Illicit aims to reveal real lives of drug users at Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival

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      To help people understand what is happening in the Downtown Eastside and share the realities of life as a drug user, a group of frontline responders is mounting an interdisciplinary theatre production at the Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival next Thursday (November 2) at KW Production Studio at 111 West Hastings Street.

      Called Illicit: Stories from a harm reduction movement, the site-specific installation and performance was created in response to the closing of the harm-reduction facility DURC (Drug Users Resource Centre).

      The show uses theatre, monologues, shadow puppetry, and marionettes to tell personal stories, with the artistic team of Kelty McKerracher, David Mendes, Renae Morriseau, and Devon Martin collaborating on the project with performers. It's presented in partnership with the SFU Office of Community Engagement and the Heart of the City Festival.

      “They’re going to see the truth,” Tina Shaw, who works in overdose response at the Maple Overdose-Prevention Site, told the Straight last summer before a workshop production of Illicit at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre. Shaw plays Ash, the production’s main character. “They’re going to see everything that has been hidden and covered up about what life is like for an addict.”

      Find the whole Heart of the City schedule here.

      Note that the folks producing Illicit will also deliver a mini-performance at Fighting for Space, a November 16 panel discussion about the fentanyl crisis that’s planned in conjunction with the publication of Georgia Straight staff writer Travis Lupick’s book of the same name; info is here.