All that glitters is Golden as The Cultch announces its 50th anniversary season! The Cultch’s Golden Jubilee Celebrations bring a full season of in-person shows, online productions on its digital platform RE/PLAY, plus special 50th-anniversary events.
Whether you’re looking for new works, to engage with new and interesting ideas, characters and stories, seeking laugher, or watching from home, or just be amazed by pure spectacle of the show the 2023/2024 Season delivers something for everyone.
Over the last 50 years, The Cultch has built long-lasting relationships with many local, national and international companies. This anniversary season is an opportunity to celebrate these integral relationships while also celebrating new productions from new voices. In 2023 and 2024, The Cultch is thrilled to present the world premieres of Parifam from Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre (vAct) and Medusa Theatre, Homecoming from Urban Ink and You Used to Call me Marie… from Savage Society. These three premieres from up-and-coming playwrights Kamila Sediego (Homecoming), Aki Yaghoubi (Parifam), and Jessie Award-winning Tai Amy Grauman (You Used to Call me Marie…) are personal tales of family, community, lost memories, and healing.
Cultch audiences will recognize many other local companies who’ve come together in this landmark season. From The Search Party, who will kick off the season with Pulitzer Prize-winning Fairview (in partnership with b current Performing Arts, Toronto), to Neworld Theatre, who are presenting a brand new stand-up/storytelling dissection of fatphobia by Cheyenne Rouleau called Fat Joke; from the frank theatre, whose production of Trey Anthony’s (‘Da Kink in My Hair) How Black Mothers Say I Love You explores complicated family dynamics, to Monster Theatre (Vancouver) whose Juliet: A Revenge Comedy is a hilarious retelling of the famous tragedy by Pippa Mackie and Ryan Gladstone, all of these companies (and more) have helped to make The Cultch East Vancouver’s theatre destination. .
Perhaps one of the most cemented relationships is The Cultch’s longstanding one with Theatre Replacement, the award-winning local company which has been bringing Vancouver its most beloved holiday tradition since 2013. Now in its 11th year, the tradition continues with the East Van Panto Beauty on the Beast a twist on the timeless classic. This year’s Panto is written by Jivesh Parasram and Christine Quintana, directed by Anita Rochon, with music by Veda Hille.
Other returning friends to The Cultch’s stages are circus companies from farther afield. Contemporary circus performance has become an important part of The Cultch’s programming in the past decade and this year The Cultch brings three massive performances to Vancouver audiences starting in the fall of 2023 with one that they co-commissioned with Urban Ink (Vancouver). Te Tangi ? te T??, a world premiere from Aotearoa (New Zealand), created by Te R?hia Theatre Company and The Dust Palace (The Goblin Market), is a collaboration of circus and M?ori storytelling that will fill the York Theatre with spectacle.
Another circus show, this one presented with DanceHouse, who have been partnering with The Cultch since 2019, is The Mirror, from Australia’s Gravity and Other Myths. And finally, capping off the anniversary year is Cirque Alfonse’s Barbu, an Electro Trad Cabaret from Montreal’s favourite family circus troupe.
Concurrent with their in-person productions, a dynamic line-up of digital shows will be presented on RE/PLAY: The Cultch’s digital on-demand theatre platform. The feature presentations which will be available for audiences around the world are Zee Zee Theatre’s National Queer & Trans Playwrighting Unit, Juliet: A Revenge Comedy (Monster Theatre), Bird by Kylie Vincent , How to Believe in Anything (2022 Cultchivating the Fringe winner), Paradise or the Impermanence of Ice Cream (Indian Ink Theatre), East Van Panto: Beauty and the Beast (Theatre Replacement), and the return of Clean/Espejos ( Neworld Theatre).
“As we look forward, we have had to look back and remember what the live arts bring to the human spirit,” says Cultch Executive Director Heather Redfern. “We bring everyone together to celebrate our own and each other’s stories. 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. We are rebuilding and celebrating together.”
The Cultch 50th anniversary celebrations get underway August 26, 2023 with The Cultch 50th Anniversary Open House followed by Fairview by The Search Party coming to the stage, September 27th.
Still more events, initiatives, and surprises are to be announced throughout season.
Season Ticket Packages are on sale now, with an extra special promotion for patron who renew or book before July 16th visit thecultch.com for show details and all ticket information.