The Cultch celebrates 40 years reopening of historic York

Mark Leiren-young
The Vancouver Sun
April 11, 2013

New York, New York!

That could be the birthday tune as the Cultch celebrates its 40th anniversary with the opening of a third stage. Reopening the historic York Theatre in December with a local take on Old English Christmas traditions, an East Van Panto by Theatre Replacement. The Cultch added its second venue, The Vancity Culture Lab in 2008 and now executive director Heather Redfern has as many stages to run as the Arts Club.

Here’s a look at the rest of the Cultch’s season and the 19 shows ? including three modern takes on ancient Greek tragedies ? that the theatre announced this week for its 2013-14 season.

Vancouver’s Rumble Theatre kicks things off with Penelope, a modern take on Homer’s Odyssey: Sept. 24-Oct. 13.

Another local troupe keeps the Greek theme rolling as Up in the Air Theatre presents a modern twist on Oedipus Rex with Inside the Seed: Oct. 2-13 The Margie Gillis Foundation’s Bulletins from Immortality … freeing Emily Dickinson arrives from Montreal and New York and stars American actor Elizabeth Parrish and Canada’s Gillis offering their take on the iconic American author: Oct. 23-26.

The Rap Guide to Evolution from Baba Brinkman hips hops into town: Oct. 29-Nov 10.

Halifax’s 2btheatre company comes to Vancouver with The God That Comes – another modern twist on a Greek tragedy. This time it’s a modern musical spin on The Bacchae starring singer/songwriter Hawksley Workman: Nov. 13 – 24.

Master puppeteer Ronnie Burkett returns to pull the strings at the historic venue with his new show The Daisy Theatre inspired by the underground puppet performances in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia: Nov. 26-Dec. 15. Burkett has been such a hit in past seasons that the theatre is offering a special “see it twice price.”

An East Van Panto featuring words and music by Amiel Gladstone and Veda Hille reopens the newly renovated York: Dec. 4-28.

Blackbird Theatre continues its quirky Christmas tradition of presenting non-holiday classics for the holidays with Anton Chekhov’s very unChristmassy Uncle Vanya: Dec. 23Jan. 18.

Orange Noyee’s One arrives from Montreal for the PuSh Festival and offers the acclaimed solo show Mani Soleymanlou exploring his Persian origins and his travels from Iran to Canada: Jan. 28-Feb. 8, 2014.

Western Front New Music presents the Rio Tinto Alcan Performing Arts Award-winning Music from the New Wilderness which explores music ranging from wax cylinder recordings from the Okanagan to field recordings from the Broughton Archipelago interpreted by six composers: Feb. 11-15, 2014

Vancouver’s Co. ERASGA and Germany’s COCOONDANCE shake things up with Shifting Geography: Feb. 18-22, 2014. The show features choreography by Vancouver’s Alvin Erasga Tolentino and Bonn’s RafaĆ«le Giovanola and draws inspiration from both their home cities.

Me So You So Me by Vancouver’s Out Innerspace explores a cultural mixed plate “fuelled by Japanese historical and pop culture, classical Indian tabla rhythms, and cartoons,” and featuring the music of Asa Chang: Feb. 25-March 1, 2014.

Portland’s Northwest Dance Project makes its Canadian debut with The Best of Now: March 6-8, 2014.

Vancouver’s Realwheels Theatre offers up the Tony Award-winning play turned Oscar-baiting heartbreaker, Whose Life Is It Anyway? March 11-22, 2014.

London, Ont.’s Stars and Hearts arrives with Underbelly, Jayson McDonald’s take on Burroughs and the beat poets: March 18-30, 2014.

Strindberg’s classic gets a South African twist in Baxter Theatre Centre’s Mies Julie: March 25-April 19, 2014. The much buzzed about show was one of the hits of the season in both London and New York in 2012.

Quebec’s L’Orchestre d’Hommes-Orchestres arrives with Cabaret Brise-Jour exploring the music of Kurt Weil with a mix of “rare instruments and music-objects,” April 2-6, 2014.

Toronto’s Canadian Rep Theatre presents a gritty new play written by and starring one of Canada’s most famously gritty playwrights, Judith Thomson – Watching Glory Die: April 22-May 3, 2014.

The season closes out with Vancouver’s Vision Impure and Toronto’s Nova Dance offer Dvote, a look at sexuality and spirituality: May 27-31, 2014.