SEPTEMBER 2023 | Volume 231


Production image

Yasmin D'Oshun by Emily Cooper.

by Jackie Sibblies Drury
The Search Party (Vancouver) in partnership with b current Performing Arts (Toronto)
The Cultch Historic Theatre
Sept. 27-Oct. 8
From $29 or 604-251-1363

Pulitzer award-winning play Fairview launches The Cultch’s 50th anniversary season

The Cultch is thrilled to present Fairview, from Vancouver’s The Search Party in partnership with Toronto’s b current Performing Arts, running at the Historic Theatre from September 27 until October 8, 2023.

The Frasier family are getting ready for Grandma’s birthday party but things keep going wrong. Beverly wants everything to be perfect, but nobody is cooperating, Her sister Jasmine won’t help, her husband Dayton is more interested in the game and isn't paying attention to her, her brother Tyrone is MIA, and Keisha—well, her daughter is a teenager. And while everything is falling apart around Beverly… maybe nothing is what it seems in the first place!

Jackie Sibblies Drury’s hard-hitting examination of race and surveillance premiered June 17, 2018, at Soho Repertory Theatre in New York Theatre. The response was immediate and substantial. Audiences were stirred up, and the show quickly gained momentum as it began gaining accolade after accolade. It went on to win the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and was also nominated for six 2019 Drama Desk Awards. Since then it has been produced all over the world.

For Fairview’s Western Canada premiere, Vancouver’s award-winning company The Search Party is partnering with Toronto’s b current Performing Arts. Toronto’s Kwaku Okyere, a Ghanaian-Canadian director, will be joining The Search Party’s Artistic Director Mindy Parfitt to bring Fairview to the Historic Stage. "Often conversations about race can happen in silos with people who have similar lived experiences rather than cross-culturally,” says Okyere and Parfitt. “Our collaboration aims to model what the play is doing, which is to ignite conversation across differences.”

Running concurrently with the production of Fairview, The Search Party will be hosting three workshops, a panel discussion, and one community gathering with the primary objective of enhancing the play's underlying themes while offering a nurturing environment for Black and BIPOC artists in Vancouver. These three workshops offer various experiences and will be hosted by three separate facilitators—Marcel Stewart from b current, comedian Ese Atawo, and Jesse Lipscombe.

“Fairview asks audiences to lean into the play through its use of hyper theatricality in its pursuit of having a challenging, sometimes complicated and emotional conversation about race,” says Okyere and Parfitt. “We were drawn to how Jackie Sibblies Drury uses storytelling modes ranging from poetry and absurdism to stylized costumes and dance to create a unique and singular theatrical experience that we are excited to bring to Vancouver audiences.”

“A glorious, scary reminder of the unmatched power of live theatre to rattle, roil and shake us wide awake.”—The New York Times

“Startling, destabilizing and fiercely unique.”—Aisling Murphy, The Toronto Star

Playwright: Jackie Sibblies Drury
Co-Directors: Kwaku Okyere & Mindy Parfitt

Elizabeth Barrett
Christopher Bautista
Yasmin D’Oshun
Miranda Edwards
Julien Galipeau
Nathan Kay
Lucy McNulty
Angela Moore

Set Design: Amir Ofek
Costume Design: C.S. Fergusson-Vaux
Sound Design: Ruby Singh
Lighting Design: Sophie Tang
Props Supervisor: Heidi Wilkinson
Choreographer: Marisa Gold
Stage Manager: Rebecca Mulvihill
Assistant Stage Manager: Jessica Bournival
Set Builder: Jeremy Vreeken
Outreach Coordinator/ Active Listener: Monice Peter
Technical Director: Alistair Wallace

WHEN: September 27–October 8, 2023

Wed, Sep 27, 7:30 pm
Thurs, Sep 28, 7:30 pm
Fri, Sep 29, 7:30 pm - OPENING NIGHT
Sat, Sep 30, 2 pm & 7:30 pm
Sun, Oct 1, 2 pm
Tues, Oct 3, 7:30 pm
Wed, Oct 4, 7:30 pm
Thurs, Oct 5, 7:30 pm
Fri, Oct 6, 7:30 pm
Sat, Oct 7, 2 pm & 7:30 pm
Sun, Oct 8, 2 pm

WHERE: Historic Theatre, 1895 Venables St., Vancouver, B.C.

TICKETS: Tickets from $29, with Pay-What-You-Choose Previews. Single tickets are on sale now through The Cultch’s Box Office: 604-251-1363 or 

WORKSHOPS: There will be three ancillary workshops hosted by The Search Party. For Black Folks:
"black like me" with Marcel Stewart from b current, Sunday, October 1st, 11 am - 1 pm. For BIPOC Folks: "Finding Your Type In Stereotypes" with Ese Atawo, Thursday, October 5th, 6-7 pm. For All Folks: "Not That Funny" with Jesse Lipscombe- Saturday, September 30th, 11 am - 12 pm

Details can be found online.

About The Search Party:
The Search Party is committed to bringing emotionally powerful and aesthetically rigorous productions to Vancouver’s intimate stages. A text-based theatre with a decidedly modern appeal, the company seeks out stories that explore the intricacies and contradictions in our human connections and experiences. 

The Search Party debuted in 2019 with Florian Zeller’s The Father. The production was listed as one of the season’s standout shows in numerous publications. The company’s second offering was the world premiere of Canadian playwright Michele Riml’s The Amaryllis, a co-production with The Firehall Arts Centre in November 2020. The Search Party’s third and fourth productions were presented by The Cultch, Hannah Moscovitch’s Bunny, as part of The Cultch 21/22 season and Aaron Posner’s Stupid F*cking Bird which was part of the 22/23 season.

The company has been nominated for 16 Jessie Richardson Awards in the past two years. Their productions have won 10 awards including Best Productions/Direction for both years. 

About b current Performing Arts:

b current supports and creates culturally-rooted theatre in Toronto. Originally founded as a place for Black artists to create, nurture, and present their new works, the company has grown to support artists from all diasporas. Since its inception, b current has worked towards creating a theatre landscape that reflects the diversity of cultures and lived experiences in Canada - by the community, for the community. This is done by amplifying the voices of historically underrepresented peoples and providing a space where they can stand firm in who they are and where they're from. b current nurtures artists of colour, primarily from the black and brown diaspora, through training, theatre festivals, community outreach, dramaturgical support, and residencies from the page to the stage, culminating with full-scale productions and presentations.

About The Cultch:
Since 1973, The Cultch (formally the Vancouver East Cultural Centre) has been one of Vancouver’s most diverse and innovative arts and cultural hubs. The organisation operates three theatrical venues, a gallery, various ancillary spaces in the heart of East Vancouver, as well as our RE/PLAY digital platform that reaches international audiences. The Cultch offers dynamic contemporary programming in theatre, dance, music, and the visual arts, bringing world-class cultural presentations to thousands of citizens each year through its own programming and through providing rental opportunities for community users. Our purpose is to provide a venue for performance that serves a diverse and engaged public and provides space for artistic experimentation and development, building an audience for local companies and presenting cutting-edge national and international work. 

The Cultch is located on the unceded Indigenous land of the xwməϴkwəýəm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil‑Waututh) Nations.







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Vancouverplays: Vancouver's arts and culture website providing theatre news, previews and reviews


Vancouver's arts and culture website providing theatre news, previews and reviews