Tag Archives: Theatre

POSTPONED – Bad Parent Comes To The Cultch April 21 – May 1

11 Apr

Norah and Charles are trying to navigate their lives as parents of a toddler, but are figuring out who they are in relation to their son, to each other, and to the audience. Bad Parent, is a hilarious new feel-good comedy from Ins Choi, the creator of the hit CBC sitcom and play Kim’s Convenience, is an honest, no-holds-barred portrait of young parents struggling to find their way through the messy reality of parenthood.

Like all the best fiction, Bad Parent was born of true experience. “There was a turbulent time, early in our marriage, when my wife and I argued a lot. I began writing long unfiltered rants in an attempt to clarify how I was feeling and why,” says playwright Ins Choi. “Many years later, I came across those rants and felt sorry for that couple back then trying to make ends meet, meet each other’s needs and the needs of a newborn.”

Renowned award-winning Vancouver theatre company vAct has gained a reputation in the city for premiering groundbreaking works by some of the biggest names in Canadian theatre. They are one of the only theatre companies in the country to focus on Asian Canadian creators, and they have been responsible for creating and producing some of the most exciting theatre on Canadian stages. Bad Parent, the latest of their Mainstage productions, written by one of Canada’s most famous contemporary playwrights continues the legacy of telling great stories from incredible Asian Canadian talent. “Stories disarm by inviting us into the lives of others wholly different from ourselves only to help us realize how similar we all are,” says Choi. “Through stories, we’re entertained as a group and comforted to know we’re not alone both in our struggles and what we find funny.”

Bad Parent takes the stage in the Historic Theatre at The Cultch from April 21 to May 1, 2022.  Tickets start at $26 and are available online at The Cultch.

Photo: Emily Cooper

The Cultch Presents Beautiful Man February 24 – March 5

20 Feb

The Cultch presents Beautiful Man, from Pi Theatre, at the Historic Theatre, February 24 – March 5, 2022.

Governor General Award-winning playwright Erin Shields’ Beautiful Man examines traditional gender roles as they are portrayed in popular media, and turns them on their head. In this satirical play, three women chat about the Hollywood movies they have been watching. Only, in the world of Beautiful Man, men are the objects, while women are the subjects. From genre to genre—everything from cop shows to greek tragedies—the absurdity of traditional conventions are brought to the surface. Beautiful Man not only mocks the media’s representation of women, it exposes the underlying violence of objectification with a sharp wit.

Vancouver’s Pi Theatre has made a reputation producing plays that are “intellectually alive and emotionally charged.” In business since 1984, and under the leadership of Richard Wolfe since 2008, they have produced over 100 shows, and been awarded 34 Jessie Awards. “I chose to produce Beautiful Man here in ‘Hollywood North’,” says Wolfe, “because I feel Erin Shields’ relevant play takes an incisive look at how capitalism packages bodies, most often women’s bodies, and sells them as mere objects of entertainment.” Chosen specifically for the task of directing, Keltie Forsyth feels that rage is a powerful tool. “I have shared that rage many times in my life. As has every femme person I know,” she says “… In this piece, Shields finds a way to channel her rage and use it to target the ways the media feeds and upholds patriarchal structures.” Part of The Cultch’s fifth annual Femme Festival, Beautiful Man brings a powerful feminist perspective. Here’s what people are saying about Beautiful Man:

“Erin Shields’s Beautiful Man is a razor-sharp satire that hilariously skewers the tropes of female characters in film and TV.”
Samantha Edwards, Now Toronto

“Shields is a very talented, intelligent, and funny writer with a powerful message”
Ilana Lucas, Mooney on Theatre

“Beautiful Man is a deeply insightful criticism of gender roles enforced by society through the media we consume…”
Isabella Perrone, Broadway World review 

“[Shields is] still writing directly in dialogue with contemporary culture, getting inside it, wrestling with it, taking the royal piss and then throwing it down.”
The Star


This is an in person production with Covid-19 protocols in place. To purchase your tickets, visit The Cultch.

Photo Credit: Emily Cooper

Find Out What’s At The Bottom Of The Ocean In Sea Sick Coming To The Cultch Feb. 9-19

5 Feb

The Cultch brings you Alanna Mitchell’s production Sea Sick to The Cultch February 9-19, 2022.

Based on Mitchell’s international bestselling book, Sea Sick: The Global Ocean in Crisis (2009), Sea Sick is a critically acclaimed production about climate change, and the state of the global ocean. This production has toured Canada and the world including two previous sold out runs in Vancouver (2015 & 2019). Mitchell’s non-fiction play uses science and delicate wit to tell us about her journey to the bottom of the ocean, the demons she discovered there, and her hope for the future.

An award-winning Canadian journalist and author (New York Times, CBC’s Quirks & Quarks, Globe and Mail, and more), Alanna Mitchell writes about science and social trends specializing in investigative reporting. Before writing Sea Sick: The Global Ocean in Crisis she set out on a three year quest to find out information from top scientists all around the world. Over the course of 13 journeys, from Canada, to the Gulf of Mexico, to Zanzibar, and even to the very depth of the ocean in a submersible, Mitchell sought the answers to her questions. Her book, and later her play—commissioned by The Theatre Centre, with directions from Franco Boni and Ravi Jain—would open many people’s eyes to the perilous state we find ourselves in if we do not pay attention to our oceans. What people are saying about Sea Sick:

“Almost like a glacier, Sea Sick steadily and robustly ploughs through the vast ecosystem  that is the current discourse on climate change, and indelibly transforms the  landscape which came before.”
Exeunt Magazine

“This isn’t a lecture about the catastrophic repercussions of burning fossil fuels, or a guilt trip about how we’re to blame for the state of the Great Barrier Reef. Instead, it’s an unravelling – an unveiling – of a crisis; a clear-eyed pathway toward comprehension and a knitting together of the important, largely siloed work of marine biologists across the world.”
The Guardian

“80 minutes flies by because of Mitchell’s inspired storytelling… Terrifying, laugh-out-loud funny, and ultimately hopeful, Mitchell’s Sea Sick is a must-see”
Vancouver Observer

This is an in person production with all Covid protocols in place and 50% seating capacity. To purchase tickets, visit The Cultch.

Photo Credit: Alejandro Santiago

World Premiere Of Do You Mind If I Sit Here? At The Russian Hall January 26-29

14 Jan

Theatre Replacement announces the world premiere of their latest work: Do you mind if I sit here? which will be performed at the Russian Hall January 26 – 29, 2022.  This production is part of the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival. Do you mind if I sit here? is about 3 social planners that visit the Russian Hall 30 years from now. They intend to repurpose the space for common use, but discover a squatter that has been living there through decades of an environmental catastrophe. The performance is eclectic in style with a metaphorical narrative. They will dare you to imagine the future in terms of our most important hopes, fears and beliefs. This is an in person event with Covid-safety protocols in place which include 50% seating capacity. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit PuSh International Performing Arts Festival.

The Firehall Arts Centre Opens Their 2022 Season With John January 12 – 15

8 Jan

The Firehall Arts Centre opens their 2022 season with Helen Walkley’s powerful dance/theatre piece, John. The production takes place from Wednesday, January 12 to Saturday, January 15, 2022.

“John is a memoir of my oldest brother who disappeared from Vancouver in May of 1969, never to be heard from again. I sourced from an archive of family letters dating from 1959–2010, which document the years leading up to his disappearance, his medical history, and the subsequent tracking my parents did of his disappearance. He was twenty-three at the time and I was thirteen.” – Helen Walkley.

“John is such a powerful, intimate piece that you are left feeling like you know this mysterious person,” says Artistic Producer Donna Spencer. “The performers, Josh Martin and Billy Marchenski, work together and apart in a manner that captures the inner feelings and outer conflicts of this young man. The work takes you on a journey of hope and loss with gentleness and frustration – it is a wonderful and memorable night of dance theatre.” – Helen Walkley

The production is choreographed by Helen Walkley and performed by Josh Martin and Billy Marchenski, John premiered and wowed audiences during its sold-out run at the 2019 Dancing on the Edge Festival.

Performances at the Firehall Arts Centre are continuing live at 50% capacity, masks and proof of vaccination will be required. To purchase tickets for the live performance, visit Firehall Arts Centre.

Photo Credit: Chris Randle

East Van Panto Returns With Alice In Wonderland November 24 – January 2

12 Nov

We are excited to hear that the East Van Panto is back for its 9th year! This year it’s a trip through the looking glass with a terribly bored Alice who follows a White Rabbit onto the Skytrain, she falls down a hole only to find herself in a Grandview-Woodlands Wonderland. While tracking this elusive bunny, she encounters transit police officers Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dumb, a busking Cheshire Cat, gets some questionable advice from a cannabis connoisseur caterpillar, and has a heck of a time at a Commercial Drive leftist tea party. Once Alice discovers that the dastardly online mega-store owner, The Queen of Hearts, is using cookies (chocolate chip, that is!) to secretly steal East Van-ers data, she decides to stop her before all the local shops are priced out of existence!

The Cultch and Theatre Replacement are thrilled to welcome everyone back to live in person theatre at The York for all the fun. If you aren’t quite ready for attending in person, you also have the option of joining them online. To grab your tickets, visit The Cultch online. Online tickets start from $35 and in-person tickets from $69.

Photo Credit: Tim Matheson

Farm To Table – A New Kind Of Dinner Theatre Coming To The Cultch

9 Oct

The Cultch invites you to join them for a truly unique interactive experience. Farm To Table comes to their stage and your kitchen November 17 to 21, 2021.  Think of it as a Zoom cooking lesson with some drama and a whole lot of laughs. The added bonus is that you can cook along with the show.

Farm to Table is a new kind of dinner theatre in which Nadine, a struggling restauranteur has broken up with her boyfriend, closed her restaurant and moved-in with her mother.  Things are going smashing as you can tell. In an attempt to get back on her feet, she’s pivoted her passion for making delicious food into creating an online cooking show.   This is where the fun begins.

The Cultch has partnered with FreshPrep which ticket gets you the Chef’s Kiss Package delivered to your door so you can cook along with the show. Of course, if you prefer, you can buy your own groceries to cook, or just watch the fun unfold via Zoom.  Prices start at $29 for a solo ticket show and up to $69 for the Chef’s Kiss Package which, of course, includes your ticket for Farm To Table.  To purchase your ticket, visit The Cultch.

The Firehall Arts Centre Kicks Off Their 39th Season With Chapter 21

9 Sep

The Firehall Arts Centre has just announced its 39th season, and Artistic Producer Donna Spencer has proudly programmed it as a Reunion Season.  “We have heard from Firehall audiences how much they miss theatre and dance in their lives,” says Spencer. “And in our 2021-2022 season, we are looking forward to having a reunion – a reunion with them and with the artists and creative teams we have missed so much. In some instances, the productions will be reuniting the Firehall with artists we haven’t worked with for a long time, and in others, our creative teams will be exploring stories that reunite characters with their past.”

With that in mind, the Firehall Arts Centre opens its 2021-2022 season with the world premiere of Raven Spirit Dance’s Chapter 21 from September 29 to October 3, 2021.  Choreographed by Starr Muranko and directed by Yvette Nolan, Chapter 21 explores what happens when a vibrant, powerful artist comes face to face with a crippling collision of events. A dance/theatre piece, Chapter 21 is a reflection on the days that have come to pass and the art of becoming. To purchase tickets for this upcoming performance, visit Firehall Arts Centre.

Photo Credit: Erik Zennström

Havana Theatre Hosts Funday In The Neighbourhood: A Night At The Museum June 17

12 Jun

It’s back baby! Live theatre that is at Havana Theatre located within Havana Vancouver, 1212 Commercial Drive. This is a great spot that features a variety of live performances including comedy, dance, drag, trivia and live podcasting. On June 17th they are officially back with an in person performance. The first performance in their line up is Fundays in the Neighbourhood: A Night at the Museum!

What is Funday in the Neighbourhood? If you ever wanted to see a show described as “Mr. Rogers after dark”? then this is the show for you. The show features local actor and comedian John Hannah who explores the ins, outs, peoples, places, vibes, moods and talents from around our neighbourhood, hint Commercial Drive. The show is co-hosted by a skeleton puppet named Slappy and musical director Julien Amar. Each performance is a little different and could feature a musical guest, a game show, epic music videos, stand up comedy, an introduction to bird watching, or even improv. Havana Theatre invites you to come on down and put a little FUN in your day. And honestly after the last year and a half, I think we could all use a little more fun. Tickets are $10 for a table for 2 and available through Showpass.

1 Hour Photo Returns To The Cultch May 28-30, 2021

9 May


As part of an unprecedented virtual tour, Tetsuro Shigematsu’s award-winning play 1 Hour Photo returns to The Cultch in a cinematic adaption May 28 to May 30.

1 Hour Photo is the story of Mas Yamamoto, a man whose life was swept up by the major currents of the 20th century. From growing up in a fishing village on the banks of the Fraser River, to being confined at a Japanese Canadian internment camp during World War II, to helping build the Distant Early Warning Line in the Canadian Arctic during the height of the Cold War. “Mas’ life is a story of resilience, and the triumph of the human spirit,” says playwright, Tetsuro Shigematsu.

In 2017, 75 years after Japanese internment, vAct premiered 1 Hour Photo at The Cultch, to sold out crowds. Mas Yamamoto’s story, gleaned from hours of recorded interviews with Shigematsu over the kitchen table, illuminated a snapshot of Canadian history, which in many ways had gone unrecounted. It resonated with audiences, and went on to win a Jessie Richardson Award for Significant Artistic Achievement, while also being short-listed for a Governor General’s Award for Drama. 

Now, almost four years later, 1 Hour Photo is back at another juncture in history where the story is needed more than ever. “Back in 2017, 1 Hour Photo was a highly personal celebration of my friendship with Mas,” says Tetsuro Shigematsu. “But now, with hate crimes against Asians on the rise, this story has become a timely reminder that the best way to fight xenophobia is by feeling the kind of empathy only powerful storytelling can incite.” 

Under the strong leadership of Producing Artistic Director, Donna Yamamoto, vAct made the decision to take this important story on tour in the only way possible. “Our theatre/film hybrid came about when I was trying to figure out a way of filming our touring show, 1 Hour Photo, that had quality, and the feel of a live audience, by bringing them into a conversation with the playwright at the end of each show,” says Yamamoto. By bringing Vancouver based film production company Brightlight Pictures on board, vAct was able to produce a high quality, cinematic adaptation of 1 Hour Photo that could be toured across the country (and to Los Angeles) digitally*. The Cultch is one stop on this one-of-a-kind tour. For tickets, visit The Cultch.

1 Hour Photo is a powerful piece of writing that insists that the complex history of Canada, including the wrongs imposed on groups of people, must be remembered.”
University of Toronto Quarterly

“Wrestling with questions of life and death, 1 Hour Photo is most heartfelt in its exploration of Yamamoto’s life. Ultimately, we are all a little better off for his willingness to share it through Shigematsu.”
Mark Robins, Vancouver Presents

“1 Hour Photo animates an extraordinary life with vivid props and projections…
the play is a buffet of sensory textures.”

Kathleen Oliver, The Georgia Straight

Image Credit: Terry Wong

%d bloggers like this: