Red Birds: twitter-brained

Western Gold Theatre and Solo Collective Theatre are presenting Aaron Bushkowsky's Red Birds at PAL.

There’s something going in in Red Birds but, trust me, you won’t care. (Left to right: France Perras, Gerry McKay, and Anna Hagen. Photo by Emily Cooper)

Aaron Bushkowsky’s new script Red Birds is flat-out dumb and—very occasionally—funny.

It’s tricky to talk about this play without giving away major plot points, but I’ll do my best. In Red Birds, Carol, who has just turned 50, contacts her birth mother Hannah for the first time. The other major characters include Carol’s adoptive mom Red and Carol’s daughter Ashley. A heterosexual love triangle emerges in which the apex is a guy named Derek.

Derek is a douche. He says things like, “You’re sure rockin’ those army boots! Sexy!” and, even more appealingly, “Everybody uses everybody when it comes to relationships.”

To be fair, Bushkowsky has deliberately made Derek a douche: Derek also says, “You can trust me despite how obviously shallow I am.” But this intentionality doesn’t rescue the heart of the play from meaninglessness. Derek is no prize, so nothing’s at stake in the romantic part of the love triangle: as an audience member, you just sit there for two acts waiting for the playwright to get rid of him. [Read more…]

Satellite(s): this new play spins on wonky orbits

Solo Collective is producing Aaron Bushkowsky's Satellite(s) at Performance Works.

Mason Temple, seen here with Sharon Crandall, delivers a breakout performance in Satellite(s).

What a wasted opportunity.

Foreign home ownership in Vancouver is a huge and complicated issue. With its threads of racism, self-righteousness, entitlement, greed, and privilege, it’s ripe for theatrical treatment. But, in his new script, Satellite(s), playwright Aaron Bushkowsky manages to find almost nothing of interest in it. [Read more…]

Green Lake: the tenderness of girl crushes and absent dads

Alexandra Lainfiesta won a Jessie for her work in Green Lake.

The sweet agony of teen love in Katey Hoffman’s Green Lake.

Playwright Katey Hoffman continues to be one of the most exciting new voices on the local theatre scene: not everything about Green Lake works, but a lot of it does and the script is as original as all hell.

With Cheyenne Mabberley, Hoffman wrote The After After Party, a gross-out girl comedy that was a hit at this year’s Vancouver Fringe Festival. That script kept its audience in giddy, breathless surprise for its entire length. To her credit—she’s an adventuresome artist—Hoffman is trying something very different with Green Lake: there’s still plenty of quirky humour in this script, but there’s also a much more serious emotional undertow. [Read more…]

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