Event Category: Festival

The Darlings

A panel of four portrait photos of each of The Darlings in costume

The deconstruction and reimagining of the memories of four queer performance artists. Dissecting the ideas of nostalgia, history, and trauma and how those things form our present state. Circumstance that has been formed by a lifetime of happenings that couldn’t be explained to someone who hasn’t lived them. A completely personal queer existence shown through our lens, as a collective.

The Darlings are a multidisciplinary non-binary drag performance collective based in Vancouver. Their work challenges the boundaries of conventional drag and explores genderqueer, non-binary, and Trans experience through the use of movement, poetry, performance art, theatre, and immersive installation.

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Pearle Harbour’s Agit-Pop!

Pearle Harbour holding a microphone and looking up under a spotlight against a dark blue background

Award-winning drag tragicomedienne Pearle Harbour presents her cabaret spectacular Agit-Pop! – musical meditations for the pre-post-apocalypse. Song, storytelling, and socio-political tirades galore, as Pearle dishes piping hot takes and spills scalding tea on some of the most troubling issues facing the new century. Developed over five years of live performance, Agit Pop! is an ever-changing collection of Pearle’s favourite, best, and most heart-wrenchingly hilarious short acts. With accompaniment by musical director Steven Conway, Pearle serenades audiences with new arrangements of old classics and little known gems by David Bowie, Judy Garland, Tom Waits, and more.

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eat your heART out Cabaret

A heart-shaped cookie broken down the middle - the right side is frosted in white and the left side frosted in red

Raucous cabaret numbers. Fabulous performance art. High camp. This cabaret celebrates and deconstructs Valentine’s Day as local & festival performers explore relationships, love, breakups and cupids through a queer lens.

Featuring the patriarchy-smashing, politically-oriented queer burlesque troupe, Riot Grrrls Burlesque and the high-energy, singing, dancing, girl group from the Fringe hit, GRL PWR, Salty Broad Productions, alongside festival performers.

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Exploring ASL and Music

Sound Off Deaf Theatre Festival in black capital letters surrounded an illustrated eye with yellow background on white

A discussion with Deaf panelists on their personal experiences of working with ASL and music. How is ASL music created? What is the difference between signed music and interpreting music into ASL? Come join the discussion and learn about the role that music can play in Deaf performance.

Presenters: Elizabeth Morris, Natasha Bacchus, Robert Bhola, Juan Jaramillo and Chris Dodd

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Deaf Interpreting for the Stage

Sound Off Deaf Theatre Festival in black capital letters surrounded an illustrated eye with yellow background on white

Join the discussion with Deaf panelists as we explore the role of Deaf interpreters in live theatre. What does Deaf interpreting mean and how does this differ from regular interpreting? And how does Deaf interpreting enhance the performance for a Deaf audience?

Presenters: Elizabeth Morris, Gaitrie Persaud, Sage Lovell and Chris Dodd

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1000 Ladders Down – Staged Reading

A painting with purple brush strokes on the left and yellow textured lines on the right

Joanne Weber (writer/performer, artistic director of Deaf Crows Collective) is developing a new Deaf Crows Collective original performance, an underworld journey paralleling Joanne’s own struggle to descend ‘a thousand ladders down’ to befriend the ‘clod of earth’ that she is. The play also features the struggle of a mother (Michelle Grodecki) to empower her Deaf son (Mustafa Alabssi) so that he can begin his journey of ascent. As a shaman in training, he rises and takes his place as a new leader in the Deaf community. Please join us for a workshopped reading of this forthcoming work. The finished performance will include ASL poetry, puppetry, physical performance, dancing and drumming, and encounters with a Celtic shaman! This is mythmaking on a new scale!

Performers: Joanne Weber, Mustafa Alabssi and Michelle Grodecki

Tickets for this event are via our Offer-What-You-Will program. Tickets are available on a first-come, first served basis at the ATB Financial Arts Barns Box Office.

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Creating Sign Language Magic

A person on a stage, lit with purple light, holding their hands in front of them, with two silhouetted people in the foreground

Explore the possibilities for creating accessible sign language productions for d/Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, and sign language users. This workshop looks at multiple approaches, using select performance excerpts to demonstrate interpretation, shadowing, and acting practices. In addition, you will have the opportunity to try your hand at what you have learned in small groups.

Presenters: Thurga Kanagasekarampillai and Sage Lovell

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Surtitles and Accessibility for the Stage

"Surtitles and Accessibility for the Stage" in white outlined letters on black, with a blue eye, orange hand, pink ear and green brain above

What are surtitles and how can they help make a performance accessible to those with a linguistic or hearing barrier?

Among the numerous contexts into which surtitling has evolved since their initial use for opera performances in the 1980s, surtitles have now become a tool to make theatre performances accessible for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. This workshop will provide you with an overview of surtitling contexts. You will also gain a general understanding of the methods and processes of creating surtitles for theatre performances and beyond.

Presenter: Milane Pridmore-Franz

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Anywhere But Here

A painted mural on a corrugated wall, with monarch butterflies flying above against a blue sky

From North to South, a family reverses the refugee’s path in this darkly humorous vision of exile. The action is set in 1979, along the border between the US and Mexico. There, a father and his two daughters drive in a chrome convertible. They’re returning to Chile from Canada, and as they travel, visions of the past and future surround them. Their encounters with people crossing—and guarding—the border range from the poignant to the comical to the fantastical, and the audience is privileged to their internal journeys as individuals as well as their external journey as a family unit.

Inventively staged, inflected by magic realism and boasting stunts, a terrific musical score and two rap tracks by Shad Kabango, Anywhere But Here pulls out all the stops in its portrayal of a Latinx family and its hopes, fears and fantasies. It’s a feverish commentary on the power of the state and the condition of statelessness, and as such it carries a special resonance today.

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A person sitting crosslegged on a stage, holding a rice cooker, with two more rice cookers on either side, and the caption "Hello my son. did you have a good meal?"

Jaha Koo folds 20 years of South Korean history into this bittersweet narrative. An economic disaster and its ripple effects are conveyed in an onstage performance by the artist and some very special companions: a group of talking rice cookers. Re-programmed to speak, these devices serve as a token of Jaha’s alienation and a metaphor for the most absurd, most comical aspects of the recent past.

Cuckoo is a dialogue, a confessional, even a documentary of sorts. Jaha sits with his electronic friends, and together they discuss the catastrophic market crash of 1997 and subsequent national phenomena, including unemployment, depression and suicide among the youth. The subject matter is dark, but there’s rich comedy in the wry observations, the personal revelations and, of course, the basic concept itself. This is an account of deep malaise in which the storyteller(s!) demonstrate enough wit and creativity to suggest that there is, against the odds, hope for the future.

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