• PuSh Assembly

Pitch Session

Showing on

February 3, 10AM-12PM
Performance Works, Granville Island


Eight artistic teams pitch their new and upcoming projects to a wide audience of creative and  contemporary  producers, artistic directors, festival curators, presenters, and programmers. Successful applicants have ten minutes to pitch, with tips from industry veteran Sherrie Johnson. Only open to PuSh Assembly registrants and Industry Passholders.

2011 Pitch session PRESENTERS:

Electric Company (Vancouver, BC)
Vancouver’s own Electric Company Theatre produces new works and tours that defy audience expectations of scale and form.  The tension between ‘immediate’ and ‘mediated’ performance inspires a body of work where the allure of the ideal cinematic reproduction is in counterpoint with live presence — an athletic attempt at precision and the threat of the accidental.

Tear the Curtain!
With Tear the Curtain! Electric Company has created a pure hybrid of theatre and feature film. Commissioned by Arts Club Theatre Company, on the surface it is a stylish psychological thriller that transforms the venue into both cinema and playhouse circa 1930. But while the script celebrates the language and conventions of film noir, Tear the Curtain! upsets expectations for a traditional narrative. It’s a play rich with ideas about our desires for presence and escape, expressed in a structure that is layered, dreamlike, open to multiple readings, and at times dangerously romantic.

Photo Credit: David Cooper


Secret Theatre (Halifax, NS)
Secret Theatre is a vehicle for collaboration. Dustin Harvey has led the work based in Halifax since 2003.  The projects span site-responsive performance, theatre situations, installations, meeting events, and short-run publications.  Each production is about the theatrical while engaging viewers intimately.

Folkloremobile is a broadcasted, theatrical, and self-guided performance, exploring the particular tension common to any folklore- a combination of history and memory within which different people’s experiences of the present moment unfold. You start walking.  Taking cues from simultaneous and synchronized audio transmitters via headset receivers you find yourself traveling along a path through history.  Each transmission plays a set of memories.  The story is pieced together by how you move throughout the space.   Folkloremobile offers individuals the opportunity to become part of a special group in a chosen location, and experience a unique event that uses headphones to make you a driver.

“By the time you reach the end, you may feel exhilarated or subdued, or like you’re coming off a peyote high.” -The Coast



Tapestry New Opera (Toronto, ON)
Described by the Toronto Star as the company “where the future of Canadian opera is being made today”, Tapestry employs the emotional capacity of opera to spawn creative thinking and inspire a diverse range of audiences, both adult and youth. Composer/writer teams develop their work utilizing our resident Studio Company’s performing & interpretive artists and young people discover the art form & tell their own stories through our innovative INside Opera programme. Acclaimed productions include Dark Star Requiem (Jill Battson & Andrew Staniland) and Sanctuary Song (Abigail Richardson & Marjorie Chan), both for Luminato, The Shadow (Alex Poch-Goldin & Omar Daniel), Nigredo Hotel (Ann-Marie MacDonald & Nic Gotham), Elsewhereless (Atom Egoyan & Rodney Sharman) and Facing South (Don Hannah & Linda C. Smith), both for Harbourfront’s World Stage Festival, and the Dora Award Winning productions of Still the Night (Theresa Tova) and Iron Road (Chan Ka Nin & Mark Brownell).

Dark Star Requiem
An operatic oratorio, Dark Star Requiem explores the 25-year history of the AIDS pandemic through a humanistic, rather than religious lens. Shining a light on those affected by the fear, confusion, and devastation that AIDS has wrought, this new oratorio from Tapestry new opera and Luminato features 4 vocal soloists, piano trio, percussion and choir. The work can be presented in multi-media format or in concert presentation format.

The text concentrates on the intimate and personal face of AIDS in order to resonate with audiences from a spectrum of class, gender, generations, cultural backgrounds and experiences, thus reaching a wide audience.

The World Premiere of Dark Star Requiem took place in June 2010, at the Luminato Festival in Toronto’s Koerner Hall.

Photo: Peter McGillivray & Neema Bickersteth
Photo Credit: Brian Mosoff


The Paper Industry (New York, NY)
The Paper Industry crafts spectacular performance specializing in creating intersections of sentiment between performers and the audience. Starting with an original score, our work folds in original text and movement to create a total work, creating in the viewer a place for revelation, a pre-rational space in which we can understand beauty and desperation in equal measure, beyond context. The Paper Industry’s hybrid operatic works have been presented in NYC since 2007 to enthusiastic audiences and wide acclaim.

Apologies (and other grey areas)
The Paper Industry’s new “ugly opera” begins with a spare soundscape, a floor to ceiling segmented wall and two men eating at a picnic table. From this simple beginning we see the wall fall; 13 women manufacture their identity while Erwin and Werner never find their missing cat.

Apologies takes at its core the concept of “Schrodinger’s Cat”, examining through this lens the ontology of beginnings, and at its core the ineffable moment when something crosses from potential to actual; the beauty and violence when options are defeated and something is defined.



My Darling Patricia (Melbourne, Australia)
My Darling Patricia (MDP) is an Australian contemporary theatre company employing installation, performance and puppetry in the creation of original, visually sophisticated performances.

‘My Darling Patricia has created a masterpiece of puppet theatre that will make you weep.’  The Age, Melbourne

Africa is inspired by the true story of three children from Hannover, Germany who tried to elope to Africa in the middle of the European winter. In My Darling Patricia’s production, this whimsical story of the unfettered imagination of young children is placed within a suburban Australian context of child neglect. Where we see poverty and filth, the children find giraffes, flamingos and leopards and as the two worlds ultimately meet, we are reminded of the extraordinary resilience of a child’s optimism.

‘It’s a stunning work…. realised with an admirable skill, its funny, beautiful and heartbreaking. Beg, borrow or steal a ticket to this one’ Alison Croggon, The Australian

Photo Credit: Jeff Busby


TomoeArts (Vancouver, BC)
TomoeArts (pronounced toh-moh-ay) promotes and performs nihon buyoh (Japanese classical dance), and creates performances incorporating Japanese forms and aesthetics. We have produced traditional dances in parks, contemporary dance-theatre in art galleries, festival-dance inspired performance with hand-held projectors in rainy city streets, and kabuki dance concerts featuring master artists from Japan.

Ten Nights of Dream
The uncanny world of dreams and the unconscious is brought to life in TomoeArts’ Ten Nights of Dream, a multidisciplinary performance featuring Japanese classical dance inspired choreography, a rich musical blending of Japanese bamboo flute and electro-acoustic sounds, and stunning full-stage projections, all based on stories written by Japan’s great novelist, Natsume Sôseki (1867 –1916).

A woman buried with a fallen star; a blind child riding on the back of the dreamer; a huge ship going nowhere; a frozen goldfish seller; a thousand pigs; these are just some of the haunting images found in Ten Nights of Dream. Indeed “a production beyond the ordinary. “ (ReviewVancouver)

Photo credit: Eugene Lin


Clea Minaker (Montréal, QC)

Clea Minaker is a performer who works with shadows, projections and puppetry in theatrical performances, music concerts and videos.  Her collaboration with [musician] Feist has been described as “a theatricality which explodes on stage (jotta.com).” Clea is the only English Canadian to have trained at the International Institute of Puppetry Arts in Charleville-Mézières, France (2002-2005). In 2009, Clea was awarded the Simonovitch Protégé Prize by the Simonovitch Prize in Theatre Design winner, Canadian puppeteer, Ronnie Burkett.

The Book of Thel
In this performance solo, ephemeral projections, disembodied puppetry, and optical illusions surround an actress with intangible interlocutors. Inspired by the poem and illuminations by William Blake, The Book of Thel, is the story of a disillusioned young shepherdess; her encounters with a lily, a cloud, a worm, and a clod of dirt; and a nightmarish descent underground. In a maze of glass, smoke and mirrors, can Thel find her way out of the dark?


Upintheair Theatre (Vancouver, BC)
Upintheair Theatre creates thought-provoking performances, fosters positive ensemble work, and is dedicated to a populist theatre which is accessible to as wide an audience as possible while still pushing artistic boundaries. We have created shows in old vans, abandoned warehouses, empty parking lots and traditional theatre spaces. We are the co-Producers of the Neanderthal Arts Festival and a long standing producer of original short plays by Vancouver’s emerging artists. Narrative is very important to us.

Wagabondi Ho!
Wagabondi Ho! is a site-specific micro-performance inside a  magic 1973 Dodge camperized van, a constantly evolving blend of auto-mechanics, audience engagement, and the general randomness of life. First performed to critical acclaim at the 2009 Vancouver International Fringe Festival, it quickly became a must-see highlight. “Theatre is all about communion and storytelling. Wagabondi Ho! has those elements in spades” (Georgia Straight). WARNING: small spaces, adult content, audience participation, and hot green tea.