The Wrecking Ball rolls again

wbIf you were unfortunate enough to miss last year’s inaugural Vancouver Wrecking Ball at the Stanley, ask anyone who was there how awesome it was and then stand back and watch them explode with volcanic enthusiasm. It was a clear and resounding proclamation that a group of impassioned artists joined together can generate serious shock waves. I walked out onto Granville Street feeling a part of something important, part of a movement, and I am thrilled that we’re hosting another one again this year.

Titled “Wrecking Ball to Tackle Draconian Cuts to the Arts: Canada’s Leading Theatre Artists Take On the BC government from Coast to Coast”, our Ball is the fourth this November after Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa (which drops tomorrow, November 16). Here’s some copy from the Facebook Page:

Vancouver’s Wrecking Ball features some of Canada’s most nationally and internationally recognized actors and directors, including multiple award-winning actor/playwrights Daniel MacIvor (House, Twitch City) and Linda Griffiths (Maggie and Pierre), Leacock-winning writer Mark Leiren Young, and Alcan Award winner Carmen Aguirre. Original member of the Nylons and BC Walk of Fame member Denis Simpson will host.

Margaret Atwood asks, “What is it that power-hungry politicians want from BC artists? Control over the story through the annihilation of the former story-tellers? Is this the agenda behind the decapitation of arts funding in British Columbia, while mega-millions are poured into the Olympics? The BC arts community will retaliate, of course. Over the past 50 years they’ve put BC on the map.”

“It won’t just be a protest,” adds Wrecking Ball Spokesperson Adrienne Wong. “It’ll be a night to laugh and celebrate what we know – that British Columbians care about culture.

Power to the people. Hope to see you there.

1 Comment

  1. Theatre Has Lost Its Mojo

    Recently the Vancouver Playhouse closed its doors and the arts community grieved. They were about the only ones. For even after the city taxpayers pumped in a million dollars the company couldn’t draw a large enough audience to stay afloat. I have an opinion why. The theatre community has lost its mojo. The venues are controlled by a board of directors who are afraid to present anything that might offend some group or individual. By bringing political correctness to the stage we are subjected to a watered down version of life that fails to speak to the true passion and struggles of our lives.

    I say this from personal experience. I had been in negotiations with Open Nite Theatre Society of Mission BC to present my new play, ‘Comedy of Forbidden Passion’ on their stage this summer. With the high school and college students on summer break this could be a show they’d enjoy. Open Nite asked to review the script and I sent them a copy. I considered the material to be PG 13 for some swearing. The storyline looks at the diverse nature of sexuality in that a gay actor falls for a woman while at the same time he is being pursued by his gay director. I drew on the comic styling of Bill Hicks, George Carlin and Richard Pryor for my inspiration.

    Open Nite sent me an e-mail saying that in their board’s opinion the comedy material is ‘R’ rated and they would not allow it on their stage. I thought, “Come on, ‘board’, some grown-ups like their comedy with a bit of bite.” I’m convinced there is an audience for theatre that has more punch than some late night sitcom rerun. I’m confident I will find another venue for my show. And whether or not the show is a success will be determined by the audience and not a board. Meanwhile, Open Nite is preparing for their next production… ‘The Odd Couple’.

    Gord E. Sutherland
    April 7, 2012

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