One of the great joys of seeing theatre with friends is the discussions you have after the performance. In the upcoming Theatre Wire season, there are shows that you’ll really be able to sink your teeth into. From Vancouver’s housing crisis, to the nature of sex work, to veteran affairs, the conversations are sure to be lively.
Did you know that Canadian veterans report waiting up to 14 months to receive pensions and benefits? Wet ignites the debate over the services (or lack thereof) that Canadian veterans receive. Sebastian Archibald, Co-Artistic Producer of ITSAZOO Productions, who is producing Wet, May 8 to 27, 2018, points to Lionel Desmond and Tricia Beauchamp when asked why he wanted to explore the issues in the show. Desmond, suffering from PTSD, killed his wife, daughter, mother, and himself after receiving insufficient treatment. Beauchamp was evicted while waiting for benefits and recovering from cancer. “Wet deftly explores these issues with beautifully realized characters and an intense, provocative story,” he explains.
The housing issues in Wet are reflected in Satellites, which focuses on the housing crises in Vancouver and the blame people lay on foreign investors. In it, an activist is campaigning to stop off-shore millionaires from buying local property. But then she learns her neighbour is a “satellite kid,” who has been left in Canada by his mother, who continues to work in Beijing. Inspired by Vancouver Vanishes, which the Vancouver Courier describes as a “contribution to the increasingly anxiety-ridden conversation that continues to grip this town,” playwright Aaron Bushkowsky points to his own inability to afford a house in Vancouver as his reason for exploring the topic. Satellites plays November 16 to 26, 2017.
Viva takes place during a trip to Las Vegas, but it isn’t all slot machines and Cirque du Soleil. Melanie Reich, the Artistic Director of Bright Young Theatre who is co-producing Viva with Aenigma Theatre October 12 to 22, 2017, points out that the audience will be “forced to confront their own prejudices and ethical boundaries.” In it, two characters’ stories overlap. Alice is seeking an organ on the black market for her brother, whose disability prevents him from having priority placement on the transplant list. Meanwhile, Graeme confronts the possibility that his sister is involved in sex work, but whether it’s as a willing participant or as a victim of human trafficking is unknown.
My Funny Valentine also explores prejudice by examining seven points of view of the murder of 15-year-old Lawrence King. While the viewpoints in the show have been fictionalized, Lawrence King was a real teenager, who in 2008 asked a boy in his class to be his valentine. That boy shot King, who died two days later. “I became obsessed with gathering all the details of the highly complex case,” playwright Dave Deveau explains. Deveau first wrote My Funny Valentine during the preliminary hearings and had to re-write as details emerged. “It was only in the 2013 production that audiences heard the final play, once the case and sentencing had all concluded,” he elaborates. “But in the dark days we’re living in, the play and its themes continue to resonate.” My Funny Valentine will be on February 7 to 18, 2018 and will mark the 10 year anniversary of Zee Zee Theatre as well as the 10 year anniversary of Lawrence King’s murder.
If you’re a fan of drama, the 2017/2018 Theatre Wire season will get you thinking about controversial topics and there’ll certainly be lots to talk about with your plus one. Buy your subscription to Theatre Wire by adding three or more shows to your cart. Discounts will apply automatically. We’ll contact you shortly thereafter with a coupon code so your favourite theatre date can save 20% too!