We asked the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival’s executive and artistic director Franco Boni and associate artistic director Joyce Rosario to unearth some of the hidden gems amid the interdisciplinary celebration that runs citywide from Tuesday (January 21) to February 9. Here are their insider recommendations:
January 29 to February 2 at the Annex
An interactive show that asks strangers to connect. We won’t tell you more about this production from the U.S.’s 600 Highwaymen. “This is one of those works we have a saying for at PuSh: ‘Don’t ask, just go.’ This is all about entering with curiousity and openheartedness,” Rosario raves.
January 28 to February 2 at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre
The sound-art installation (shown here) pays moving tribute to 10 victims of violence in Syria, each buried in a family garden. “Franco and I discovered [artist] Tania El Khoury together at In Between Time [festival] in Bristol,” Rosario says. “It gives you the feeling I used to get when I first went to PuSh.”
Old Stock: A Refugee Story
January 24 to 26 and 28 to 30 at the Frederic Wood Theatre
“For me this is one of those enduring pieces: it’s been travelling all over the world and it’s been reviewed so well—it’s been on top 10 lists in so many places, and then there’s [playwright] Hannah Moscovitch, who is such an incredible writer,” says Boni. “Plus who doesn’t love klezmer music?”
February 3 to 5 at the Waterfront Theatre
Talking robotic rice cookers and moving reflections on South Korea's lost generation. "It examines such a precarious time in South Korean history," Rosario remarks. "It seems fun but it examines the effects of the financial crisis."
February 6 to 9 at the Anvil Centre
“It’s an interactive basketball piece made by five men who didn’t think they’d been making a show but came together at a particularly difficult time in their lives,” Boni says. “Really the piece is about community.”