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Ruby Slippers Theatre 2019/20 Season:
Celebrating Unlikely Love, Healing, and Reclamation
Vancouver, BC (September 20, 2019) – Ruby Slippers Theatre (RST) enters its 31st season with a five day festival of new plays written and directed by diverse female-identifying artists, Advance Theatre: New Works by Diverse Women. RST is also offering the West Coast English-language premiere of From Alaska by Sébastien Harrisson, translated by Leanna Brodie; as well as featuring Wet’suwet’en artist Taninli Wright’s Sis Ne’ Bi -Yïz: Mother Bear Speaks, based on the playwright’s own inspiring story of healing and reclamation, as part of The Cultch’s Femme Series.
“We are thrilled to share with our community another radically inclusive and socially potent season of work that empowers the voices of five female-identifying playwrights and directors, and offers a significant new voice from Québec in English translation. Our programming this season is focused on healing through unlikely love, and ultimately personal and political empowerment through reclamation. These relevant and resonant works reflect the struggles around us, and inspire us to find meaning through acts of compassion and courage,” says Diane Brown, Artistic Director, Ruby Slippers Theatre.
Brown adds that this is a thrilling time of significant growth at RST with renewed energy and clarity of vision: “We say a heartfelt thank you and fond adieu to friend and colleague Meredith Elliott as she continues her journey after seven impressive years of amazing work at RST, and as we welcome four new powerhouse, brilliant women to the RST team!” Incoming this season are Artist in Residence Jessica Hood; Associate Artist and translator Leanna Brodie; Associate Artist and Advance Theatre curator Tai Amy Grauman; and General Manager Grace Chin.
Ruby Slippers Theatre is excited to announce the English-language West Coast premiere production of From Alaska by Sébastien Harrisson, translated by Leanna Brodie, in association with Gateway Theatre.
A troubled teenager escaping from the world breaks into the house of an elderly woman. Time passes with the unpredictable rhythms of grief as the seemingly mismatched pair share their feelings of love and loss. Moving effortlessly between street-smart humour and lyrical elegance, From Alaska explores the intense connection between young and old; the limits of language; and the ways in which we come to both change and mirror the ones we love.
Directed by Diane Brown. Featuring Kelli Fox and Jason Sakaki. With set and costume design by Drew Facey, Technical direction by Adrian Muir, lighting design by John Webber, original music and sound design by Heather Kemski, assistant set and costume design by Jessica Hood, visual design by Jordan Lloyd Watkins, stage management by Susan D Currie and assistant stage management by Nico Dicecco.
CANCELLED: Please view Press Release
Don’t miss Taninli Wright’s courageous true story Mother Bear Speaks – a staged reading of her latest draft for one night only at The Cultch, suggested donation at the door. Ruby Slippers Theatre is proud to present Sis Ne’ Bi -Yïz: Mother Bear Speaks by Taninli Wright as part of The Cultch’s Femme Series highlighting the strength and power of female-identifying voices and experiences.
Inspired by the true story of this Wet’suwet’en artist, who walked 1,600 kilometres across British Columbia to empower First Nations children and other marginalized youth. Sis Ne’ Bi -Yïz: Mother Bear Speaks also received a public reading during RST’s fifth annual Advance Theatre: New Works by Diverse Women in September 2019, in partnership with the Vancouver Fringe Festival, Playwrights Guild of Canada and Playwrights Theatre Centre.
Featuring Taninli Wright.
Monday, Sept. 9, 1:30 pm ūtszan by Yvonne Wallace
Tuesday Sept. 10, 1:30 pm Mother Bear Speaks by Taninli Wright
Wednesday, Sept. 11 at 1:30 pm Occupational Hazards by Roneen Marcoux
Thursday, Sept. 12, 1:30 pm we the same by Sangeeta Wylie
Friday, Sept. 13, 1:30 pm Fling by Melody Anderson
False Creek Gym, 1318 Cartwright Street (Granville Island); admission by donation.
Advance Theatre: New Works by Diverse Women is produced in partnership with Playwrights Guild of Canada, Playwrights Theatre Centre and Vancouver Fringe Festival.
This is your Advance notice: diverse women are taking the stage
In 2015, Ruby Slippers Theatre approached Playwrights Guild of Canada and the Fringe with the idea to showcase dramatic readings of five new plays written and directed by female identifying Canadian artists. Why? According to a national study, women account for less than a third of artistic directors, working directors, and produced playwrights in professional Canadian theatre. Hence, Advance Theatre! Curated by Ruby Slippers Theatre with priority given to diversity, these five new plays written and directed by diverse Canadian women will be presented as matinees during the Festival.
Tickets are available at the door only and are pay-what-you-can with a suggested price of $5 to $10. Cash only!
Our definition of female includes trans women, non-binary, two spirit and gender queer individuals. Our definition of diversity includes cultural background, age, sexual orientation, and physical/mental ability.
North Vancouver, Canada
Playwright & Performer: Yvonne Wallace
Director: Nyla Carpentier
Intellectual / Tear-Jerker / Intense / 14+
A one-woman show about first language reconnection. Auntie Celia is at the end of her days. She has suffered from a heart attack and realizes that she has very little time left in this World. She makes a decision to have others accommodate her by refusing to speak English. Margaret, her niece, is about to discover that a lifelong path is about to unfold. Margaret is put to task to learn, and think in her Ancestral first-language, Ucwalmicwts. Love will give her the strength she needs to let go as she realizes that the language is easy and it’s the life that was hard.
Sis Ne’ Bi -Yïz: Mother Bear Speaks
Instruments of Change
Playwright & Performer: Taninli Wright
Director: Julie McIsaac
Intense / Intimate / Shocking / 14+ / Violent Content / Sexual Content
Inspired by the true story of this Wet’suwet’en artist, who walked 1,600 km across British Columbia to empower First Nations children and other marginalized youth. Guided by the spirits of her Tsets (Grandfather) and Sis Ne’ (Mother Bear), this captivating emerging artist weaves personal and ancestral narratives that cut to the heart of racist systems and intergenerational traumas, as she triumphs to find her own voice.
Intense / Intimate / Shocking / 14+ / Violent Content / Sexual Content / Multicultural
A Dog’s Chance Productions
Playwight: Roneen Marcoux
Director: Tamara McCarthy
Performers: Jenn Griffin, Emma Slipp, Stefania Indelicato, Joel Montgrand, Mike Gill, Dave Mott.
Funny / Shocking / Tear-Jerker / 14+ / Coarse Language / Sexual Content / Violent Content
Annie just started working as a cocktail waitress in a country-western bar. She’s worried her boss is going to fire her, if she doesn’t pick up the pace. Luckily, Maggie, a 20-year veteran of the drink pushing business, takes Annie under her wing. However, what Annie learns about working in a bar is more than she bargained for.
we the same
Playwright: Sangeeta Wylie
Director: Rachel Ditor
Performers: Elizabeth Thai, Nhi Do, Chris Lam, Lissa Neptuno, Brandy Le, Gabriel Carter.
Intense / Tear-Jerker / Poetic / Multicultural / 18+ / Violent Content / Sexual Content
we the same is inspired by a true story. In 1979 a mother with six young children separated from their father as they flee Vietnam, endure pirate attacks, typhoons, shipwreck, starvation and more. After over 40 years of secrets, is reconciliation possible between a mother and her daughter?
This is a partial reading with live in-conversations between selected scenes.
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.
Playwright: Melody Anderson
Director: Sarah Rodgers
Performers: Peter Anderson, Erla Faye Forsythe, Beatrice Zeilinger.
Intimate / Funny / LGBTQ+ / 14+
Lynnie and Barb, two sisters in their 60s, arrive at their childhood home to sort through the belongings of their recently deceased mother. As details about their family history are peeled away, increasingly startling discoveries are made, and cracks in their relationship with each other become apparent. Is there still time for their father, who suffers from dementia, to help them get to the truth?
Ruby Slippers Theatre’s Season Sponsors
Ruby Slippers Theatre’s Funders
Media contact: Maryanne Renzetti
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