Clear your schedules this week, because there’s an event you do not want to miss.
The rEvolver festival, hosted by Upintheair Theatre, returns this Wednesday with new works from emerging Canadian artists—as well as reinterpretations of existing Canadian classics, including contemporary performances, theatre, dance, and other installations.
This year marks the return to predominately in-person programming, with most of the performances being held at the Cultch, and the largest-ever number of applicants to the festival.
“rEvolver 2023 is bursting with playful, audacious, and genre-defying new work from local and national emerging and mid-career artists,” reads a press release. “This year’s festival is richly multidisciplinary, stretching from conventional theatre models to interactive micro-performances, to drag to dance to performance art.”
These are our picks of festival events to check out:
First Métis Man of Odesa
Edmonton Métis playwright Matthew MacKenzie met Mariya Khomutova on a research trip to Kyiv. Fast-forward, and they are now married with a son. MacKenzie wrote a play about their true love story in the face of a pandemic and the invasion of Ukraine.
First Métis Man of Odesa will run on opening night, May 24, all the way to June 4 at the Historic Theatre.
Catfish is a story of online deception written by local artists Simran Gill and Jess Amy Shead. The main character, Michelle, misrepresents herself online to gain the attention of a new guy at school. Eventually, she embarks on a complex journey of self-love and learns to accept her deaf, Punjabi self.
Performed in both ASL and English, Catfish will be at VanCity Culture Lab on May 24, 26, 31 and June 1.
Discounted Hotpot Centre
This immersive culinary experience is presented by Anthony Kit Chun Lee. It follows a saleswoman struggling to sell her hotpot cooking package, while telling the stories of the Hong Kong diaspora in Canada.
The performance includes live cooking and free hotpot after each show. It will be at the VanCity Culture Lab on May 24 and 28 and June 2 and 3.
Big Queer Filipino Karaoke Night
This interactive Queer-Filipinx Canadian Drag Karaoke extravaganza is directed by Chris Lam and produced by Davey Samuel Calderon and Amanda Parafina. The night will include discussions of Filipino-Canadian identity, as well as insights into queer identity and family—a celebration of intersectionality, along with karaoke.
Big Queer Filipino Karaoke Night will be available June 2 and 3 on livestream.
Djata: Conversations of the Manden
This cultural dance, choreographed by Aly Keita, conveys the foundational stories of 13th-century African oral tradition. It tells the tale of Soundjata Keita, who, unable to walk as a child, eventually stands up and marches across his village. This marks the beginning of his awakening, which leads to Keita founding the great Mandingo Empire—unifying West Africa.
This piece will be shown at VanCity Culture Lab June 1 and 2.
The rEvolver Festival runs from May 24 to June 4 at the Cultch. Tickets cost between $15 and $30 in a pay what you can model and are available here.