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.

Five things you (probably) didn’t know about L’orchestre d’hommes-orchestres!

They’re back! Following the success of LODHO Performs Tom Waits in 2011 the idiosyncratic Quebec City musical collective – L’Orchestre d’Hommes-Orchestres(LODHO) – return to The Cultch to perform their newest show Cabaret Brise-Jour (playing until Sunday, April 6). Set in a high-society salon of the early 20th century, eight musicians borrow from the repertoire of Kurt Weill to sing about the best and worst of the human condition. To celebrate their return, we’ve compiled five facts you (probably) didn’t know about this critically acclaimed company and their run here at The Cultch.

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LODHO Performs Tom Waits in 2011

1. As we’ve previously mentioned, this is not L’orchestre d’hommes-orchestres first time at The Cultch. The company was part of our 11/12 season with their show L’orchestre d’hommes-orchestres Performs Tom Waits which received unanimous praise! LODHO’s newest show, Cabaret Brise-Jour, is much darker in tone, taking place on a set that resembles a post-apocalyptic thrift store. Check out our blog article from their first time at The Cultch here.

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Heather Redfern, Executive Director at The Cultch, in front of the York Theatre

2. This time around, L’orchestre d’homme-orchestres will perform at our newest venue – the York Theatre! Something you may not have known is that the York was once a thriving music venue. During its punk rock days the venue hosted bands such as Nirvana and Sonic Youth! The York’s rich history as a music venue will certainly add a bit of edge to Cabaret Brise-Jour as they borrow from the repertoire of Kurt Weill!

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Robert Lepage

3. In the beginning of 2014, L’orchestre d’hommes-orchestres was chosen by Robert Lepage to receive the City of Toronto Glenn Gould Protégé Prize! They are only the eighth recipient ever to receive this prestigous award. Have a look at this video extract from their new show to see why they deserved the prize.

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Simon Drouin – L’orchestre d’hommes-orchestres

4. LODHO is known for creating unique musical instruments from everyday life objects. In their new show one of their masterpieces is a giant chandelier made up of turkey basters!

Instead of putting candles and crystals on it, we put recorder flutes, with turkey basters on the end. Every time you pump the turkey baster, there’s a little bit of air going through the flute, and that’s how we play one of the songs” – Danya Ortmann, L’orchestre d’hommes-orchestres

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Kurt Weill

5. Cabaret Brise-Jour is inspired by the music of Kurt Weill, the great composer who collaborated with Bertolt Brecht on the Threepenny Opera! In a Franco-German-English mix, the eight musicians-singers-actors explore the horrors of war and the lights of Broadway, both part of Kurt Weill’s tumultuous life.  Here’s a video extract from oneof Weill’s work, Tschaikowsky from Lady in the Dark (1940), words Ira Gershwin.

Cabaret Brise-Jour runs until April 6, 2014 at the York Theatre. Tickets starts at $18 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.

Ten Things You Need To Know About ‘Underbelly’

Underbelly is on now at The Cultch  and to get you even more excited about this fantastic show, we have compiled a list of the ten things you need to know about Underbelly!

Award1. Underbelly is the 2012 winner of the Cultchivating the Fringe Award! Presented once a year, this award is granted to a performance from the Vancouver Fringe Festival that demonstrates a strong potential for further development by granting the performance a spot in the upcoming Cultch season. It’s no surprise Underbelly won when…

Robot12. This is Jayson McDonald’s FIFTH touring solo show. This writer and performer has made his rounds before. Underbelly is the latest in a long line of shows that also includes Giant Invisible Robot. And speaking of Giant Invisible Robot

UNderbelly23. Jayson McDonald won the Georgia Straight Critics’ Pick….two years in a row! Giant Invisible Robot took home the prize in 2011 and came back in 2012 to take the award again with Underbelly. It seems Jayson McDonald is doing something right whether he is writing about invisible friends or…

Lastfarewell5. The Beat Generation! Underbelly takes its inspiration from the literary and cultural revolution that evolved from the events before and during 1950s. Questioning the old traditions and conventions and influenced by the new jazz scene, the Beat Generation explored a new, honest way of expression. The term ‘The Beat Generation’ was coined by none other than…

jack6. Jack Kerouac, well known author of On the Road. The most well known author of the Beat Generation, Kerouac fell to the pressure of the fame and attention his one success gave him. Kerouac and his friend…

Allen7. Allen Ginsberg, one of the first Beat poets and lasting mentor, appears in Underbelly but it is the third of this circle of friends that Jayson McDonald chooses to portray…

Burroughs8. The odd man out, William S. Burroughs.  The oldest of the three and the junkie struggling with alcohol and drug addiction, Burroughs defied the linear narrative in his work, and lived recklessly in his life. Using this as inspiration Jayson McDonald creates a ‘fevered hallucination’ with…

Underbelly_Mike9. Some of the finest spoken word poetry you will hear. Fans of slam poetry and spoken word rejoice! The words in this piece are no mere reproduction from a beatnik who only dresses and looks the part. Jayson McDonald’s words evoke the poetic and bold era of the Beat Generation. And finally…

Underbelly10. If Cindy Reid, The Cultch managing director, managed to stay awake the whole time during a 10:30pm showing of Underbelly at the Vancouver Fringe in 2012, it must be an amazing show!

Underbelly runs at The Cultch until March  30, 2014 at 8pm in the Vancity Culture Lab. All tickets just $31 and can be purchased by calling the box office at 604. 251. 1363 or online.

The Inspiration Behind ‘Whose Life Is It Anyway?’: An Interview with James Sanders

The Cultch is happy to host Whose Life Is It Anyway? by Brian Clark, the latest production by Realwheels Theatre, now playing until March 22! The show has  already gotten great reviews! Fun Fun Vancouver said the play “will entertain you, but more importantly, challenge you”.  This is part two of our interview with  James Sanders, Founding Artistic Director of Realwheels Theatre, about the inspiration behind Whose Life Is It Anyway?

Your current production Whose Life Is It Anyway? is about a sculptor who, paralyzed from the neck down after a car accident, fights for the right to die. I understand that you have a personal connection to this play. Can you tell me more about why you wanted to produce it?

It was one of the pieces of film that I researched to see what stories were being told about disability. It greatly inspired me to see a high lesion quadriplegic fighting for the right to die. I cheered on his victory even though it meant his death because, to me, it was a victory about personal rights and, essentially, the right to live seemed extremely powerful at the time. At that point I was 21 years old and not age-appropriate to do the story. Flash forward to 2010 and I revisited the notion and decided that it was the right time the stage this production. Little did I know the incredible relevance that it would have this day in the community of people who are fighting for these rights on a daily basis.

Bob Frazer is playing the sculptor who is paralyzed in the play. This is also his third show with Realwheels Theatre. Could you tell me more about his connection with Realwheels Theatre?

Bob and I have been dear friends for almost 25 years. We have intimate knowledge of each other and it was a conversation on my balcony about the pursuit of excellence in theatre that would inspire us to create Skydive. Bob has been involved in every one of our professional productions and, I hope, will continue to be engaged with Realwheels Theatre for years to come in some capacity or another. I have been in many positions where I have had to trust Bob implicitly with my life. This, again, is one of those times. I trust Bob to accurately represent disability with the genuine craft of acting that will hopefully become another one of Bob’s great performances in his overall body of work.

What are you hoping audiences will take away with them after seeing Whose Life Is It Anyway?

Perhaps a moment to consider their own relationship with death, the difficult challenges facing its inevitability and the opportunity, if it presents itself, to have a choice in the last matter of time. It is hopefully going to be a conversation starter and an opportunity for people to consider their present beliefs and ways to challenge them. On a side note, I hope that the presence of the character with a disability will serve, in some capacity, to bring the audience closer to the disability experience when they encounter disability in their day-to-day lives.

Whose Life Is It Anyway? runs at The Cultch until March 22, 2014 at 8 pm in the Historic Theatre. Tickets are from $18 and can be purchased by calling the box office at 604. 251. 1363 or online.

Insights from the creative minds behind ‘Me So You So Me’: Tiffany Tregarthen & David Raymond

The Cultch is happy to be presenting the unique dance piece Me So You So Me by Out Innerspace until Mar 1, 2014.

Want to learn more about the creative process and influences behind the show? Check out the interview with creators Tiffany Tregarthen and David Raymond below!

I understand that Me So You So Me was highly influenced by the music of the renowned percussionist Asa Chang from Japan. Could you tell us how you discovered his work, and how it came to influence your dance piece?

We first were introduced to Asa Chang’s music in 2006 at the same time that we were living in Antwerp and creating the building blocks for our collaboration as Out Innerspace. Japanese percussionist Asa Chang founded the Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra and later joined programmer and guitarist Hidehiko Urayama and tabla player U-zhaan to create genre defying music with a portable sound system called Jun-Ray Tronics. The percussive patterns of Japanese and English text with Indian tabla and experimental electronic sound production is composed meticulously in a way that transcends borders and predisposed ways of telling and listening to stories through music. The female and male text have an incredibly intricate rhythmic relationship that is conceptually rich and otherworldly.  We were blown away and collected every Asa song we could find.

Where did your inspiration for Me So You So Me come from?

Me So You So Me is plucked from our daily life as a couple, re-imagined through an eclecticism of hand-picked cultural, aesthetic, popular and personal influences. We collaged everything from the family dog, Popeye, Astro Boy, Araki Nobuyoshi, as DNA for our characters, as DNA for dance making. We watched a load of cartoons specifically for the accepted violence, animated psychosis and extreme story telling. Everyday we closed our eyes and listened to Asa’s music and described to each other what we felt and saw and everyday these emerging alter-egos invaded our domestic performances as a couple. Eventually even brushing our teeth and arguing became outrageous and therapeutic acts of dance research.

Can you describe how you worked in the studio, the methods you used?

In studio we pursued an almost dogmatic application of music in hopes that it would challenge us to create new movement vocabulary pushed by the unpredictability, density and richness of Asa’s composition. This extreme dedication to the music was at times a downright exhausting process but it asked us to focus deeply on the places and ways we find inspiration, the methods we use to take inspiration into creation, and the way we express and embody the result. We rely heavily on our contrastive voices and rigour to stretch our instincts and foundations and to commit to our imaginations. It was important to us to never once stop considering the body as an unlimited and unchartered resource for the music and our ideas to be physical.

How did you decide on the title for the show?

We wanted to challenge ourselves to expose real content of our relationship through loveable and lethal beings; caricatures of our inner monsters, children, animals…to show the ways we are most different or alike. We asked ourselves How do you see me? Who do I want to be to you, with you, for you?…and with a little help and time we titled the work Me So You So Me.

Will this experience change the way you create dance pieces in the future?

We were thrust into a new level of experimental and inventive territory by committing so wholly to the music and it has changed the way that we continue to make dance. Though we won’t always use music this way, we are thriving on the shared research process and language it has opened up to us.

Me So You So Me by Out Innerspace runs at The Cultch from until Mar 1 at the Historic Theatre. Tickets are from $18 and can be purchased online http://bit.ly/MAaAvA, or by calling the box office at 604.251.1363.

Love to perform? Seeking performers for this year’s IGNITE! Youth Festival!

“You can time travel through wonderland, but you can’t wonderland through time travel…”

 
Get ready because this year, IGNITE! Youth Festival is all about wonderland! For one whole week in May (May 2nd-10th) youth will take over The Cultch and transform it into what has become Vancouver’s largest youth driven festival!
To help bring the wonderland alive, The Cultch’s Youth Panel is looking for talented performers of all kinds ages 13-24 to audition. No wonderland is complete without the wild and wacky, beautiful and graceful, bizarre and a little ugly, the amazing, the heroic, the new, the old… well really anything at all!

So if you have an idea of a real slam-bang performance, come out to the auditions. You can meet The Cultch Youth Panel, show them a little of what you can do and have a real fun time. We asked Mati, Clare and Mark of The Cultch Youth Panel for their thoughts on the upcoming auditions:

What are you excited to see at auditions?

“All the new and original acts, hopefully something that I wouldn’t have thought of, and maybe some familiar acts from previous years!”-Mati

“Everything! Last year was my first time on Panel, and while I didn’t know what to expect from the auditions, I was totally blown away. And it looks like it’ll be even better this year!”- Clare

“I’m optimistically looking forward to seeing acts I would never thought I would like, but will immediately adore. Last year, we had an acrobatic act that completely blew me away. Before that I’d never had much interest in that kind of performance. I’m excited to see what I will get introduced to this year.”-Mark

Who do you hope shows up?

“Anyone and everyone, the more the better! Some cool bands would be wicked fun!”-Mati

“Ringo Starr and David Bowie. But they’re probably a little too old…
I’m looking forward to seeing all of the auditions, but especially the people who are doing something out-of-the-box. I want to see people with acts that I’ve never even imagined seeing!”-Clare

“I’d like to see some more electronic musicians audition simply because it’s always fascinating to see how they each work their live setup, which are incredibly varied. Also: interpretive dance.”-Mark

What would be the craziest coolest act you could imagine?

“I’d love to see a Mindless Self Indulgence cover band, that performs only in their underwear”-Mati

“Something with streamers and balloons and trapezes and magic. Like if Harry Potter was riding a unicycle. With balloons.”-Clare

“A domesticated penguin improv jazz ensemble.”-Mark

Anything else you want us to know about IGNITE this year?

“Come to auditions, come to our shows, stalk our website, stalk us!”-Mati

“Just that it’s going to be super rad! I’m getting really excited — last year’s festival was great, but this year’s is going to be EVEN BETTER.”-Clare

It’s going to be rowdy. Wear protective sunscreen and make sure you have an alibi.”-Mark

To sign up for your audition, email auditions@igniteyouthfest.ca by February 24. Auditions will be held March 8 and 9 at the Russian Hall. Can’t wait to see you there!

A one-on-one with The Rap “Guy” From Evolution

Two weeks ago, Baba Brinkman was speaking at the Nelson Arts Festival in New Zealand. Last week, he was a guest speaker at the University of Alabama as part of their ALLELE Lecture Series. The week prior he was busy participating in the 10th Annual World Wilderness Conference in Spain, and last month he performed at Universities all over the UK, as well as at MIT as part of their public science engagement lecture series. Needless to say, Brinkman is a busy man. However, this doesn’t come as a surprise; with 14 lit-hop (literary hip-hop) albums under his belt, Brinkman is one of the only rap-artists who has had their work peer-reviewed by scientists, or who has been commissioned to write an album for the NYU Stern School of Business. Brinkman’s love of words comes from a Masters Degree in Medieval and English Literature from the University of Victoria, where he focused on the relationship
between epic poetry and contemporary hip-hop culture. Since graduating, Brinkman has been touring the world performing his unique blend of theatre and rap, on topics from Beowulf and Gilgamesh to political revolution and evolutionary psychology.

For only a few more days, The Cultch is lucky enough to have Baba home to perform his latest show, The Rap Guide to Evolution. The ground-breaking show was first presented, and awarded for best new theatre writing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2009. The show is inspired not only by evolutionary scientists and theorists such as Charles Darwin and Richard Dawkins, but also by the history of hip-hop culture itself and the role that individual selective process, especially with the advent of new technologies, takes in defining the path of a cultural phenomenon.

We were lucky enough to be able to ask Baba a few questions:

I suppose my first question for you is simply how you ended up where you have ended up; rapping about science, economics, psychology , and or ancient literature is not a common career path. Was this something that you have been interested in from a young age, or a skill you accidentally happened upon?

In my teens I wanted to be a writer, but didn’t have a clear idea of what sort, whether journalism, novelist, playwright, etc – I just knew I was good with words and wanted to use that skill. I pictured traveling around the world, composing new work in diverse locations, and making a living from my wits. At nineteen I started writing rap rhymes and was very quickly drawn into the art form. I had been listening to rap since age eleven but hadn’t written any raps of my own. It wasn’t long before I was bringing science and literature references into my rhymes, which seemed natural to me because I was a university student at the time so I was immersed in the world of ideas. Finding an audience for that concept took some time, but I pretty much live like I pictured, traveling, writing, performing, and getting paid to do so.

So would you say you entered hip-hop through academics, or did you find academics through hip-hop?

I was a rap consumer from a young age, but not a participant. Once I started writing and performing I got into the culture more heavily, freestyling at house parties, rapping at open mics, and signing up for freestyle battles. But at the same time I was always academic-minded. I decided my best contribution to hip-hop culture would be to push its boundaries and build bridges to other cultures and art forms, so I focused my English Lit degree on the parallels between hip-hop poetics and traditional English literary poetics. Once my energies were channeled my grades got a lot better, and so did my lyrics, so you could say I found academics and hip-hop independently, but I only got
fully engaged with each by merging them.

What inspires the topics for your productions? You have written about such a variety of themes – where do you begin? Where did the impulse to write The Rap Guide to Evolution come from? Are you ever commissioned to write raps about topics you have no interest in?

People suggest new topics to me all the time, but not all of them take hold. Most of the time I just go “yeah, sounds interesting” and don’t follow up. But with the The Rap Guide to Evolution,  I was very keen as soon as the idea came up. It helps that it was a paid commission of course, because with money on the table you can put other work aside and give a project the time it needs. I have pretty wide interests so no, there isn’t a topic I’ve written about on commission that I’m disinterested in. Then again, I have a lot of creative leeway so I can put an interesting twist on pretty much anything.

The projects either start with an idea, some underlying deep connection or tension I see that I want to explore in the writing, or else it starts with a challenge, someone hiring me or recruiting me to write something, prompting me to hunt for ideas to accomplish the task. I tend to gravitate towards subjects where there’s a disconnect or gap that I think I can bridge, like the perceived inaccessibility of medieval literature vs the actual appeal of the stories, or like the scientific consensus around evolution that is still rejected by major sectors of the population. The surprise and friction that lives in those kinds of spaces is my main attraction.
 
Lastly, you have travelled all over the world presenting your work. What have been some of the most surprising responses to your shows you have received?

I’ve had all kinds of negative responses, from creationists offended on behalf of their religion to feminist social constructivists offended on behalf of women to white liberals offended on behalf of black people. The show brings an evolutionary perspective to all of those subjects: race, religion, gender, and not always in a politically-correct way. Then again, I think everything in the show is scientifically defensible, and it was written to be strategically provocative, not for the sake of being offensive but for the sake of causing people to rethink their assumptions and question the basis of their beliefs and taboos. So in a way none of the negative responses are surprising. The most surprising response was having a New York theatre company offer to produce the show for a major Off-Broadway run, and having it run for five months and get rave reviews. I can’t say I expected that when I started writing the show!

The Rap Guide to Evolution is playing at The Cultch until November 10 in the Historic Theatre. Tickets can be purchased online at: https://thecultch.com/tickets/ , or by calling the box office at 604.251.1363

 

VOLUNTEERS WANTED: HOTTEST LIVE ARTS VENUE IN VANCOUVER

Would you like to see shows for free at what the Vancouver Sun has called the ‘hottest live arts venue on the West Coast’?

Located in East Van, The Cultch is looking to recruit new members for its top-notch Usher Team. We are looking for reliable folks that are 16 years or older who are friendly & outgoing, who have a sense of humour, and give great customer service. You should also have good english comprehension.

Our Usher Team is the front line of service Tuesday through Sunday at any of our three theatres. Welcoming guests, ripping tickets & answering questions are just a few of the things you’ll handle on your 3-4 hour long shift. Any customer service or ushering experience you may already have will only enhance the whole experience! We’re looking for members who can commit to 2 shifts per month.

Ushers at The Cultch see some of the best theatre, music & dance performances that Vancouver has to offer plus you get free tea/coffee, ticket discounts and chances to win assorted door prizes.

If this sounds like your kind of team, fill out an application here and Jenn Graham (Volunteer Coordinator) will be in touch to arrange an interview.

The Cultch’s Guide to the Fringe: 6 ways to make the most out of the Vancouver Fringe Festival (Sept 5-15)

The Historic Theatre will be a main stage venue at this year’s Vancouver Fringe Festival

Here at The Cultch, we’re getting prepared for one of the biggest arts festivals around: the Vancouver Fringe Festival! With over 90 performances, the festival promises to be a crazy, 11 days, jam-packed with titillating performances. And this year, The Cultch is uber excited to be one of the main stages in the festival! In its third year of involvement with the Vancouver Fringe Festival, The Cultch will show eight performances as a main stage plus four additional presentations as a BYOV (Bring Your Own Venue).

With so much to see and experience, it might be a little daunting for a newcomer. So, we’ve put together a little guide for those of you who have always wanted to check it out, but never knew quite how to go about it. We have all the information you need to get the most out of your Fringing experience. Consider the Fringe your oyster…with these 6 easy steps!

1. Pick up your Fringe program guide. (Click here to access an online version) Figure out what shows you want to see. Shows are arranged in the program by time and date, as well as by venue. Find shows that suit your taste, budget, and schedule. Check out pages 50 & 51 to choose from one of the exciting shows playing at the Historic Theatre at The Cultch! Performances range from burlesque dancing, to solo musicals, and, of course, good-old-fashioned theatre!

The Cultch is featured on page 50 & 51 in this year’s Fringe Festival program guide

2. Diversify. Think of the Vancouver Fringe Festival as a tapas menu of theatre. Find some shows you’re naturally drawn to, but also try a couple that may be a little out of your comfort zone. The Fringe Festival is all about stepping into new experiences via the theatre, so why not try something different? If you love musical theatre, The Cultch mainstage performances are sure to be treats for you. Come to see La CravateBleue (a solo musical play about a man who sacrifices stability for his love of music) and Watering Hole (a contemporary dance performance about the community of the local bar). Then try something that you’ve never seen before. Bursting into Flames is a refreshing comedic play about a man who finds himself with the rest of eternity to spend in heaven.

‘Watering Hole’ will be playing at The Cultch’s Historic Theatre

3. Watch the previews. If you have the time and $10 – come to watch quick previews of all 91 shows at Fringe-For-All: a two hour extravaganza in which each show has 2 minutes to captureyour interest. Whether it narrows down your choices, or makes it harder to decide – it’s bound to be entertaining! Thursday, September 5 at 10 pm at Performance Works.

A shot from last year’s Fringe For All | Photo provided by the Vancouver Fringe Festival

4. Talk to the volunteers. While you’re waiting in line, or near any of the Fringe venues, you might see some friendly Fringe volunteers. Don’t be shy – ask them what their favourite shows are! Volunteers get to see many shows for free. Be sure to ask them which shows are selling out (those are the ones to get $3 advance tickets for.)

5. BringYourOwnVenue (BYOV) shows. Don’t just stick to the mainstage shows. There are several shows that are near the main stage shows, and in unorthodox spaces. Often, these can be the most intriguing. Explore theatre outside of the theatre. Check out what sorts of compelling shows we have lined up here at The Cultch this year.

Rodney DeCroo stars in ‘Allegeny, BC’ (BYOV presentation)

 

6. Vote for your favourites! The Fringe Festival is an interactive experience. You’ll receive a ballot after every show. Rate the shows you saw, and cast your ballot! Your favourite play could just be chosen as The Pick of the Fringe (to be announced at The Fringe Awards Night on September 15 at 9:30 pm at Performance Works). Additionally, stay tuned for which performances are chosen for the Cultchivating the Fringe Award. Every year, The Cultch invites its favourite Fringe performance to be a part of the season for the following year. Last year the award was given to Underbelly, and the show is going to run in March 18 to 30 this upcoming season.

Heather Redfern (The Cultch’s Executive Director) presents last year’s Cultchivating the Fringe Award to ‘Underbelly’

 

The Cultch has an eclectic main stage and BYOV line up for the festival – something for everyone! This is also the perfect opportunity for a fun family outing. A couple of the mainstage performances, La Cravate Bleue and Bursting into Flames are to be enjoyed by all ages. Additionally, several of our BYOV shows (including Underneath the Lintel) also allow admission for all ages.

The Vancouver Fringe Festival runs from Sept 5-15 with select shows playing at The Cultch’s Historic Theatre and Vancity Culture Lab. Tickets available online at vancouverfringe.com