PuSh Blog

10 years of crossing the line: PuSh Festival audience memories from Sarah Hayward

January 17, 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.


Sarah Hayward on her favourite PuSh Festival memories:

Sarah Hayward headshot

I’ve been crazy about PuSh Festival for ten years now! That could well be my longest crush. PuSh has brought me some of my most thrilling experiences and some of my highlights of past Festivals are:

  • The late legendary British choreographer and performer, Nigel Charnock, in Frank at the first PuSh Festival in 2005. His full frontal assault on the audience was both compelling and audaciously sexy.
  • Another favourite experience was in 2009 – Taylor Mac in Comparison is Violence, the powerhouse New York Performance Artist, with his outrages style, total freedom and relaxed honesty.
  • The Jerk (2010), a one man show with content so disturbing a man fainted on the night. I was there. I was conflicted about this piece but when I stayed for the talkback with the artist and director, I understood the reasons behind the creation of the piece, and I why such a strong violent piece was created.
  • One of my personal highlights was participating in Push Cabaret as performer, at the Arts Club Bar, hosted by Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg.

I am an avid fan of Club PuSh and love participating in the PuSh Assembly for even more involvement with the Festival.

Since the inception of PuSh, I have written and toured my own solo show, Stripes: The Mystery Circus. Touring the Canadian fringe circuit, New York Fringe, performing excerpts at Edinburgh Festival in cabarets, then professional engagements. I’ve visited the Edinburgh Festival three times, met Forest Fringe’s Debora Pearson and I am glad she will be coming to PuSh this year – very encouraging, exciting work.

I am continually inspired by PuSh, and am currently collaborating with Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg, as well as Margueirte Witvoet and James Fagan Tait, in Confessions of a Library Assistant, based on my part time position of 24 years at the Vancouver Public library.

I look forward to the 10th Anniversary of PuSh Festival and all it has to offer me. Thanks for the thrilling times and many more memories to come.


Sarah Hayward is an actor, writer, comedian, producer, and director in Vancouver for 25 years. Graduating from Acadia University and the Dome Theatre School in Montreal, Sarah is a member of the creative team for The Cassandra Project: a 15-member theatre and social research collective, which performed at the Myth and Voice Festival in the South of France.

Follow @SarahAHaywardSarah Hayward’s website

Join Sarah 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.