UFV Theatre launches 37th season with a dynamic line-up of student-produced main stage performances
UFV Theatre is launching its 37th season with a brand-new approach. With a theme of Bright Ideas: Contemporary, Student-Produced Performances, the 2016/17 promises innovative, eccentric, and electric plays that will challenge and engage audiences.
“We are thrilled about this new approach to the season of theatre and are very excited to see students’ work culminate in seeing their artistic visions come to life on stage,” says Theatre department head Heather Davis-Fisch.
Highlighting contemporary approaches to classic Canadian and world plays, the season features the work of four student directors.
First up, Governor General Award winning playwright John Mighton’s Possible Worlds, which runs from October 20–30. Directed by fourth-year student Noel Funk, this show promises a mind-bending blend of murder mystery, romance, and science-fiction. The play takes the audience through a baffling series of parallel worlds as Detectives Berkley and Williams track a serial killer who appears to be stealing brains.
“It’s a show about math, impossible science, and an unending love that can sprout no matter what obstacles are in the way,” says Funk.
Following Possible Worlds is Morris Panych’s absurd comedy 7 Stories, which runs from November 24–December 4.
Directed by Natasha Beaumont and Courtney Kelley, this is the story of a man deliberating suicide on the ledge of a high-rise building who is drawn into the bizarre personal lives of the building’s residents.
“One of the goals that we are hoping to accomplish with this show is recognizing the idea that every person is living their own unique life; and that this life can look completely different from an outside perspective,” says Kelley. “Contrast, perspective, and personal attitudes are all explored in 7 Stories, and we are aiming to do this in a very approachable way for the audience. We are working on showcasing the humour in the piece just as much as the distress. We want to highlight that both can exist in the same space at the same time, and just how that relationship works.”
Opening next March is Anne Carson’s interpretation of Bakkhai by Euripides, with collaborative direction and design by UFV theatre professors Raïna von Waldenburg and Parjad Sharifi. This contemporary adaptation of the classic Greek tragedy will integrate physical theatre and digital projection.
The season closes in April with Grand Theft Terra Firma: Stories of (Re)Conciliation. A devised piece (created by the performers) directed by Phay Gagnon, this
performance explores how S’ólh Téméxw — the traditional and unceded territories of the Stó:lo people — was colonized in the 1850s and 1860s and asks how that history is lived today.
UFV’s Theatre department offers a range of post-secondary theatre programs and produces a full season of theatre. In 2017, the department will launch a new theatre major as part of UFV’s Bachelor of Arts degree. This will allow students to develop foundational performance, communication, and technical skills and offer extensive opportunities to enrich their creative and research practices. All UFV Theatre’s programs offer small class sizes, faculty and staff with extensive professional and academic credentials, rigorous courses, and the opportunity for students to develop creative skills and practical experience by working onstage and behind the scenes on productions.
Possible Worlds runs October 20–30 at the UFV Performance Theatre, 45635 Yale Road, Chilliwack. Showtimes are Thursday–Saturday, 7:30 pm, with Sunday matinees at 2 pm. Tickets are $15 for regular admission; $10 students and seniors. Online ticket purchases available at ufv.ca/plays.