Canadian charity, The Cultch relies on the support of the community to operate as a cultural hub; bringing diverse and engaging live performance to the stage.
Please consider making a donation today! Contact Natalie Schneck, Development Associate: natalie@thecultch.com; 604.251.1766 x.121
Charitable registration # 11928 1574 RR0001

A Q&A with Kevin McKendrick and Lindsey Angell about BUTCHER

A Q&A with Kevin McKendrick and Lindsey Angell about BUTCHER

Butcher, an edge-of-your-seat thriller from award-winning Canadian playwright, Nicolas Billon, opens March 21 at the Historic Theatre, and runs until March 31.

Early Christmas morning, on the doorsteps of a Toronto police station, Inspector Lamb discovers an unlikely bundle; a drugged and abandoned old man, who doesn’t speak any English, dressed in a strange military uniform. Atop his head a Santa hat, and around his neck a business card impaled on a butchers hook with the words, “Arrest me,” scrawled on it. Inspector Lamb begins an investigation into the identity of the stranger that will forever tie together the lives of four people: a lawyer, a translator, the stranger and the inspector.

 

We connected with Director, Kevin Mckendrick, and performer, Lindsey Angell, to ask them a few questions about bringing the hit show to The Cultch stage.

What excites you most about bringing Butcher to The Cultch stage?

Lindsey — Butcher has managed to get under my skin and I think it will truly draw our audiences in as well. It is deceptive and sneaky and even oddly charming at times, but be careful, you might get *hooked*…hehehe.

The Cultch has partnered with Amnesty International as a Community Partner for Butcher. Our Community Partners offer us the opportunity to spread the word about important issues at the same time as helping us spread the word about our shows. Knowing what you do about Amnesty International, do you feel that it is a good fit? Why?

Kevin — I think it’s an excellent partnership because Amnesty International wrestles with the issues in Butcher every single day. In her forward to the play Louise Arbour, a former Supreme Court of Canada justice, and former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda said, “When can victims find peace when justice is elusive?” and  “Can offenders find closure if punishment is not extended to them?” Are these not huge questions for our time? Real peace and closure, it is often said, can only come from forgiveness. It falls to organizations like A.I to help us find our way through these tangled questions.

Why do you think Butcher has hit such a chord across Canada since its debut?

Lindsey — Butcher is brave. It does not choose sides or lead its audience in any way. That kind of experience in live theatre is rare and exhilarating.

In an ideal world, what would you like audiences to take away with them after seeing Butcher?

Kevin — One of my mentors, the playwright  John Murrell, impressed upon me the idea that theatre must be provocative, yet entertaining. It’s a maxim I try to apply to every play I work on. I want audiences leaving Butcher at The Cultch to feel we exceeded their expectations. I want them to be  thrilled and moved by the experience. To be glad they left the comfort of their home to take in a play. And I want them to leave the theatre arguing about the themes of justice and revenge. The best theatre serves to help us strengthen our society by spurring us to make changes.

You have put together an all-star cast of performers and creators for this production. Lindsey, what do you think Butcher offers actors that other plays may not?

Lindsey — Butcher is unlike any show I have done before. I have spoken in dialects and even other languages but never have I been given the gift of learning an invented language (playwright, Nicolas Billon, had two linquistics professors from the University of Toronto invent the language of ‘Lavinian’ specifically for this play). This story is incredibly mysterious and the characters are fighting fiercely for what they need, creating a tension I have yet to experience on stage. That’s about all I can say without spilling any spoilers.

Butcher has some very serious themes — justice, revenge, forgiveness — Have there been many discussions during rehearsals? Do you think it will stir up debate with audiences?

Lindsey — Of course! We have turned this play over and over, hashing out the ideas and the arc of the story. It is our hope that the audience will discuss the piece passionately afterwards, not only the themes but their own personal response to the ride.

Is there anything else about putting on Butcher that you would like to say a few words about?

Kevin — I have been so fortunate to have this opportunity. To work on this fine Canadian play with this outstanding team of collaborators. And it is very gratifying to us to have The Cultch recognize the importance of Nicolas Billon’s play and afford us the opportunity to share it with Vancouver audiences.

Thank you Kevin and Lindsey!

To read more about Butcher check out this great article from the Vancouver Sun, a Q&A with Peter Anderson.


Butcher runs March 20-31 at the Historic Theatre. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.


Written by: Nicolas Billon

Starring: Peter Anderson, Lindsey Angell, Noel Johansen, and Daryl Shuttleworth

Director: Kevin McKendrick

Artistic Associate: Christy Webb, Set Designer: David Roberts, Costume Designer: Jenifer Darbellay, Assistant Costume Designer: Alaia Hamer, Lighting Designer: Michael Hewitt, Original Music and Sound Design: Keith Thomas, Stage Manager: Joanne P.B. Smith, Makeup Consultant: Miss Nikki Ying, Student Apprentice: Leah Read

Official Website: www.butcherplay.com 

DONOR SPOTLIGHT: Jodi Sprackman with the Rosedale on Robson

DONOR SPOTLIGHT: Jodi Sprackman with the Rosedale on Robson

Can you tell us how the Rosedale on Robson first got involved with The Cultch?

Our long-standing partnership with The Cultch began in 2001 when we were approached to discuss accommodating your artists during the theatre season. This is our 17th year as a hotel sponsor, and we still love welcoming The Cultch’s artists to the Rosedale!

What has surprised you and your colleagues most about partnering with The Cultch?

The great relationships we’ve forged with many of the people who work at The Cultch.

Over the years there have been several artists who have made the Rosedale on Robson their home while touring shows to The Cultch.  Are there any highlights or memorable moments from meeting the artists?

Meeting Miriam Margolyes when she stayed with us in 2012 while performing in a one-woman show entitled Dickens Women. She is an award-winning actress and a long-time veteran of film, television and theatre. She was funny, outspoken and gracious (we chatted a few times during her stay), and made such an impression on us that we even changed our pool hours to accommodate her schedule (and we haven’t changed them back since!).

Jodi, can you tell us a bit more about what you do in your role as the Director of Community Relations?

I am responsible for all things community-related, with a primary focus on sponsorship agreements with various performing arts organizations. Accommodations are a big part of their budgetary requirements, and because we have the means to help out in this area, we do.

Because we’re an all-suite hotel that also happens to be located in the heart of the entertainment district, artists really enjoy staying with us. It’s an easy walk to a variety of theatres (and not too far a drive from The Cultch), and they love the convenience of having their own kitchen, especially after getting “home” after a late performance.  Working with theatre companies and festivals is a natural partnership that has flourished over the years.

How important do you think it is that the arts organizations continue to cultivate and sustain partnerships with corporate sponsors?

I think it’s crucial to create and foster these partnerships. The very nature of sponsorships focuses on building relationships where different organizations can help support one another. The reason we primarily focus on these organizations is because the arts are notoriously underfunded and are always in need of assistance from the community. The arts tend to be overlooked, and cultural events are often forced to be put on the back burner, having to be either scaled back or cancelled.

We believe that the arts are an integral part of our community as a whole, and partnering with various organizations helps foster the commitment the Rosedale has to the overall support and promotion of the arts in Vancouver. We’re committed to playing a part in helping to enrich our cultural community.

What are you curious about right now?

People. My kids say I’m nosy, but I’m really just interested (and maybe just a little bit nosy). Everyone has a story. I like learning about people and their lives.


As a registered Canadian charity, The Cultch relies on the support of the community to operate as a cultural hub; bringing diverse and engaging live performance to the stage.
Please consider making a donation today! Contact Natalie Schneck, Development Associate: natalie@thecultch.com; 604.251.1766 x.121
Charitable registration # 11928 1574 RR0001

Everything you never knew about Titus Bouffonius!

Photo of Peter Anderson by Tim Matheson

We’re getting excited about the world premiere of The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius, by Rumble Theatre opening on Nov 23.

This production is a brand-new play from Governor General’s Award-winning playwright Colleen Murphy and it’s a grotesque “bouffon” re-telling of Shakespeare’s most gruesome tragedy, Titus Andronicus.

Now, if you’re familiar with the original play, it won’t surprise you to learn that this version is also full of murder and other dastardly deeds.

Here’s a brief (tongue-in-cheek) synopsis of the play:

Pretty much sums it up!

About her play, Colleen Murphy says, “In the cack-up of the 21st century, clowns are more suitable to my adaptation of Titus Andronicus because they bring a primal urgency to a story that both begs to be taken seriously and begs not to be taken seriously. A bunch of poverty stricken clowns from the gutters acting out their grief and rage at the world; mocking everyone else at the same time”.

“Bouffon”  is a modern French theatre term that was re-coined in the early 1960s by Jacques Lecoq at his L’École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris to describe a specific style of performance work that has a main focus in the art of mockery.

“The difference between the clown and the bouffon is that while the clown is alone, the bouffon is part of a gang; while we make fun of the clown, the bouffon makes fun of us. At the heart of the bouffon is mockery pushed to the point of parody. The parody isn’t directly offensive with regard to the public; there is no deliberate intention to mock. Bouffons come from elsewhere.”- Jacques LeCoq

We can’t wait to see what Rumble is cooking up. It’s sure to be a provocative and boundary-pushing night at the theatre!


The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius runs from Nov 22 – Dec 3 at the Cultch’s Historic Theatre. Tickets are from $22 and can be found here.

Congratulations to all 2017 Jessie Richardson Theatre Award winners!

Congratulations to all 2017 Jessie Richardson Theatre Award winners!

On Monday night, June 26, the 35th Annual Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards took place at the Commodore Ballroom. To all the nominees and winners, we want to offer our sincerest congratulations. It is so wonderful to be a part of such a vibrant and diverse community of theatre professionals!

It has been noted by several, including The Georgia Straight, that this year The Jessies celebration highlighted growing inclusivity and a truer representation of the diversity of our community. Truly something to celebrate!

Read the complete list of winners here

If we were to create a list to mention all The Cultch friends and family who were honored by the awards, the list would be too long and complex, however we want to offer a special congratulations to some Cultchers who were awarded Jessies:

Jamie King (award in hand!), Brian Cochrane and Heather Redfern at the 35th Annual Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards! Candid shot captured by Bahareh Shigematsu!

  • Jamie King took home the Ray Michal Prize for Most Promising New Director.
  • Rohit Chokhani won the award for Significant Artistic Achievement – Large Theatre  for Outstanding Work in Expanding the Diversification of Vancouver Theatre through Excellence in Festival Programming for his work with Diwali Fest.
  • Leslie Dos Remedios was part of the Presentation House production of Baking Time, which took home the award for Significant Artistic Achievement – Theatre for Young Audiences  for it’s Outstanding Audience Engagement.

In addition, several shows from our 2016/2017 season had nominees in various categories: The Fighting Season, am a, and Elbow Room Cafe: The Musical. We are thrilled to be able to congratulate Kyle Jespersen for winning Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role – Small Theatre for his role in The Fighting Season.

Kyle Jespersen in The Fighting Season. Photo by Javier R. Sotres

Oh…and pssst, Quelemia Sparrow won the Sydney Risk Prize for Outstanding Original Script by an Emerging Playwright for her new play O’wet/Lost Lagoon, which is part of our upcoming 2017/2018 season! You don’t want to miss it when it plays in the Historic Theatre (May 8 -12).

Congratulations everyone!

RAVE REVIEWS: Children of God is the show to see this year!

RAVE REVIEWS: Children of God is the show to see this year!

The cast of Children of God | Photo credit: Emily Cooper | Production design by Marshall McMahen and lighting design by Jeff Harrison

If you haven’t yet seen Urban Ink’s Children of God, make sure you book your tickets right away. Reviews are pouring in, and everyone agrees; this is an important work that is not to be missed!

REVIEWS:

“If you see one work of theatre this year, make it this one” – Marsha Lederman, The Globe and Mail

“A beautiful and very powerful moment of triumphant solidarity between the stage and audience…the kind of reconciliation this country desperately needs but hasn’t yet earned”- Jerry Wasserman, The Vancouver Sun

“This is a brave work, and a starting point for important conversations …See it.” – Kathleen Oliver, The Georgia Straight

Not a dry eye in the house, as far as I could see” – Lincoln Kaye, Vancouver Observer

Children of God will stand as a catharsis for some, an introduction for others, yet a point of connection for us all” – Chelsey Stuyt, Vancouver Presents

“Julia and Tommy’s story will break your heart. Then sort of mend it.” – Jo Ledingham

 “Children of God is necessary…Go see it.” – Colin Thomas, colinthomas.ca

“Children of God is a story of redemption…Payette’s play should certainly be seen by anyone, religious or secular, who has an impassioned sense of injustice.” – John Jane, Review Vancouver

Children of God is a powerful work of living history and it should be seen by audiences across Canada.” – Peter Dickinson, Performance, Place, and Politics

“I don’t remember the last time I saw a more incredible, moving, beautiful or powerful theatrical production” – Emme Rogers, Emmerogers.ca

“[Children of God] lifts us beyond despair with a surprise ending that inspires a communal response. If that sounds vague, it’s meant to be. See it for yourself.” – Paul Durras, Vancouver Plays

“If you call yourself a Canadian then you have a duty to see this dark but illuminating work”- Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

“It was a healing, cathartic, and powerful moment that I won’t soon forget.” – Tessa Perkins Deneault, tessaperkins.ca

“It is obvious to me that this show was created and presented in a spirit of fierce compassion and hope, as is evidenced in the writing, the direction, and the provision of emotional support workers and a talkback. As such, this show is a salve. This is the kind of healing that we need and must decidedly work to carry forth.” – Sarah Thompson, Sad Mag


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