Elle: a survivor’s journey

Firehall Arts Centre presents Elle, a play about a French aristocrat stranded on an island on the East Coast of Canada. Severn Thompson is the leading lady and also wrote the play as an adaptation of Douglas Glover’s novel of the same name. Christine Brubaker is the play’s innovative director. It will be live at…

Artists break down communication barriers through comedy

Vancouver choreographer Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg met Italian choreographer Silvia Gribaudi at a dance space in Embra, Scotland. They took an interest in each other’s work. Presented by the Chutzpah Festival and The Dance Centre, Friedenberg and Gribaudi’s collaboration, empty.swimming.pool, a work that includes dance, theatre and comedy, will be on at The Scotiabank Centre Feb.…

Understanding our place in the world through theatre

The legends of bears and ravens often showcase First Nations history to the public. This time, Quelemia Sparrow of the Musqueam Nation and Michelle Olson of the Tr’ondek Hwech’in Nation decided to tell the story of salmon.  Produced by Raven Spirit Dance and created by Sparrow and Olson, Salmon Girl (which mixes theatre, dance, music…

Foreign Radical: a game of secrets

Personal experience ignited the imagination of writer/director Tim Carlson for Foreign Radical, a play with an interactive set up similar to a murder mystery. Thirty audience members, split into four quadrants to gather information, are exposed to real-life prejudices and privacy invasions. Foreign Radical will be appearing at Studio 1398 from Feb. 6–11. “Online, on…

How important is memory?

How do we define ourselves? By our accomplishments? Our jobs? Our families? Or just what we remember?  These are the questions Diane Brown asks us to ask ourselves as director of the play You Will Remember Me (from the play Tu te souviendras de moi by François Archambault, translated by Bobby Theodore) showing at the…

Town Choir: translating text messages to song

Theatre Replacement’s Town Choir will open on Jan. 22 at the Woodward’s Atrium as part of the 2017 PuSh Festival. Town Choir is the newest iteration of the group’s Town Criers project, where everyday or potentially mundane observations are presented as newsworthy, with the writers potentially hundreds of kilometers away from the performance. Town Criers…

Disability takes to the stage

On Feb. 3, 1971, the story of four men living with cerebral palsy (CP) came to life on the Factory Theatre stage in Toronto. Creeps, by Canadian playwright, journalist and poet David E. Freeman is credited as the play that changed Canadian theatre forever. Creeps brought disability stories to the stage. The play will be…

Topdog/Underdog examines sibling rivalry with a twist

An upcoming play refers to one of America’s most divisive presidents, and no, not Donald Trump: Abraham Lincoln. Suzan-Lori Park’s play Topdog/Underdog, presented by the Seven Tyrants Theatre, is a two-person drama focusing on two brothers named Lincoln and Booth and runs from Nov. 24 to Dec. 3 at Studio 1398. Director David Newham says…

The past comes back to life

On Nov. 5, the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre will welcome the Re-Enactors, an award-winning heritage performance group that showcases many of Surrey’s early settlers from the late 18th to early 19th centuries. The performance`s main character, Zennosuke Inouye, was a Surrey business man, World War I veteran and the only Japanese-Canadian war veteran…

Chinese opera still relevant

Vancouver Cantonese Opera chose the challenging musical Reunion at the Moon Pavilion and artistic director Rosa Cheng hopes the accessible and engaging work resonates with local audiences. The opera will be performed at the Michael J. Fox Theatre in Burnaby(Sept. 16, 7 p.m.). Reunion at the Moon Pavilion is a love story that had been…

Feeling at home with Portuguese Buns

While Portugal shares similarities with other Latin countries in Europe such as Italy and Spain, Sandra Medeiros says it is unique in its own right – Portugal winning this year’s Euro Cup certainly helps. “You usually don’t hear a lot about Portugal or its events in the city – it’s so nice because Portugal gets…

West Side Story: a classic tale with modern relevance

For Alexandra Lainfiesta, a recent grad of Studio 58, the decision to move to Canada from Guatemala to pursue the performing arts was a ‘click away.’ The actress, who plays Anita in Theatre Under the Stars’ (TUTS) upcoming production of West Side Story, chose Vancouver as a place to study acting and pursue a career…

Solo performer tackles issues of mixed identities and Aboriginal values

With the upcoming National Aboriginal Day on June 21, Quelemia Sparrow’s solo performance, O’Wet/Lost Lagoon, sheds light on issues that Aboriginals still face through a theatrical interpretation of her personal experiences. O’Wet (pronounced as oh-wee) denotes propelling a canoe. The word is also connected to a shaman’s canoe ride to the land of the dead…