I finally got to check out the sexy new Cultch when Jack and I took in Elephant Wake the other week (a sterling example of how great acting can elevate a good theatre experience to a magnificent one, btw.), and the new facility is everything I hoped it would be. Absolutely worth the wait. Super comfy with great sound, while retaining the elegance of the old space. The Culture Lab promises big things. And they’ve got a lovely little wine bar in the building now as well, and have just announced that Sebastien Le Goff – he of Uva and Cibo – will be in charge of the wine program. Should be enough to get us out of the house and to the theatre a little earlier, anyway. My thanks to Head FoH Manager (and sickly talented playwright) Dave Deveau for the grande tour.
And they’re taking their role as an industry leader seriously. Just announced is a new summer youth initiative geared towards training the next generation of theatremakers. From the press release:
This unprecedented opportunity recreates first-hand what a professional performing arts company has to tackle to bring a new work to the stage, all condensed into two weeks! The camp culminates with the students premiering the work they have created with their mentors in the Cultch’s Historic Theatre.
It’s going to have to be pretty intensive to get all that into two weeks. But the 40 lucky high school artists from the lower mainland are certainly in good hands, the mentors are all gigantically talented ADs from some of our top indie companies: Kendra Fanconi of The Only Animal, Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg of Tara Cheyenne Performance, James Long of Theatre Replacement and Marcus Youssef from Neworld Theatre.
The Cultch is in a unique position to offer youth programming because we work so closely with Vancouver’s premiere independent performing arts producers. We are able to connect young people to artists in the city who are out there doing what they want to be doing in the future. It is all about learning first hand what it takes to succeed.
Corbin Murdoch, Cultch Youth Program Manager