The Cultch announces “miracle” fall season, with digital offerings and hopes for small live performances

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      It's back: after being shuttered due to COVID since March, the Cultch has announced a fall season that offers live performance digitally, with plans to explore how to safely bring in small audiences as well.

      Programming emphasizes local artists, with "Pandemic Artist-in-Residence" Veda Hille, the return of the beloved East Van Panto as a best-of remix, and an evolution of the TRANSFORM Cabaret Festival.

      "These past five months have been a true rollercoaster,” executive director Heather Redfern said in today's announcement. “Who knew so much could change in such a short time? I’m immensely proud of, and grateful for, every person who has been on this journey, and the way we have to risen to the challenge of what has been a series of very difficult experiences. The fact that we are able to do a fall season is a miracle. And the fact that we have been able to pivot as an organization so quickly to do so is a double miracle. We’re so proud to be able to honour these artists and, most of all, share their extraordinary work with our community.”

      Because the pandemic situation and safety regulations are ever-evolving, the Cultch is unveiling its fall 2020 season only, with spring announcements coming later. 

      Along with that change comes a new subscription system: Subscription Boxes allow patrons to choose from a Solo Party or Bubble Box program. As an added bonus, subscribers will get exclusive access to virtual talkbacks, access to a new Cultch podcast hosted by Tetsuro Shigematsu, and curated digital content from Joyce Rosario, formerly of the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival.

      TRANSFORM is back for its second iteration, with local and international Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists bringing theatre, music, drag, burlesque, circus, comedy, and more to the digital realm, with the company hinting it's still exploring small-scale live options. BASHES returns, directed and hosted by Lisa Fa’alafi of Hot Brown Honey); elsewhere, look for cabaret innovators Le Gateau Chocolat, Indigenous comedian Candy Palmater, Indigenous burlesquers Virago Nation, and nonbinary drag experimentalists The Darlings, plus artists Quanah Style, Sierra Baker, Kimmortal, Leiah Luz, Chelsea Rose, and JB the First Lady.

      The full Cultch autumn roster is::

      • TRANSFORM Cabaret Festival, presented by Urban Ink & The Cultch, from September 23 to October 4, and curated by Corey Payette and Heather Redfern.
      • Little Volcano, by Veda Hille with Theatre Replacement, October 22 to 25 
      • do you want what i have got? a craigslist cantataby Veda Hille, Bill Richardson, and Amiel Gladstone from November 19 to 22
      •  Panto Come Home!, by Theatre Replacement  and directed by James Long and Maiko Yamamoto, December 17 to January 3

       Find more details here.