Opening to carry on momentum from this Thursday’s World AIDS Day, The Cultch presents the world premiere of In My Day, a new work for the stage from playwright Rick Waines and Zee Zee Theatre, playing at The Cultch’s Historic Theatre, from December 2 to December 11.
A verbatim work of contemporary drama, In My Day exists at the cross section of disability and memorial arts. Centred around HIV’s impact on Vancouver, it is a story of a pandemic response with extraordinary victories and heartbreaking failures.
In My Day is inspired by a 2017 community-based oral history research project, initiated at the University of Victoria. Titled HIV In My Day, the project interviewed long-term survivors and caregivers who lived through the first 15 years of the HIV pandemic in British Columbia. The collected stories and reflections honour the voices of women, people of colour, Indigenous folks, trans, people who use[d] injection drugs, and others, alongside those of cis-gender gay men.
Written by AIDS educator and playwright Rick Waines, In My Day has been in development for over two years. Unlike his past plays, which also explored the experiences of those living with HIV, Rick Waines chose not to include any of his own story in In My Day, instead deciding to focus on the stories of a broad spectrum of people who are not often highlighted. “These interviews are the stories of the living: those of us that survived,” says Waines. “They are also a memorial to those who were left behind.”
Reflecting the over 60 diverse voices included in the play is a large and talented cast, featuring some of Vancouver’s best actors—Patti Allan, Nick Miami Benz, Scott Button, Ivy Charles, Braiden Houle, Allan Morgan, Alen Dominguez, Cameron Peal, Sabrina Symington, Jackson Wai Chung Tse, and Kelsey Kanatan Wavey. Under the direction of Shawn Macdonald, who has been involved as dramaturg from early in the play’s development, the cast has given these true stories new life. “I just know how much power there is in these stories, and how important it is to share them, and I know we’ve got amazing people involved,” says Director Shawn Macdonald. “It is a hard topic, but Rick has done an amazing job of making this piece very theatrical and rich with warmth and humour.”
In My Day runs December 2-11, 2022 at The Cultch Historic Theatre, 1895 Venables Street. For showtimes and tickets visit thecultch.com