The Cascadia Project 

The Cascadia Project, a multi-day theater festival, will bring together a creative writing professor, master students and emerging playwrights to mount a series of new plays from September 26 to October 7 at Studio 1398 on Granville Island. 

A founding member and UBC professor, Bryan Wade, explains the genesis for the theater company and festival:

“The Cascadia Project came about as the result of a playwriting panel I put together and moderated in 2014 in Seattle. Playwrights from Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Victoria, and Alaska riffed on what this unique geographical region signified for them as theatre artists. What were the other connective elements that we share besides standing by for an earthquake or a tsunami and the constant quest for a good cup of coffee? What are these elements now? These six unique plays are The Cascadia Project’s first offering. Welcome.” 

These six plays include Wade’s new script, Eight Ways to Fate and All, which challenges five actors to play 20 characters who share their experiences with illicit opioid use.

The opioid epidemic affects every level of society, from the suburbs to the downtown alley to the high-rise condo. 

Award-winning solo performer Laura Anne Harris returns to Vancouver with a new show, Destiny, USA. The story: When Laura moves down to the U.S. after getting married, she doesn’t anticipate the cultural climate of Trump’s America. However, as she interacts with ‘real’ America as a Relay Operator for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, she learns that Obama’s hope isn’t necessarily dead just yet. 

Award-winning Vancouver-based Beaverton writer Andrey Summers (Sydney Arts Guide Best Fringe Comedy 2015, Sydney, Australia) brings a new comedy to the festival, The Hanging Judge. In a midnight cemetery outside Napoleonic London, two trolls hold a mock trial to decide the fate of a Chinese expatriate, presided over by the hanged corpse of a racist judge. 

Award-winning writer/director Fiona Revill (Sydney Arts Guide Best Fringe Comedy 2015) has created a nuanced comedy-drama titled Oaks. David (a young man harbouring a secret) and his precocious kid sister, Georgia, are reunited at their mother’s funeral, when Georgia refuses to come down from a tree.

American playwright and Brave New Play Rites producer Tommy Grimly brings absurdism to the festival with his play, Pun Pals. It’s a normal, awful day at work for baristas Rosey and Gilda until they discover that they can only speak in puns. Chaos ensues. 

Rounding up the festival is a bilingual piece by Toronto-born Issie Patterson: Wayne Gretzky Never Takes It Black. This comedy-drama is about two baristas who must save the independent cafe they work in – a bilingual community hub in Sherbrooke, Quebec – from being turned into a Starbucks. 

The Cascadia Project has been programmed into a White, Blue and Green night – each featuring two plays – over the course of its two-week run at Studio 1398.

The final October 7 performance of Eight Ways to Fate and All will be a benefit show, with all proceeds going towards three DTES charitable programs: PHS Community Services Society, Sheway and VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation and the Union Gospel Mission.

For more info about the festival, artists involved and performance times, please visit The Cascadia Project online.

The Cascadia Project

Dates: September 26 to October 7
Venue: Studio 1398, 1398 Cartwright Street, Granville Island, Vancouver
Tickets: From $15 to $30, available in advance online and in person at the door

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