The Cultch has unveiled a 2023-24 lineup that includes a deep dive into Maori culture and a gripping examination of separation and reconciliation within a Black family. In addition, the Vancouver theatre company will present another East Van Panto with music by Veda Hille. And it will open the season with a Pulitzer Prize–winning play that takes a hard look at theatre, race, and surveillance.
Meanwhile in the spring, the Femme Festival returns with four productions. This includes a world premiere about two Persian women involved in a museum project in Canada.
According to the Cultch, patrons who buy a season ticket package before July 16 will receive one free “bring-a-friend ticket” (with limitations).
The season begins on September 27 with Jackie Sibblies Drury’s Fairview, which runs until October 8 in the Historic Theatre. Co-directed by Kwaku Okyere and Mindy Parfitt, it’s a Search Party production in partnership with Toronto-based b current Performing Arts.
Then from October 19 to 29, the Cultch and Urban Ink will present Te Tangi ā te Tūī at the York Theatre. The show is by the Maori Te Rēhia Theatre Company and the Dust Palace, which are both based in Aotearoa / New Zealand. Their new work of Maori circus theatre focuses on love and loss, nature, and the impact of colonialism.
Next up is frank theatre’s How Black Mothers Say I Love You. It’s at the Historic Theatre from November 2 to 12.
That will be followed by East Van Panto: Beauty and the Beast. It’s written by Jivesh Parasram and Christine Quintana and will be at the York Theatre from November 22 to January 7. In addition, this East Van Panto will be available on RE/PLAY Online.
Cultch continues with Femme Festival
In the spring, the Femme Festival begins with Parifam. Vancouver playwright Aki Yaghoubi’s play is about an architect and painter named Parifam. She meets a childhood friend from Iran, Ramak, who’s grown up to be a documentary producer in Canada. The Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre and Medusa Theatre production will be at the York Theatre from April 4 to 14.
The Femme Festival continues with Tai Amy Grauman’s You Used to Call Me Marie. Produced by the Savage Society, it runs at the York Theatre from April 18 to 28. The play revolves around three Métis women: Iskwewo, Napew, and Mistatim.
The other two Femme Festival plays are Fat Joke at Culture Lab from April 25 to May 4, and Urban Ink’s Homecoming at the Historic Theatre from May 2 to 12.
Cheyenne Rouleau wrote Fat Joke, which is directed by Chelsea Haberlin and with dramaturgy by Jivesh Parasram. It examines fatphobia through stand-up, storytelling, and research.
The final Femme Festival show, Homecoming, takes place in Canada and the Philippines. Written by Kamila Sediego, it explores cultural identity through three generations of Filipina women.
“We put messages of empathy, tolerance and hope into plays, dances, circus, music, puppets, storytelling and send it out into the universe for each person to find in themselves and to share with their communities,” Cultch executive director Heather Redfern said in a release. “We are rebuilding and celebrating together.”