Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craigslist Cantata – Curatorial Statement
December 22, 2011
By Norman Armour, PuSh Festival Executive Director
Soon…. Another January… Another year… Another holiday season… Another partnership with the Arts Club Theatre Company. For all of us at the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, working with Bill, Howard, Peter and the rest of the Arts Club team is not only a tradition—it’s an annual celebration!
Eight years for the annual PuSh Festival. Hard to imagine something being more of a miracle these days than the emergence, growth and remarkable achievements of the Festival since its modest beginnings as an initiative of Rumble Productions and Touchstone Theatre. Notice a pattern? Partnerships are something of a modus operandi for us; they’re at the heart of virtually everything we undertake. And truthfully, they are also behind much of our success.
Across the city, over 100 performances will be presented to curious and passionate audiences totaling well over 20,000 strong. I invite you to count yourself among the lucky ones—fortunate to be taking in a new theatrical creation from two of Vancouver’s most beloved artists.
I mean, think on it for a moment…. Veda Hille and Bill Richardson. Who would you rather sit down with for a long and leisurely coffee, in Paris café style, to watch the world pass by, with the requisite stream of shared commentary and the appropriate observatory wit? Then add to the mix director Ami Gladstone, dramaturg Rachel Ditor, a stellar cast and a crackerjack design and production team… and, well… as the saying goes, you have a recipe for success.
PuSh is just too darn proud… proud to be presenting this brand new Canadian piece with the Arts Club, and just as proud to have played a role, with Theatre Replacement, in its original commission and presentation, as a “twenty minute musical” at Club PuSh, way back in 2009. The Arts Club’s Revue Stage is steeped in a long and embroidered history of musicals and cabarets, so it’s fitting that the theatre will soon be adorned with Veda and Bill’s artful stitching and musical rendering of our daily retail flotsam and their accompanying S.O.S.
Do You Want What I have Got? A Craigslist Cantata is the kind of homegrown theatrical folly that PuSh has been championing since its beginning. Putting a new twist on the well-worn and veneered tradition of musical revues is just as groundbreaking and innovative as anything you might take in at the 2012 PuSh Festival. Indeed, a few hundred Craigslist entries might well reveal as much about contemporary life and the human condition, North American style, than anything you might read at the newsstand, or take out from the public library.
Come on… I’m certain Veda and Bill have got a little something you want.