PuSh Blog

10 years of crossing the line: PuSh Festival audience memories from Daniel Martin

January 31, 2014

The 10th Anniversary PuSh Festival is currently in full swing as one of the most talked about events in Vancouver this winter. Over the past ten years, PuSh has cultivated a dedicated local community of attendees who wanted to share their stand out memories of PuSh Festival as audience members; and ultimately what the Festival has come to mean to them.



Daniel Martin headshotPuSh has been a formative influence on me as both a curator and an artist. While it is hard to match the impact of the first 2 or 3 years (the style of work was so new – shows like Aalst and Small Metal Objects radically changed the way I thought about theatre and remain my all-time favourites along with Taylor Mac), every year the programming challenges me to think harder about how work is made, as well as my own tastes and biases.

Attending the PuSh Assembly each year has also been transformative—from feeling like an insignificant outsider at the start, listening in on the “important” people talking, to trusting that I had something to contribute to the conversation. The festival gives those of us who can’t travel the world attending arts festivals a window to what is going on “out there”, providing entertainment and education, but also reminding us of the value of our local theatre community and the work that is created here, in that international context.

I think it is fair to say that I would not have the career I currently have, and that the work we do at Upintheair through the rEvolver Festival would not exist in the same way, without the influence and example of PuSh, and the challenge it lays down each year.

Daniel Martin, Managing Artistic Producer
Upintheair Theatre


After completing his Masters Degree in Sociology at the University of Auckland, Daniel returned to Canada, where he graduated from the studio acting program at the William Davis Centre for Actors Study and studied Clown with David McMurray Smith at Fantastic Space Enterprises. Driven by a desire to create exciting, relevant, and energetic new theatre, Daniel co- founded Upintheair with Dave Mott in 1999. As Artistic Director of Upintheair, Daniel has been instrumental in the creation of Wedgie, Men of the World, 120bpm, Johnny Grant, Wagabondi Ho! and Borborygmi. He has also been a driving force behind the growth of the companies festival programming, through nine years of The Walking Fish Festival, three Neanderthal Arts Festivals, and now through rEvolver.

Follow @UITATheatreupintheairtheatre.com

Join Daniel and other enthusiastic PuSh Festival goers with the PuSh Pass next year. The multi-access PuSh Pass is the best way to experience the Festival with flexibility to book and re-book shows, as well as other member perks including complimentary access to FUSE at Vancouver Art Gallery and Late Nights at Club PuSh.