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.

Announcing the 2017 rEvolver Festival Mainstage!

A man stuck in a London train station. A live game show. A cardboard puppet sci-fi western. A live drag attari video game musical. An embarrassing birthday gift. A Spanish Vampire bar. A bespoke handmade book. The meaning of love.

Upintheair Theatre is thrilled to be back at The Cultch for the fifth annual rEvolver Theatre Festival. rEvolver runs from May 24th – June 4th, presenting new work by Vancouver and Canada’s most exciting up and coming performers and theatre creators. Past rEvolver Festivals have included world premieres of hit shows such as Jordan Hall’s ‘Kayak’, Delinquent Theatre’s ‘Stationary: A Recession-Era Musical” (which featured as part of The Cultch’s 2015/16 season) and Mind of a Snail’s gorgeous shadow puppetry in ‘Caws and Effect’.

This year’s programming represents the rich diversity of voices, aesthetics, and styles among Vancouver and Canadian emerging professional theatre makers. Join us in seeing all that this incredible community of artists has to offer.

Got to revolverfestival.ca for all the information you need!

MAINSTAGE SHOWS:

FREE EVENTS:

  • Habitats Isabelle Kirouac & Nayana Fielkov (Vancouver)
  • Plunge in collaboration with Resounding Scream Theatre (Vancouver)
  • SHINY Kelly McInnes (Vancouver)
  • UPDRAFTS Reading Series featuring new works by emerging playwrights

Excited by what you see? There are a number of different ways you can purchase tickets!

  1. With the 6-show flex pass, the passholder can see up to six individual shows, take five friends to one show, or any combination in between!
  2. If you can’t see 6 shows, you can still save by purchasing a 3-show pass instead!
  3. And of course individual tickets are available both through The Cultch’s Box Office and at the door.

Great Reviews for Elbow Room Café: The Musical

Great Reviews for Elbow Room Café: The Musical

Zee Zee Theatre’s Elbow Room Café: The Musical celebrated its opening on March 2 and was an unqualified success! We had an amazing evening with lots of fun!  It seems we aren’t the only ones this musical has infected with joy – take a look at these reviews and get infected with the Elbow Room Café fever!

Photo credit: Tina Krueger Kulic

“Elbow Room Café: The Musical is simply the most JOYFUL, LOVING, FUNNY show to hit the York Stage.” – Jo Ledingham

“It’s a play that is endearing, heartwarming, uproariously funny, sweet, sassy and just PLAIN FUN!” – Monika Forberger, Entertainment Vancouver

“Underneath the belly laughs and social commentary, this love letter to Vancouver is FULL OH HEART” – Carly Whetter, Vancouver Magazine 

“It is tough not to adore this HEARTFELT TRIBUTE.” – Mark Robins, Vancouver Presents

“Perhaps it’s the nostalgia, the familiarity, and the comfort that so touches the audience, much like Elbow Room Café itself.” – Ljudmila Petrovic, Sad Mag

“Anton Lipovetsky’s WONDERFUL MUSIC and lyrics were so memorable. I’ll be humming along for the next few days.” – Lauren Chancellor, The Reviews Weekly

“Elbow Room Café is a LITTLE PIECE OF JOY.” – Ed Vaughan-Hughes, Daily Hive

If you are interested in reading more reviews or you want to know how this show has developed, check out Broken Leg Reviews,  Review Vancouver and Artslandia.

Photo credit: Tina Krueger Kulic

Elbow Room Café: The Musical runs from Mar 1 – 12, 2017 in the York Theatre. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

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!

Photo credit: Tina Krueger Kulic

Breaking News: The Cultch Receives Funding Through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund

Breaking News: The Cultch Receives Funding Through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund

The Cultch would like to thank the Department of Canadian Heritage for their support through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund to support the purchase of specialized equipment.

“The Vancouver East Cultural Centre is extremely excited to receive this support from the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund. This funding enables us to make some necessary upgrades to our facilities and technology so we can better serve the multiple communities that partake in performance at Cultch venues. Audiences, artists and other users will all benefit from the upgraded ticketing system, and the theatrical equipment will go a long way in ensuring the Cultch can continue to support and present the best of local, national and international performance and community-based programs. We are grateful to the Government of Canada for showing leadership and commitment by investing in our community through the arts, and we encourage all levels of government to follow this enlightened example.”—Heather Redfern, Executive Director, Vancouver East Cultural Centre

Managing Director, Cindy Reid, gives address to media and audience in the Vancity Culture Lab

 

Excerpt from Department of Canadian Heritage News Release:

The Government of Canada provides support for cultural infrastructure through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund

January 27, 2017 – Vancouver – Department of Canadian Heritage

The Vancouver East Cultural Centre, a multidisciplinary arts presenter known locally as the Cultch, is receiving $239,263 from the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund to support the purchase of specialized equipment. The Honourable Hedy Fry, Member of Parliament (Vancouver Centre), announced this investment today on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.

Funding will be used to purchase and install new audio, video and lighting equipment and related hardware for the Cultch’s venues. It will also support the purchase of new ticketing, venue and event management software. This specialized equipment will allow the Cultch to increase the variety of its performances, while enhancing its technical capacity.

“Supporting cultural infrastructure is paramount for the growth and vitality of our communities and artists. Our government is proud to invest in the Vancouver East Cultural Centre as it continues to support our artists and contribute to the development of Canadian music, dance and theatre.” —The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“The Vancouver East Cultural Centre has been a cultural and artistic hub in the Lower Mainland for more than 40 years. I am delighted that this investment will allow the Cultch to continue to entertain audiences with exciting and innovative programming for years to come.” —The Honourable Hedy Fry, Member of Parliament (Vancouver Centre)

Quick Facts

  • The Cultch opened in 1973 at the Historic Theatre on Venables Street in east Vancouver. It has grown significantly in recent years and also now operates the VanCity Culture Lab, Jim Green House and the recently renovated York Theatre.
  • The Cultch offers programming in theatre, dance, music and the visual arts, featuring artists from across Canada and around the world.
  • The Canada Cultural Spaces Fund program seeks to improve physical conditions for artistic creativity and arts presentation or exhibition. It is also designed to increase access for Canadians to performing, visual, and media arts, and to museum collections and heritage displays.

The Invisible Hand: A Note From Director Richard Wolfe

Pi Theatre’s The Invisible Hand opens this week at The Cultch and we can’t wait to present this critically acclaimed production. Directed by Richard Wolfe, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar’s high-stakes thriller follows a kidnapped American trader in Pakistan playing the market for his life. In this riveting, relevant play, taut scenarios unfold as the trader works to earn his release while unwittingly handing the tools for financial chaos and political vindication to his captors. The production made The Georgia Straights ‘17 Things to Do in Vancouver’ this week as well as Vancity Buzz’s ‘6 Hottest Shows in Vancouver’.

Here are the Directors Notes from Richard Wolfe as preface for the show:

Pi is proud to be producing the Canadian premiere of Ayad Akhtar’s The Invisible Hand, presented on the Historic Theatre stage by the visionary team here at The Cultch. I knew as soon I read this script a year-and-a-half ago that it was a Pi show. Bold, smart and visceral – it’s the kind of full and rich theatre experience our audiences have come to expect from our company.

Back in 2014, US-led airstrikes on ISIS were just beginning. I wondered then how the situation would look by the time we opened Akhtar’s play in Vancouver. The naïve, hopeful part of me thought perhaps the situation would have improved. Sadly, it hasn’t.

Akhtar is a wonderful writer. His language is strong and his characters are vivid. But what I like most about The Invisible Hand is how his characters tend to be neither all good nor all bad. In my mind, ambiguous characters make the best theatre.

Akhtar has said he has a deep interest in exploring the themes of Muslim identity in the contemporary world, as well as the workings of the global financial system. Both of these themes are explored in the play you’re about to see.

How do people from different backgrounds become involved in insurgency movements? And what role does the invisible hand of the market play in today’s globalized world? Does it contribute to the general good, as Adam Smith wanted us to believe in his book An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (where the title of this play can be found)? Does a world full of self-interest really benefit others in the long run?

The longing for money is fairly universal. But what do we do with it when we have it? And when we have it, what will it do to us?

The Invisible Hand runs from Apr 5 – 23, 2016 in the Historic Theatre. Tickets from $20 and are available online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363

Hansel and Gretel: An East Van Panto ends our hugely successful 2015 season!

Dawn Petten and Maiko Yamamoto (front) as Hansel and Gretel with Caitlin Goruk, Allan Zinyk, Carly Pokoradi, Josue Laboucane, and Lillian Doucet-Roche; photo Emily

Photo by Emily Cooper

Thank you to everyone who made Theatre Replacement`s Hansel and Gretel: An East Van Panto a huge success. Charlie Demers` witty script, Veda Hille`s campy songs, and the superb acting, directing, and set design, made it one of the best Pantos yet.

But there is not much that can be said that will top what loyal audience members and media outlets have been saying.

It wouldn’t be the holidays without a little pantomime. Now on its third year, East Van Panto has proven itself a seasonal tradition” — Erika Thorkelson, The Vancouver Sun

Super-silly and with more puns than Vancouver has rainy days, Hansel and Gretel: An East Van Panto shifted the Grimm’s fairytale from Germany to Vancouver East. We booed, we cheered and you can, too”-  Jo Ledingham , Vancouver Courier

Had such an amazing time at @TheCultch watching #eastvanpanto! Amazing talent from a cast who truly love what they do! Thank you to them!!!” – Lavina Goossen @lavinahgoossen

We`re thrilled that the incredible year was also recognized by the critics on their year in review lists.

1)  The Vancouver Sun (5 out of 10 picks were Cultch productions!)

2)  Westender

3)  Georgia Straight critic Colin Thomas`s blog

4)  Vancouver Courier

Thank you to all the folks that made 2015 a memorable year for The Cultch and we hope that you will allow us to make your 2016 as memorable as we navigate the Global cultural landscape to bring these gems to East Vancouver.

The Faces of The Cultch: Lorin Ritchie – Volunteer, Subscriber and Donor!

LorenThe Faces of The Cultch…’ is a profile series on The Cultch blog where we  feature staff members, volunteers, subscribers, and community movers and shakers. Stay tuned for upcoming photos and interviews and drop us a line at ricky@thecultch.com if you have a burning question for one of our staff members or volunteers!

Lorin Ritchie is a volunteer, subscriber, and donor to The Cultch and we were so happy to chat with Lorin about her recent night out at the Bill Reid Gallery Dinner!

Every year, we hold a fabulous gala on the Historic Theatre of The Cultch. It’s a night to remember: dinner on the Historic stage, a silent and live auction, dancing, special performances, and live music. We also auction off a very special prize: dinner for you and nine friends in the Bill Reid Gallery, hosted by Martine Reid and our very own Managing Director Cindy Reid. Catered by an amazing chef, with wine pairings and a behind-the-scenes look at the gallery collection, it’s one of the most special nights of our year here at The Cultch. This year, featured artist Beau Dick also stopped by the gallery to perform for the party-goers. We chatted with Lorin, who attended this year’s Bill Reid Gallery Dinner.

The Cultch: What did you think of your first Gala at The Cultch?

Lorin Ritchie: It was marvelous! I’d never been to the Gala before and I loved that the event was in the theatre on the stage. Totally fabulous!

The Cultch: Can you tell us a little bit about your Bill Reid Gallery Dinner experience?

LR: It was amazing. I know a little bit about Indigenous art, not as much as I would like to, and to have Martine show us around the gallery was so special. It’s a beautiful gallery, the artist showed up and it was so much fun. Of course we were with a big group of friends (including my friend Nancy, who won the Live Auction prize of the Dinner!), so it was bound to be a marvelous evening. Oh, and the food was amazing!

The Cultch: You’re a huge supporter of The Cultch, Lorin, as a donor, subscriber and volunteer! What inspires you to be such a supporter?

LR: Well, I subscribe, and I am a volunteer usher and now I’m a Super Subscriber! When I was selecting my shows for the upcoming season, I added on the Super Subscriber donation ($125) because I want to contribute. The Cultch does such amazing work, and it feels nice to support the organization.

The Cultch: You attended a Super Subscriber event last year, our “Behind the Famous Puppet Death Scenes” event, which was a special post-show reception and talk back with the cast (and puppets) of the show. We have some really exciting Super Subscriber events coming up this season, and we are so excited to see you there! Is there a show you are particularly looking forward too?

LR: The Super Subscriber event was so much fun! It’s a lovely little bonus. I attended the Season Launch party and, well, it’s a hard question but I think Empire of the Son is the one I am looking forward to the most!

Thanks Lorin!

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.

Community Day at The York Theatre

Bring the family! Bring friends! Bring yourself! Mark this date on your calendars everyone! The York Theatre’s first Community Day Event is happening on Sunday, June 21. Swing by anytime between 11am to 4pm for free food, prizes, activities, and a big screen viewing of FIFA Women’s Cup Soccer. Also taking place on the same day will be Commercial Drive’s Annual Car Free Day! Attracting attendees across the Lower Mainland, it will be a great time to be on the Drive with tons of exciting things happening all throughout the street.

Here are a few fun things to look forward to Community Day at The York Theatre.

Smudging Ceremony

A smudging ceremony is a practice of Indigenous peoples and cultures where sacred plants are burned to drive away negative energies, help restore balance as well as stimulate centering and healing. Plants such as tobacco, cedar, sage and sweet grass are burned and the smoke is directed with a feather or a fan of feathers.

Crafts for the Family! Prizes! Live Music! 

FIFA Women’s Cup Soccer and Free Hot Dogs, Popcorn, and Refreshments!

Soccer game starts at 1:30pm so have a break from the heat and grab a spot in our air conditioned theatre.  Exact teams to be determined. Also, enjoy some popcorn, refreshments and a dog on us!  Hot dog that is.

Community Day at the York Theatre is a free event and falls on the same day as the street-wide event, Commercial Drive Car Free Day! If there is one day of the year to be on the Drive, don’t miss Sunday, June 21.

The rEvolver Festival Opens This Week!

The 2015 rEvolver Festival kicks off on Wednesday, May 20 with three local performances on the opening night of the Festival:

7.00PM Caws and Effect (Mind of a Snail, Vancouver)
Historic Theatre

Crows are re-dreaming the world. Is the future all it’s cracked up to be?

Mind of a Snail’s large scale shadow theatre production is an exploration of survival and extinction from a bird’s eye view. Funny, beautiful and unique, with handmade layered projections, puppetry, masks, and an original musical score. The story can be seen as a modern fable, a tongue-in-cheek nature documentary, or the animated dream of a sleeping bird. In 2014, Caws & Effect won Patrons Pick at the Winnipeg Fringe and Pick of the Fringe at the Vancouver Fringe Festival. More info

8.00PM Double Recessive (Jordan Lloyd Watkins, Vancouver)
Culture Lab

A blessing. A curse. A one in four chance. A people on the brink of extinction. What would you do if you were the last of your kind?
Double Recessive. “Opression. Genocide. Comedy.” is a savage comedy about an eerily familiar dystopia. Double Recessive shows us the history of the Ginger crisis, and how society reacts when a lone Red is born, years after their extinction. A nasty, seemingly extreme, look at how society deals with “the other”, everything in Double Recessive is based on real events. Double Recessive is the multi-media brain-child of creator/performer Jordan Lloyd Watkins, working with award-winning director David Bloom. More info

9.15PM Hell of a Girl (Jeff Gladstone & The Bad Ideas, Vancouver)
Historic Theatre

Hell of a Girl is a unique musical theatre experience. The story is loosely based on the myth Orpheus and Eurydice, set in a timeless world with cowboys, nymphs & demons, and told through 26 original songs. Musically it weaves together gothic country with rockabilly and swing, into a visual style drawn from German expressionism and French absurdism, and taking the audience to Hell and back again. More info

Be sure to join us in between shows for an Opening Night Reception! For more festival programming visit Upintheair’s website or The Cultch’s Online Box Office.