Tag Archives: vAct

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

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

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