PuSh International Performing Arts Festival

January 10 – February 4, 2006

At various venues around Vancouver

Launched in January 2003 in partnership with Touchstone Theatre, PuSh is Vancouver’s very own annual, mid-winter, multidisciplinary festival showcasing critically acclaimed artists and their work. Take in groundbreaking theatre, dance and music from Corner Brook, Montreal, Calgary, London, Paris and Vancouver.


Tempting Providence

By Robert Chafe
A Theatre Newfoundland Labrador (Corner Brook) production

January 10 – 14
Vancouver East Cultural Centre

Tempting Providence is a moving portrait of Nurse Myra Bennett, a British-born nurse who for more than 50 years provided the only medical services along 350 kilometres of rugged Newfoundland coastline earning her the name “Florence Nightingale of the North.”

Director Jillian Keiley | Original Lighting Designer Walter J. Snow | Costume Designer Barry Buckle | Stage Manager Karla Biggin | Tour Manager Denise Dolliver | Pre, intermission and post-show music Rufus Guinchard | Performers Deidre Gillard-Rowlings, Darryl Hopkins, Melanie Caines, Robert Wyatt Thorne


By Akira Kurosawa
An Eye of Newt (Vancouver) Production

With original live musical score by Eye of Newt Ensemble
January 17
Vancouver East Cultural Centre

Stefan Smulovitz leads the brilliant Eye of Newt ensemble with an original score to legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa’s final film. An acknowledged masterpiece Dreams (also known as Such Dreams I Have Dreamed), is essentially eight breath-takingly beautiful separate short films that together explore man’s relationship with his environment. In one sequence, Martin Scorsese stars as Vincent Van Gogh in a wheat field resembling one of the artist’s paintings. Another dream sequence explores Kurosawa’s fear of nuclear devastation, while others capture moments of magic such as a young boy who sees peach trees dancing around him.

Eye of Newt ensemble: Stefan Smulovitz, viola & laptop | Peggy Lee, cello | John Korsrud, trumpet | Viviane Houle, voice | Ron Samworth, guitar

Studies in Motion: The Hauntings of Eadweard Muybridge

By Kevin Kerr
An Electric Company Theatre / Theatre at UBC / PuSh co-production

January 17 – 29
Frederic Wood Theatre, UBC

Studies in Motion: The Hauntings of Eadweard Muybridge is the world premiere of a new play by Governor General’s Award-winning playwright Kevin Kerr (Unity (1918)). Studies in Motion is an original, multi-media play inspired by the works of the 19th Century photographer whose obsession with capturing human motion on film lead to the development of cinema. A twelve-person acting ensemble combines with sound, choreography, video and slide projections in this physically and visually explosive spectacle exploring an important turning point in our culture.

Director Kim Collier | Scenographer Robert Gardiner | Costume Designer Mara Gottler | Composer Patrick Pennefather | Choreographer Crystal Pite | Stage Manager Jan Hodgson | Featuring Patti Allan, Ryan Beil, Lara Gilchrist, Kai James, Shane Kolmansberger, Allan Morgan, Dawn Petten, Joel Redmond, Kyle Rideout, Juno Ruddell, Jonathon Young & Andrew Wheeler

5 AM (5 Heures du matin)

Directed and choreographed by Paula de Vasconcelos
A Pigeons International (Montreal) production

January 18 – 21
Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre

5 AM (5 Heures du matin) is a compelling new work from Montreal’s renowned Pigeons International and acclaimed photographer Serge Clément. Taken at sunrise, in seven cities across five continents, Serge Clément’s photographs are the central inspiration for 5 AM, a unique production that blends theatre, dance and photography.

Set and Costume Design Paula de Vasconcelos | Lighting Design Guy Simard | Photography Serge Clément | Performers Milene Azze, Violette Chauveau, Nathalie Blanchet, Bruno Schiappa, Paul-Antoine Taillefer

Famous Puppet Death Scenes

An Old Trout Puppet Workshop (Calgary) production
Conceived, created, constructed and performed by
The Old Trout Puppet Workshop

January 20 – 22
Performance Works, Granville Island

The Old Trouts promise to cure your fear of death; no more anxiety about difficult choices, no more dreading birthdays, no more desperate pleas for immortality through fame, art, or progeny. Through a collection of famous scenes culled from the absolute best puppet shows in history, The Old Trouts will deconstruct your traumatized psyche and reconstruct you so that death means nothing to you anymore. In a way, we promise ever-lasting life. Through a puppet show. That’s right.

Director Tim Sutherland | Set Design The Old Trouts | Costume Design Jen Gareau | The Old Trouts Peter Balkwill, Bobby Hall, Pityu Kenderes, Stephen Pearce, Judd Palmer

Sexual Practices of the Japanese

By Maiko Bae Yamamoto, James Long, Manami Hara, Hiro Kanagawa
A Theatre Replacement (Vancouver) Production

January 24 – 28
Vancouver East Cultural Centre
Vancouver East Cultural Centre / PuSh co-presentation

A scintillating peek into the world of common stereotypes surrounding Japanese culture. This sometimes-irreverent trilogy of interweaving one-acts takes us from a crowded commuter train to one of Tokyo’s infamous love hotels and touches on office politics, work parties and Seattle Mariners star fielder (and Japanese icon) Ichiro Suzuki. Each of the plays in this trilogy takes a specific stereotype and examines it, then stretches it further in an attempt to explode the preconception and discover the universal truth behind it.

Directed by James Long & Maiko Bae Yamamoto | Sound Design Veda Hille & Lee Hutzulak | Costume Design Barbara Clayden | Lighting Design Jonathan Ryder | Stage Manager Kelly Barker | Technical Direction Colin Cooper | Performers Maiko Bae Yamamoto, Manami Hara, Hiro Kanagawa

Absence and Presence

By Andrew Dawson
An Andrew Dawson (London) Production

January 25 – 29
Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre

Winner of the Herald Angeland Total Theatre Award at the 2005 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Dawson’s Absence and Presence is a deeply moving story of parental love and loss. Dawson’s father died in 1985 and his body lay undiscovered for 10 days. The trauma inspired him to create this unusual autobiographical work that deals with his sense of loss and guilt, his affection and conflict, and the unique emotions of a son to his father. Poised, lyrical and exceedingly beautiful, the show inches quietly into all of one’s senses. The work uses sculpture, video, text and the delicate, sensitive movement that Dawson has long established as his artistic signature, creating a memorable production that is both emotionally and visually captivating.

Realized & Performed by Andrew Dawson in Collaboration with Jos Houben, Graham Johnston, Fabrik Potsdam | Music Score Jody Talbot | Sculpture, Design & Lighting Andrew Dawson | Video Andrew Dawson | Tap Dance Wendy Shkreli

Six Miniature Tragedies (Six tragEdies miniatures)

Written and Directed by Jean-Paul Wenzel
A Jean-Paul Wenzel (Paris) Production
Translated from French by Virginie Isbell

January 26 – February 12
Studio 58, Langara College
Studio 58 / Langara College / PuSh co-presentation

Celebrated French playwright, director and actor Jean-Paul Wenzel directs professional actors and the senior students of Studio 58 in his newest work. Six Miniature Tragedies is a series of vignettes that employ various theatrical forms, ranging from cabaret to tragedy, collectively revealing the chaos lurking in our intimate lives. In these stories of revenge and obsessive love, Wenzel delves into the dark corners of the human psyche with disarming frankness, humour and compelling wit. Six Miniature Tragedies brings Vancouver audiences face to face with a contemporary French theatre aesthetic.

Director Jean-Paul Wenzel | Set Yvan Morissette | Costumes Sheila White | Lighting Alan Brodie | Performers Tom McBeath, Kerry Sandomirsky and the senior students of Studio 58


A Kronos Quartet Production
With special guest Tanya Tagaq (San Francisco / Bilbao)

January 28
The Chan Centre at UBC
The Chan Centre at UBC / PuSh co-presentation

The Northern Lights come alive in a stellar program featuring artists from the northern hemisphere. A much anticipated highlight of the program will be the world premiere of a new collaboration with the incomparable Canadian Inuit throat- singer Tanya Tagaq, in a work created by Tanya Tagaq, acclaimed Argentinean composer Osvaldo Golijovand the Kronos Quartet. The concert will also feature works by Canada’s own Derek Charke, Estonia’s Arvo Pärt and Iceland’s Sigur Ros. Vancouver is the first stop of the tour, which culminates at Carnegie Hall in New York City later this spring.

Kronos Quartet: David Harrington,violin | John Sherba, violin | Hank Dutt, viola | Jeffrey Zeigler, cello | Singer Tanya Tagaq


Created by Lynda Gaudreau
A Lynda Gaudreau / Compagnie De Brune (Montreal) production

January 31 – February 1
Scotiabank Dance Centre
The Dance Centre / PuSh co-presentation

Dance, visual arts, philosophy, anatomy and architecture intersect in the luminous work of internationally renowned choreographer Lynda Gaudreau. Compilation is part of her Encyclopoediaseries: an intriguing work for four dancers incorporating video by UK choreographer Jonathan Burrows and Belgian director Thierry De Mey. Gaudreau’s ‘living encyclopoedia of movement’ examines the human form with a startling clarity and precision, which unexpectedly plunges us into a world of vivid emotions.

Choreography and Artistic Direction Lynda Gaudreau | Original Score Rober Racine (Piano, 1999) | Scenography and Sound Direction Lynda Gaudreau | Lighting Design Lucie Bazzo | Costume Design Lynda Gaudreau, Carmen Alie, Denis Lavoie | Integrated videography from original films by Jonathan Burrows (Hands, 1995) and Thierry De Mey (Musique de Tables, 1999) | Dancers Anna Bozzini, Sophie Janssens, Sophie Lavigne, Monique Romeiko

Sisters, Such Devoted Sisters

Written and performed by Russell Barr
An Out of Joint (London) production

February 1 – 4
Waterfront Theatre, Granville Island

A shocking and funny insight into the life of a Glaswegian drag queen,  Sisters, Such Devoted Sisters won the Carol Tambor Award given to the best piece of theatre on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. With its witty, seen-it-all heroine, Sisters is an unnerving and touching experience. It combines a shocking and lonely crime witnessed on Glasgow’s gay scene, with a bittersweet comic narrative about a young man coming-of-age, blowing up pigeons, shoplifting, learning to kiss and creating an unlikely identity for himself.

Associate Director Naomi Jones | Make-up Designer Damien Stirk | Dress by Aileen Sherry | Make-up provided by MAC Cosmetics

From Stage to Screen: Contemporary French Theatre on Film

January 11 – 12
Pacific Cinémathèque, 1131 Howe Street

Some of France’s finest contemporary theatre artists and their revolutionary visions captured on film.

A Showcase of Contemporary French Playwrighting

A Playwrights Theatre Centre / Théâtre la Seizième / PuSh co-production

January 13 – 15
PTC Studio in Festival House, Granville Island

Following last year’s success with Under the Kilt– a showcase of Scottish playwrights, PuSh returns with an international reading series. Join local performers and directors for a weekend series of public readings featuring some of the compelling examples of current trends in French writing. Panel discussions and forums for exchange explore the process of translating plays and culture and how to access new audiences and markets through translation. Visiting participants include some of France and Canada’s leading playwrights, translators, dramaturgs and literary managers.


Thom Pain (based on nothing)

by Will Eno
A Western Theatre Conspiracy production

January 11 – 15
Performance Works, Granville Island

Thom Pain opens the door and invites you in. Pulls the rug out from under you. Serves you desserts sweet and just. Will Eno’s virtuoso solo show, hints at Beckett, suggests Monty Python, breaks its own theatrical rules while engaging the audience in a philosophical, poetic rumination on life, love and loss. It was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 2005. Critics have worked up a sweat trying to describe it. Thom Pain is an original. Thom Pain is a wit.

Directed by Richard Wolfe | Starring Scott Bellis

The Perfectionist

A Boca del Lupo production

January 19 – 29
Waterfront Theatre, Granville Island

The Perfectionist follows the deceptively simple lives of a man and a woman in their hilarious and heartbreaking attempts to hurdle their own impossibly high standards. In this collaboration, mediums collide as the quirky imagery of Yukon animation artist Jay White, the evocative lighting of John Webber, the haunting compositions of Joelysa Pankanea, and the engaging performances of Sherry J Yoon, Jay Dodge and Steve Charles come together under the inventive direction of New York’s Jill A. Samuels.

Dances for a Small Stage XII

A MovEnt production

January 30 – 31
Crush Champagne Lounge, 1180 Granville (@ Davie)

Mix fabulous contemporary dance, a downtown Vancouver cocktail lounge, and a ridiculously small stage, and find yourself at the hottest dance series in town. Dances for a Small Stage opens the doors on a fresh, inventive approach to live dance theatre. With drinks in hand, sit back, relax and enjoy contemporary dance in an exhilarating, hip and creatively contained environment. This is new dance, made to measure.

Happy End!: A PuSh Cabaret celebrating Samuel Beckett’s 100th birthday

A Western Theatre Conspiracy / PuSh co-production

January 21
The ANZA Club (3 West 8th Ave)

Beckett probably would not have been happy to turn 100 years old. But he’s dead. And we’re alive. Western Theatre Conspiracy and the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival celebrate the master’s eternal genius with Happy End!–a bash featuring music, comedy and theatre by festival performers and others. Get ready to party like there is no God.

PuSh Assembly Annual International Conference

January 27 – 29
Roundhouse Community Centre

The PuSh Assembly is a three-day networking event that brings together local, national and international artists, presenters and producers for dialogue, exchange and tour market development. The Assembly provides an invaluable resource to the Canadian theatre touring and presenting milieu, acting both as a point of contact and a showcase for new Canadian work. Visiting national and international delegates attend performances, participate on panels, lead workshops, learn of creative projects currently in development, negotiate future tours and commissions, and acquire an in-depth appreciation for the Canadian performing arts scene. Each year the Assembly focuses on an overall theme drawn from contemporary practice and discourse. Areas of common concern are addressed and a curatorial focus for the Festival’s programming is highlighted. Themes have included last year’s A New Ecology for Performance and this year’s Acts of Creation.