Everything is connected – 35 years of theatre and dance that connects.
The Firehall has been bustling since kicking off our 2017-2018 season. Feasting on Famine and Hyperlink have been and gone and Happy Place by Pamela Sinha just closed. The cast and crew of Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth are into their second week of rehearsals and True Voice Theatre Project just presented here as part of the Heart of the City festival. We have lots of artists coming in and out for upcoming projects and our two Puppies-in-Residence, Wookie and Lou, roaming the halls. Their humans General Manager, Susan, and Marketing and Administrative assistant, Cheyenne, also play a very important part here. We are excited to be in our 35th season with an amazing line-up for our audiences. There is truly something for everyone.
Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth, first produced at the Firehall in the ‘90’s, is the story of Janice Wirth (born Grace Wabung), who was raised by a white family in London, Ontario after being removed from her birth family’s home in Otter Lake, a First Nations reserve. Janice’s birth sister, Barb, surprises her at her home in Toronto with her boyfriend, Rodney, and his brother, Tonto. They are there to convince Janice to come back to Otter Lake to pay her last respects to their birth mother, who has just passed on. After much convincing, Janice agrees to do so and in doing so is forced to confront her feelings of anger and resentment, as well as to seek forgiveness.
Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth is a sequel to Drew Hayden Taylor’s earlier play, Someday and is set 5 months later. In Someday, Janice/Grace comes to Otter Lake to find her birth mother, Anne, on Christmas eve, hoping to resolve some of the question she had about why she was adopted. When she discovers that 35 years earlier she was taken from her family during the “scoop-up”, for no known reason, she runs away from this past in her confusion and pain. “Scoop-up” is a term that has been used to describe the removal of Native children from their families during the 1950’s and 1960’s. These children were taken from their homes to be placed in adoptive homes in Canada, Europe and the U.S.A. Siblings were separated and grew up in totally different worlds from what they were born into. Anne Wabung, Janice’s birth mother, never completely gave up hope of “someday” reuniting with her baby Grace and to her death hoped she would see her family reunited. However, this was not to be.
Drew Hayden Taylor is adamant that the two plays work independently of each other and indeed they do. He has referred to the earlier play as the family’s and mother’s story whereas Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth is about the sisters, particularly Janice coming to terms with her experience.
In the New Year, the season will continue with The Pipeline Project, produced by ITSAZOO Productions and Savage Society in a work that asks audiences to confront the political conflicts surrounding Canada’s oil industry and the personal conflicts that arise when one considers the impact of truly ‘going green’ . The second act is a Talk Forward where audiences and guest speakers will respond to the play and talk about what we all can do to create a healthy future. The Firehall’s production of Australian playwright Patricia Cornelius’ hard-hitting drama, SHIT, follows The Pipeline Project. As described by Maxim Boon of Melbourne’s Limelight Magazine SHIT is “A brutal but ultimately touching portrait of femininity from the lowest dregs of the underclasses … a truly important work”.
As the leaves fall and seasons pass, the work at the Firehall continues. But there is still time to take advantage of the great ticket prices available through season’s passes. We have seven great productions still to come!
We are so excited to announce that we have surpassed our fundraising goal for our Matching 35th Anniversary Campaign!
Thanks to the numerous donations from our supporters and patrons, we have raised an extraordinary $36,384.
We here at the Firehall Arts Centre are so grateful to be part of such a supportive, giving community. With your generous donations, you help to make possible our goals: to grow and nurture the success of the arts community in Vancouver, as well as provide tickets for social service organizations and subsidize performance and rehearsal space to community and professional organizations alike.
Every dollar makes a huge difference. For more information about donations and becoming a donor, click here.
On behalf of all of us here at the Firehall, thank you.
18 instruments. 6 multi-talented artists. 2 powerhouse collaborators (and spouses!). 1 legendary Canadian musician.
Here’s a sneak peek of rehearsals of Circle Game: Reimagining the Music of Joni Mitchell with cast members Kimmy Choi, David Z. Cohen, Rowen Kahn, Scott Perrie, Adriana Ravalli, and Sara Vickruck
Get your tickets now! Follow this link HERE or call our Box Office at 604.689.0926
Here’s what reviewers are saying:
“A powerful and relevant work” – Jay Minter, On The List
“Donna Spencer…brings together a skillful, sensitive cast.” – Jo Ledingham
“Refuge is a genuine eye-opener, and Donna Spencer’s production gives full value to its concerns. The acting is excellent… “ – Jerry Wasserman, Vancouver Sun
“I don’t remember the last time I saw such raw despair on-stage” – Colin Thomas
There are 6 more chances to see this powerful play
Today’s matinee is PWYC, so get here early to guarantee a good seat!
Thank you to everyone who came to the opening of Refuge. We had some very special guests in attendance including playwright Mary Vingoe, Hon. Sen. Mobina Jaffer, and Yasin Kiragga of the African Descent Society of BC.
Canada has become a beacon for refugees leaving war torn countries, poverty and oppression to find a safe refuge for their families. As numbers of refugees crossing the border increase in this era of actions by the current U.S. President, we need to consider how we, as Canadians, respond to this need. How do we show our support while creating a balance? Our goal is to make this production of REFUGE available to students across the lower mainland and we need your help to make this happen!
The Firehall Arts Centre has set a goal of $6000 in order to offer subsidized tickets to high school, college, and university students who have limited funds to access the arts. It is important that students are exposed to and included in discussions regarding the social, cultural, political, and economic integration of refugees.
Click below to support this initiative!
Marguerite de la Rocque de Roberval, a French nobleman fits the description of what someone whose name shall go unnamed would label a “nasty woman”. She was abandoned by her uncle, who had set out to Canada to help colonize it, on a remote island off the coast of Newfoundland, for her sexual indiscretions in a shipboard romance. Elle survived two winters before finally being rescued. She was then taken back to France where she lived out her life with the memory of her uncle’s cruel judgment haunting her.
This story became a legend. When Severn Thompson discovered the Governor-General Award winning novel Elle, written by Douglas Glover, she was determined to bring it to the stage. “His exploration of this story was so inventive and the character itself that he created – there was something about her humor, and the fact that she was written as quite a misfit …She’s not perfect by any means, but her imperfection makes her quite human and relatable”, Thompson said in a recent Georgia Straight interview with Andrea Warner. Thompson plays the role of Marguerite in her Dora Mavor Moore award-winning stage adaptation of Elle, currently playing at the Firehall. In the play, Thompson explores Glover’s text with passion, humor and physical nuance. In this re-telling she is supported by Jonathan Fisher as Itsik, an indigenous man who discovers her as he is seeking his own redemption and an evocative production design by Jennifer Goodman.
It seems alarming now that someone would have been punished so harshly for engaging in consensual sex and yet “We’re still going through that, “Thompson says connecting the puritanical values of the 1500’s to today. “What I love about her is she can’t help herself. She does have some sense of guilt for religious reasons, but she has such a strong drive to live and to explore her sexuality and everything. She’s very impulsive and it’s interesting to see somebody like that. That’s kind of coded as a headstrong girl, which is still the case, right? Well, ‘headstrong’ is the nicest label, but still, there’s all these labels that women get, you know. ‘She’s so opinionated, she’s so …’ People are very quick to label, dismiss and destroy if they can.”
Don’t miss this opportunity to celebrate this NASTY WOMEN – ELLE playing at the Firehall until February 18th, 2017.
Following its debut at the 2016 Vancouver Fringe Festival, The Nether continues to receive high critical praise on the Firehall Arts Centre stage.
“Don’t be daunted by The Nether’s subject matter. See it. But brace yourself: Haley springs a couple of plot twists that will stun you.” – Colin Thomas, colinthomas.ca
“Director Chris Lam’s minimalist staging is effective; the powerful contrast between the sterility of the real world and the richness of the Hideaway is largely left to our imagination and to the exquisitely atmospheric and subtly ominous sound design, by James Coomber, and lighting, by Jonathan Kim.” – Kathleen Oliver, The Georgia Straight
“The Nether is an insightful and riveting rumination on the virtual era looming in our potential future, beautiful and terrible in its strangeness and its familiarity. It’s guaranteed to infect your thoughts like virulent malware – but in the very best way.” – Max D’Ambrosio, Showbill.ca
“It would be a cliché, but nevertheless true, to say that The Nether deals with fantastic ideas that become more realistic and issues that become timelier every day.” – Jerry Wasserman, Vancouverplays
Tickets $24 ($22 students & seniors).
Our friends and neighbours to the west, the Vancouver Police Museum have a great offer for And Bella Sang With Us ticket holders: visit the Police Museum for FREE on the day of your performance or up to 2 days afterwards.
Museum hours: Tues – Sat 9am-5pm. Don’t have your ticket in hand? Stop by the Firehall Box Office beforehand, we’re open Mon-Fri 9:30am-5pm & Sat 1-4pm.
Check out @policemuseum for your chance to win tickets to And Bella Sang With Us! Contest closes Jan 8th.
And Bella Sang With Us runs until Jan 14th
A stylish female buddy cop play that celebrates two of Canada’s unsung pioneers: Constables Lurancy Harris and Minnie Miller, Vancouver’s first women police officers.
Tickets $24 ($22 students & seniors)
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