news | Monday March 25, 2024

Celebrate World Theatre Day!

March 27 is World Theatre Day! To celebrate, we’d like to share some of the phenomenal plays we’ve had the honour of publishing in recent years.

1. Antigone In Spring by Nathalie Boisvert and translated by Hugh Hazelton

Inspired by the classic play by Sophocles, Antigone in Spring takes us to a fictional Québec rife with political upheaval against a government led by the autocratic Creon. Siblings Antigone, Polynices, and Eteocles learn a shocking family truth and become tangled up in the revolution sweeping the city.

2. No More Harveys by Chantal Bilodeau

No More Harveys is the third play of the Arctic Cycle, a series of eight plays that looks at the social and environmental impacts of the climate crisis on the eight Arctic states. In No More Harveys, our protagonist flees her abusive husband and heads for Alaska to reunite with friends – and instead encounters the wonder of whales. This play presents a world dominated by colonialism, capitalism, and patriarchy where the problems that plague our communities, be we women or whales, share the same gnarled roots.

3. Do you mind if I sit here? by James Long and Marcus Youssef

Thirty years from now, three social planners visit Vancouver’s Russian Hall, long abandoned due to earthquakes and flooding, with a seemingly straightforward task: repurpose the hall for common use. But the trio soon discover the project won’t be an easy fix. An eccentric squatter, armed with a trove of Soviet industrial films on 16 mm stock, has made the damaged hall their home … and they’re not leaving.

4. The Piano Teacher by Dorothy Dittrich

In this Governor General’s Literary Award–winning play, classical pianist Erin experiences the loss of the life she knew and finds herself dealing with the departure of her own musical expression as well. Navigating her way through this change, she meets an unconventional piano teacher who gives her new hope for the future. As Elaine gently reacquaints Erin with her instrument, other life changes naturally follow – not just for Erin but for Elaine as well.

5. Kisses Deep by Michel Marc Bouchard and translated by Linda Gaboriau

Consumed by fantasies of opulent fabrics and women’s high fashion, a young man desperately tries to restore his mother’s tarnished reputation. Channeling Yves Saint Laurent, his idol and muse, Hugo sets out to right the widespread rumours about his mother, Béatrice, by designing the perfect outfit for her court appearance.

6. Moving the Centre by Andrew Kushnir and Khari Wendell McClelland

Moving the Centre explores the work of two theatre artists who dare, fumble, and persist in bringing audiences into a space where we can all listen differently. The two plays it includes — Small Axe and Freedom Singer — lean into the problems and possibilities of verbatim theatre to engage questions of justice and identity and the complex history all around us. Originally developed and produced by Toronto’s socially engaged theatre company Project: Humanity, these plays explore the power of recorded “real-life” encounters as a way for artists and the public to re-examine our defining narratives.

7. Shadow Catch by Daphne Marlatt

The Noh-influenced libretto of Shadow Catch recounts the dreams – or are they dreams? – of the Runaway, a teenage boy who ends up one night in Oppenheimer Park in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Here four troubled spirits from the park’s past appear to him: the Spirit of the Maple Tree from K’emk’emeláy̓ whose grove was decimated by loggers, a member of the brilliant Asahi baseball team whose players were sent off to Japanese internment camps, the keeper of a 1920s brothel who is haunted by the tragic death of one of “her” women, and a roughneck policeman from the 1930s who gave in to corruption.

8. The Ballad of Ginger Goodwin & Kitimat by Elaine Ávila

Discover how Canada got the eight-hour workday! Visit the first town to vote on Big Oil! The Ballad of Ginger Goodwin recreates the events surrounding the mysterious death of Albert “Ginger” Goodwin, who led a strike at a Canadian zinc smelter in Trail, BC, that brought the WW I British war machine to a halt. In Kitimat, residents of an industry town in the glorious BC wilderness struggle to decide between economic prosperity and environmental protection when they must vote yes or no to a proposed oil pipeline.

9. Inheritance by Daniel Arnold, Darrell Dennis, and Medina Hahn

An urban couple are on a getaway to visit her father at his vast rural estate. But when they arrive, they find him missing and a local Indigenous man staying there instead. They ask him to leave … and with an anonymous click of your remote, you choose what happens next.

When it’s revealed that the colonial rights to this entire property are actually up for grabs, you must continue to decide how the story unfolds, ultimately determining how the land will be stewarded, and by whom.

We are grateful to work with so many sharp, insightful writers who explore and then share the world through theatre. Happy World Theatre Day!

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