PuSh in Development Supported by CDm2 Lightworks

The PuSh in Development Program supported by CDm2 Lightworks, champions the development of new artistic projects, from mid-career and established artists creating work for touring markets both within Canada and internationally. PuSh has regularly supported the creation of work through residency programs and small co-production investments, and we are delighted for the opportunity to bring this program to life with CDm2’s support. Besides presenting works in which it has invested, PuSh also leverages its international relationships to launch experiences onto the world stage.

Current works in development include:


Naishi Wang (Canada) & Jean Abreu (UK)

Choreographers Naishi Wang and Jean Abreu come together in a new international collaboration exploring UK/Canada and Brazil/China cultural references related to poetry and vocal traditions of folk music. This cultural exchange will create a powerful physical journey and performance that demonstrates how the body can be used as an extraordinary tool of linguistic expression. This duet will investigate cultural links, post-colonial histories, the embodiment of the migrant experience, and the transforming nature of human identity.

I seek to utilize the body as a tool to ask profound direct questions about the continual transforming nature of human identity.”

Jean Abreu
Photo by Omer Yukseker

“Movement possesses a bodily linguistic identity, which also deciphered in terms of cultural influences: gestures of our ways of talking, our ways of walking, our ways of dancing, our ways of singing, and our ways of relating to the world around us.”

Naishi Wang

DECIPHERS CREDITS Deciphers is a co-production of the National Arts Centre (NAC) Visiting Dance Artist programme a joint initiative of Canada Council for the Arts and NAC, The CanDance Network small scale Creation Fund supported and presented by Montreal Arts Interculturels, The Harbourfront Centre, the National Arts Centre and PuSh International Performing Arts Festival.

Fat Joke

Neworld Theatre (Canada)

“As a fat girl, I never thought of myself as “sexy.” Society never allowed me to. It just wasn’t in my cards. So I got funny.”

Cheyenne Rouleau

A mixture of stand-up, storytelling, and fact-blasting, Fat Joke is a one-woman show which dissects the past, present, and future of fatphobia from both personal experiences and researched data.

THINK: Nanette by Hannah Gadsby meets Inside by Bo Burnham

Fatphobia is a highly underrepresented and un-talked-about subject today. Sure, we all know it’s not nice to make fun of a person for their weight, but have you ever thought about why? And did you notice the answer to that question, in your brain right now, might have been problematic, demeaning, and based on untruths?

Fat Joke by its nature is a very confronting show. Its content ranges from media misrepresentation to diet culture, from mental health to eating disorders, from medical bias to white supremacy, ableism, and income disparity. It’s basically a bunch of stuff people don’t feel comfortable talking about, all weaved into a comedy show. It loops in the perspectives of many different people and gathers many unseen perspectives, truths, and narratives and delivers them in a unique and exciting way. It is as educational as it is fun!

FAT JOKE CREDITS Fat Joke is a presented by Neworld Theatre, written and performed by Cheyenne Rouleau, directed by Chelsea Haberlin, and dramaturged by Jiv Parasram


Diana Lopez Soto (Canada)

Nomada, co-created by Diana Lopez Soto and Alejandro Ronceria, is a solo work exploring ritual as performance through aerial and contemporary indigenous dance, video projection, and art installation. Diana’s visceral movement initiates from connection to material, body memory and land. Alejandro has extensive experience in diverse indigenous dance practices. The fieldwork, concept research, and collaborative process are integral to the maturity of Nomada.

Nomada is a journey of the Creator of life through three worlds; Sky World, Underworld, and Earth. This journey helps maintain harmony of all the earthly and cosmological elements. Nomada is the physical and spiritual act of renewal, affirmation, and restoration of the fragile and continuously changing balance of the earth.”

Photo by Greg Wong

NOMADA CREDITS Diana Lopez Soto – Co-Director, Performer, Rigging Desinger | Alejandro Ronceria – Co-Director, Scriptwriter | Leonardo Martin Vargas – Knowledge keeper | Erandi Cuiriz Ramos – Pirekua Composer | Diego Marulanda – Composer, Sound Designer | Israel Barrera Hernandez – Head Rigger | Arun Srinivasan – Lighting Designer | Samay Arcentales – Projection Designer | Adriana Fulop – Costume Designer | Tim Hill – Set Designer | Administrative Producer – Miranda Forbes (Dance Umbrella of Ontario). KEY PARTNERS & FUNDERS PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, Canadian Stage, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council

Peace Country

rice & beans theatre (Canada)

Two sisters, five friends, a lifetime of knowing each other. What happens when the people who know you better than yourself are the ones losing their livelihoods for the sake of your cause. Peace Country follows five friends in a small BC town over the course of their friendship. Through childhood, to grad and all the way to the present, we see people who became friends because of circumstance but remained friends because of love. Peace Country is a new piece of theatre set in the Peace River Area of British Columbia. Inspired by the experience of playwright Pedro Chamale’s growing-up in Chetwynd, BC, the play is an examination of intercultural friendship, the realities of northern living and how our northern communities can be vilified by Southern urban Canadian centers for simply trying to provide for one’s family. Peace Country is the result of Pedro’s love for the region that he grew up in and the concern for it as climate change affects the whole world not just BC’s south coast.

Peace Country ran at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts and online from April 27th-30th, 2022.

Photo by Sewari Campillo

PEACE COUNTRY CREDITS Written and Directed by Pedro Chamale | Performed by Garvin Chan, Sofía Rodríguez, Sara Vickruck, Montserrat Videla, and Kaitlyn Yott | Assistant Director María Escolán | Dramaturg Heidi Taylor | Set/Props Designer Kimira Reddy | Video Designer Vanka Salim | Lighting Designer Jessica Han | Costume Designer Michelle Thorne | Sound Designer Cindy Kao | Associate Sound Designer Alistair Wallace | Stage Manager Koh Lauren Quan | Assistant Stage Manager Mariana Munoz | Production Manager Jamie Sweeney KEY PARTNERS Presented by the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts. Produced by rice & beans theatre in partnership with Playwrights Theatre Centre. Created with support from the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival

Playing Fields

The Chop Theatre (Canada)

Playing Fields is The Chop’s latest touring work that looks at land through a youth-driven, outdoor, participatory sound performance.

Created using interviews led by youth ages 12-15 about land use, ownership and belonging, this aural performance comes from communities around the world that have experienced some form of colonization. The youth groups learn interview, editing and recording skills- by asking the questions they want answered- about the land they live and play on, and its meaning to them. Playing Fields uses sport as a creation entry point, but the focus is on where the game takes place: the field itself. This is also the place where the performances will happen. The recorded audio interviews will be interspersed with prompts for the audience on the field – each wearing individual headsets – who will be led through a series of movements that will accumulate into a group choreography inspired by a field game.

Photo by Wilian Justen de Vasconcellos

Since 2006, Vancouver-based The Chop, known for its sophisticated experimentation with authenticity in live theatre, and its direct connection with audiences, has created and tours original award-winning productions internationally. Their shows include KISMET things have changed (presented at PuSh 2020), Pathetic Fallacy, and How to Disappear Completely. 

The Chop’s shows have toured to Toronto (Factory Theatre & Crow’s Theatre), Portland (TBA Festival), Seattle (On the Boards), Victoria (Uno Festival, Belfry Theatre) Burnaby (Shadbold Centre for the Arts), Whitehorse (Pivot Festival, Yukon Arts Centre), Halifax (2b Theatre), Stratford (Stratford Festival) Edinburgh (Edinburgh Fringe), Dublin (Dublin Fringe), and London (Battersea Arts Centre), Bristol (MayFest), and Montreal (Segal Centre & Usine C).

PLAYING FIELDS CREDITS Creation & direction – Emelia Symington Fedy & Anita Rochon | Creation & Sound Design / Music composition – Nancy Tam | Creation and Choreography – Amber Barton | KEY PARTNERS Development partners & Commissioners: PuSh Performing Arts Festival, Yukon Arts Centre, Dublin Festival

Red Phone

Boca del Lupo (Canada)

Conceived by Sherry Yoon and designed by Jay Dodge, with technology by Carey Dodge, Red Phone is a conversation that you will not soon forget. Part theatre and part social intervention, Red Phone is an audience-to-audience performance that utilizes the intimacy of a phone call and the technology of a teleprompter. It takes place between two hand-crafted, fully enclosed phone booths outfitted with a vintage red phone and an integrated teleprompter.

Red Phone was the first theatre production to tour Canada during the pandemic, albeit remotely. In the Fall of 2020, the show toured to Centaur Theatre in Montreal, RCA Theatre in St. John’s, NL, and Theatre New Brunswick in Fredericton, NB. Red Phone has also toured to Victoria, Kelowna, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto and is headed to Halifax this fall. The international version of Red Phone will launch at 2023 PuSh Festival.

RED PHONE CREDITS Conceived by Sherry Yoon and designed by Jay Dodge, with technology by Carey Dodge

The Seventh Fire

Delinquent Theatre (Canada)

The Seventh Fire is an immersive audio ceremony by Lisa C. Ravensbergen that sources traditional, oral Anishinaabe stories and societal roles as a way to evoke ceremony in the everyday. The Seventh Fire takes place in the present, past, and future, and above and below the earth, as sisters Daanis and Nimise, and grandmother Nokomis reach through time and space to be together. Using Lobe Studio’s unique and powerful 4D Sound System, The Seventh Fire is an immersive and transportive audio experience that uses sound as a portal to the worlds of ancestors, spirit, and earth. Through these portals, we hope to offer participants a way to connect with the Medicine that lives within all of us, as we co-dream a Future we all need.

Image by Brent Hardisty & Niiwin Binesi

Learn more at delinquenttheatre.com/the-seventh-fire

THE SEVENTH FIRE CREDITS Created by Lisa Cooke Ravensbergen, in collaboration with Mishelle Cuttler (Sound Designer), Debbie Courchene (Associate Sound Designer and Technical Director), Laura McLean (Collaborating Dramaturg), and Christine Quintana (Collaborating Dramaturg), with vocal performances by Margo Kane, Tasha Faye Evans, and Lisa Cooke Ravensbergen.

Shallow Eyes

Rakesh Sukesh (India & Belgium)

Work in progress solo about the racial profiling of a man – based on a true story.

Shallow eyes is a creation that will be developed in two parts: 

Part one – Timeline creation and premier in 2022-2023 

A dance-theater solo performance, lasting 60 to 90mins, that both embodies the inner state of a man of color that has been racially profiled, while simultaneously examining the questions mentioned below through the mediums of text, storytelling and videos. The piece will be interplay between dance and text. 


Part two: Creation and Premier in 2023-2024 

A dance work performed for 6 to 12 hours. Three to four additional artists will be invited to join the event for one hour each. The audience will be allowed to enter and leave the space freely or stay for the entire piece. The performance will evolve through the course of the event, shifting from frontal, proscenium directed movement to a state of moving meditation, as if following the laws of entropy.

Image provided by the artist

SHALLOW EYES CREDITS Choreographed and Performed by Rakesh Sukesh | Assistant choreographed, Executive produced, Esthetic advised and dramaturged by Alessia Lunes | Text and Artistic collaborator, Marcus Youseff | Music by Pol sinus | Production manager, Godlive Lawani | Co-movement researcher, Alicia Verdu Macian

Soldiers of Tomorrow

Itai Erdal & The Elbow Theatre (Canada)

An Israeli man employs a Syrian musician and an Iraqi barber so he can share his experiences in the army in order to find some inner peace and shatter North American notions about the Arab Israeli conflict.

“Erdal, who never trained as an actor, is absolutely mesmerizing.”

Jim Burke, Montreal Gazette

“Itai’s stories are personal, intimate, open and brave; they have a sensitive tone and turn to the very essence of human condition, namely history, family, cultural background, social and political constraints.”

Art Vanguard
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is USE-THIS-Soldiers-of-Tomorrow-image-pixelated-Gali-Meiri-edited.jpg

“Erdal balances humor, beauty, and tragedy with the expertise of a tightrope walker.”

Aaron Scott, Slant Magazine

“For years Vancouver theatregoers have sung the praises of local lighting designer Itai Erdal, now it’s time to change our tune and marvel instead at this man’s bravery”

Peter Birnie, Vancouver Sun

“As a performer, Erdal appears completely at ease and totally engaging on stage… This is intimate theatre that’s astonishingly brave and completely entertaining.”

Jo Ledingham, Vancouver Courier

SOLDIERS OF TOMORROW CREDITS Written by Itai Erdal with Colleen Murphy | Directed by Anita Rochon | Performed by Itai Erdal | Music Written and Performed by Emad Armoush | Set design by Brian Ball | Lighting design By Alan Brodie | Stage Managed by Mandy Huang


Pandemic Theatre & Theatre Conspiracy (Canada)

It’s an 8km swim from Güzelçamli, Turkey to the Greek island of Samos. That’s 160 lengths of an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Inspired by Ameer Mehtr, a Syrian refugee who swam seven hours across this treacherous channel, Swim is an immersive audio meditation with a live-audience swimming component. Created by Pandemic Theatre (Toronto) & Theatre Conspiracy (Vancouver), Swim is a new creation in-development that imagines the effects of migration on the self.

Photo by Teaunna Gray

SWIM CREDITS Created by Jivesh Parasram and Tom Arthur Davis | Directed by Gavan Cheema & David Mesiha | Dramaturgy by Tim Carlson | A Pandemic Theatre & Theatre Conspiracy co-production

Taste of Empire

Carmela Sison (Canada)

Lasa ng Imperyo – translated and adapted by Carmela Sison

Based on A Taste of Empire by Jovanni Sy

A Taste of Empire is a theatrical experience unlike any other. The show is a once-in-a-lifetime cooking demonstration by Chef Maximo Cortés, the renowned inventor of Imperial Cuisine. While you await Chef Maximo’s arrival, you relax with a cocktail and complimentary hors d’oeuvres.

For your main course, your host will prepare a traditional Filipino dish in real time. As he cooks, he deconstructs the dish in humorous and surprising ways. The colonization of Asia, the state of modern agriculture, the ethics of food distribution and consumption – these are just some of the things you will sample in this unique performance piece.

TASTE OF EMPIRE CREDITS Translation/Adaptation and Performed by Carmela Sison | Director & Dramaturge – Nina Lee Aquino | Playwright & Consultant – Jovanni Sy KEY PARTNERS Playwrights’ Theatre Montreal’s Glassco Translation Residency, Boca del Lupo’s SLaM Program, rice & beans’ DPLSPK, and vAct.


Enxi Chang (UK)

Dee is a part-time DJ, part-time Tiktok activist… and a full-time hot mess.
Online, she has thousands of people hanging onto her every word. IRL, she’s barely hanging on.
Even with the click-baiting, clapbacks and the comment section, Dee finds safety on online platforms that she isn’t afforded beyond the firewalls.

But amongst the thirst traps, is one trans girl’s desperate thirst for connection and validation.
Even if it costs losing everything around her.
Watermelon is a fictionalized narrative drama drawn from Enxi’s personal experiences as a trans woman navigating virtual and IRL spaces.
TL; DR a standard Tuesday night when you’re a trans girl on the internet.

Enxi is a British-Chinese writer, actor, spoken word poet and rapper. Her work has been aired at the Southbank Centre, the Royal Court and on Benjamin Zephaniah’s Life and Rhymes. She is also a TikToker who, in addition to making thirst traps, uses her platform to discuss intersectional racial, gender and sexual politics, with other educational content that touches on classical Chinese culture, linguistics, music and more.

WATERMELON CREDITS Comissioned by Papergang, Watermelon was first shown as an extract as part Queer Upstairs at the Royal Court and PuSh! Festival Vancouver in 2022. As the play continues to develop, it has had work in progress performances with with the support of Lung Theatre at the Sands Theatre Studio, and at the Chinese Arts Now rehearsal space at NDT Broadgate. 

Artist-in-Residence & DanceLab

The Dance Centre (Canada)

For over two decades The Dance Centre has provided support for dance artists through residencies, professional development programs, information and resources, presentation opportunities, studio rental subsidies, and more. Participating artists work in all genres of dance and may be at any career stage, from emerging to established.

The Artist-in-Residence program supports artists in the development of new work with studio space, technical and administrative support, and professional guidance, enabling choreographers to develop their artistic vision and connect with the public through creation, teaching, outreach activities and performances. Technical residencies offer production support to artists preparing for full theatre presentations with time in the Faris Family Studio, our fully-equipped black box theatre.

The DanceLab program supports research and collaboration between dance and other disciplines. It provides fully subsidized studio space, enabling artists to research how cross-art form collaboration can enhance their artistic growth and the development of new work, without the pressure of a set performance date. Upon completion of the process, the artists share their research with the public in an informal studio showing.

2022-2023 season

Artists-in-Residence: Lee Su-Feh/Battery Opera | Marissa Wong/The Falling Company | Olivia C Davies/O.Dela Arts | Vidya Kotamraju | Virginia Duivenvoorden and Kay Huang/VDCM.

DanceLab Interdisciplinary Research: Ayasha Guerin | Isabelle Kirouac | Kait Ramsden | Sammy Chien and Caroline MacCaull/Chimerik 似不像 | Tomoyo Yamada

Learn more at thedancecentre.ca/residencies-projects


CDm2 LIGHTWORKS is a representative agent, integrator, and dealer for manufacturers of world-class lighting products, specialty systems, and control solutions. We are a leader in delivering innovative, fully integrated, cost-effective, and sustainable lighting solutions to our specification, construction, and end-user customers located in British Columbia Canada, and their projects whether local or global. Learn more at cdm2lightworks.com.