• Main Stage

Century Song

Showing on February 2–6, 2016

Playing at Historic Theatre, The Cultch

Century Song, Volcano Theatre, 2016 PuSh Festival
Photo: John Lauener

Volcano Theatre (Canada)

Now here is something special: a wordless chronicle of the ages. Co-created by soprano Neema Bickersteth, Volcano Theatre artistic director Ross Manson and choreographer Kate Alton, the show features a powerhouse performance by Bickersteth, a University of British Columbia-trained opera singer who has performed across Canada and Europe. The subject is nothing less than the 20th century writ large, and this work offers a truly original response to it. In this radical theatricalization of the recital form, Bickersteth uses her voice and body to move us through the decades. Against a backdrop of ever shifting visuals, she explores sonically the many identities that our history connects her to. The music ranges from Rachmaninoff to John Cage to a new commission by Canadian composer Reza Jacobs. All is surrounded by an animated environment created by fettFilm, one of Europe’s top projection design companies.

The show is inspired in part by Virginia Woolf’s Orlando and Alice Walker’s In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens—writings that chronicle the evolution of female identity in innovative ways. Bickersteth’s voice does them credit with an astonishing range: from sweet lyric beauty to half song, half cry. She delivers a performance fit for a century of feeling: whimsical, powerful, riveting.

One of those companies that every great theatre city needs—bold, experimental and bubbling with ideas.

—Toronto Star

Century Song, Volcano Theatre, 2016 PuSh Festival
Photo: John Lauener

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Artist Bio


Historic Theatre, The Cultch

1895 Venables Street, Vancouver


February 2–6
60 minutes (no intermission)

8:00PM (February 2–6)
2:00PM (February 6)


Tickets from $19

Buy tickets via The Cultch
Or call 604.449.6000

Eligible on the Youth Passport at the door only.

PuSh Pass
Eligible on the PuSh Pass.


Post-show talk
February 3

Creators: Neema Bickersteth, Ross Manson, Kate Alton | Soprano: Neema Bickersteth | Piano: Gregory Oh | Percussion & Computer: Debashis Sinha | Director: Ross Manson | Choreographer: Kate Alton | Composers: Georges Aperghis, John Cage, Reza Jacobs, Olivier Messiaen, Gregory Oh, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Debashis Sinha | Lighting Designer: Rebecca Picherack | Set Designer: Camellia Koo | Costume Designer: Charlotte Dean | Projection Designers: Torge Møller, Momme Hinrichs (Fettfilm, Germany) | Associate Projection Designers: Cameron Davis, Kaitlin Hickey, Jeremy Mimnagh | Assistant Director: Michela Sisti | Stage Manager: Emilie Aubin | Production Manager: Patrick Lavender

Produced in association with Crooked Figure Dances, Moveable Beast Collective | Supported by Volcano New Works Development Partner: BMO Financial Group | Michela Sisti’s services made possible through Theatre Ontario’s Professional Theatre Training Program, funded by Ontario Arts Council | Touring support provided by Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council