It’s the season of the most cutting-edge theatre in Vancouver – that’s right, the PuSh Festival is back! This year’s line-up includes an incredible array of fascinating Canadian and international theatre pieces. The variety of options might seem a little overwhelming, so below is Link Magazine’s list of the top 5 shows to keep your eyes on.
THE PIXELATED REVOLUTION
Jan 15-18 @ Studio T, SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
Get a first-hand glimpse of the Syrian crisis in this piece by Lebanese actor, director and visual artist Rabih Mroué. Part lecture, part performance, this work explores the use of camera phones in capturing images of the Syrian Revolution from the front lines, and the role social media has played in the dissemination of these images. This piece is especially poignant as the crisis in Syria is ongoing, with no immediate end or solution in sight.
SUPER NIGHT SHOT
Jan 14. @ Vancouver Playhouse
Ok, so if you’re not up for an evening of unadulterated war images, than Super Night Shot may be a good alternative. The premise for this one is pretty cool: a movie that is filmed exactly 60 minutes before it is shown to the audience. Four performers (from the Berlin-based Gob Squad Group) go out into the night an hour before the show with video cameras. An hour later they return to show what they have caught on film. And in this case, it’s the city of Vancouver that’s taking centre stage. This show has been performed almost 200 times in places as distant as Serbia and Bangalore. Catch it locally while you can.
HAVE I NO MOUTH
Jan 30-Feb 1., @ Waterfront Theatre
This one’s guaranteed to be a tearjerker. Have I No Mouth comes to Vancouver from Ireland. In this piece, actor and director Feidlim Cannon explores the deaths of his father and baby brother. The idea of the on-stage autobiography is nothing new, but what makes this one unique is that Cannon’s real life mother, Ann, is also a part of the production (as is their real life psychotherapist). Together, mother and son explore the loss they have endured in a work that the Irish Theatre Magazine calls “A raw, poignant and deeply moving piece of excruciatingly honest storytelling, delivered with simplicity and poise.” Just make sure you bring enough tissues.
Jan 22-26 @ Frederic Wood Theatre
This play is based on a true story of a Saskatchewan farmer named Percy Schmeiser, who was sued by the infamous agricultural company Monsanto in 1998 for illegally growing its patented, genetically engineered canola seeds on his farm (Schmeiser claimed that the seeds were blown into his crops by the wind). Seeds comes out of Montreal, and features a cast that includes Canadian actor Eric Peterson of Corner Gas. What makes this piece of theatre especially interesting is the fact that every word uttered on stage is taken directly from court transcripts and interviews. For those interested in documentaries and David-versus-Goliath stories, this one’s a sure bet.
Jan 27-28 @ Heritage Hall
The PuSh Festival isn’t only about cutting-edge theatre. It’s also a realm for radical musicians. If you’re in the mood for something a little more musically-inclined, then Mixtape is for you. Together, composers/musicians Gabriel Kahane and Timo Andres present an array of live piano music and songs ranging from J.S. Bach to folk tunes. These two artists are up-and-coming musicians who are helping to define the contemporary American music scene.
FOR A FULL LIST OF ALL THE GREAT PERFORMANCES, VISIT PUSHFESTIVAL.CA