• Theatre
  • Live + Online
  • Run Ended

The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes

Showing on Feb 1-3; Online Feb 1-4

Playing at York Theatre

A man sits on a couch leaning away from what appears to be a taxidermy tiger. Behind him is a wall of mounted animal taxidermy heads.

Back to Back Theatre (Australia)

When AI takes over from human intelligence, how will people be treated?

Weaving a narrative through human rights, sexual politics, and the projected dominance of artificial intelligence, The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes is a sly theatrical revelation. 

This a story about a public meeting, the type of meeting you would hope to happen in a certain kind of democracy. Amid mistakes, mis-readings, mis-leadings and misunderstanding, critical questions arise. How does society stereotype and castigate people with intellectual disabilities, consciously or otherwise? How do we each ethically navigate the complexities of representation and language? How do we come together to make decisions that are in the best interest of a civic society? 

Created by PuSh alumna Back to Back Theatre, this raw, honest and deeply funny work reminds us that none of us are self-sufficient and all of us are responsible

Presented by PuSh International Performing Arts Festival and Neworld Theatre, in association with The Cultch

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Artist Bio

Back to Back Theatre (Australia)

Based in the Victorian regional centre of Geelong, Back to Back Theatre is widely recognised as an Australian theatre company of national and international significance. The company is driven by an ensemble of actors who are perceived to have intellectual disabilities and is considered one of Australia’s most important cultural exporters.

We contend our operation as a theatre company is beyond expectation of possibility: an affirmation for human potential. The company’s existence contributes to the richness and diversity of Australian life and palpably projects Geelong, Victoria and Australia to the world as innovative, sophisticated and dynamic.

The company has undertaken presentations and screenings at the world’s pre-eminent contemporary arts festivals and venues such as the Edinburgh International Festival, London’s V&A Museum and the Barbican, Vienna Festival, Holland Festival and Theater der Welt, the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, the Public Theater in New York, Festival Tokyo, West Kowloon Cultural District Authority in Hong Kong, and Buenos Aires International Festival.

Back to Back Theatre has received 21 national and international awards including the International Ibsen Award, a Helpmann Award for Best Australian Work, an Edinburgh International Festival Herald Angel Critics’ Award, two Age Critics’ Awards, a New York Bessie and the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Group Award for our long-standing contribution to the development of Australian theatre. In 2015, Bruce Gladwin received the Australia Council for the Arts’ Inaugural Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theatre. The ensemble were awarded the ‘Best Ensemble’ in the 2019 Green Room Awards.


York Theatre

639 Commercial Drive, Vancouver


  • February 1: 7:30; Online
  • February 2: 7:30; Online
  • February 3: 2:00; 7:30; Online
  • February 4: Online

Runtime: 60 min, no intermission

Post-show talkback: Feb 2

Content Advisory

Mentions of sex and sexual abuse, violence and abuse against people with disabilities, animals, and children.


In-Person: $39
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Streaming: $30
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Icon signalling a performance with signed interpretation

ASL-Interpretation Feb 2

Icon signalling a performance with surtitles

In English with English surtitles

Icon signalling a relaxed performance (casual or low sensory)

Relaxed Performance on Feb 3, 2pm

This visual story (Google Docs) provides information about what to expect at this show.

View the visual story for the York Theatre venue (Google Slides).

View the ASL description of the show:



Authors Michael Chan, Mark Deans, Bruce Gladwin, Simon Laherty, Sarah Mainwaring, Scott Price, Sonia Teuben Director Bruce Gladwin Performers Simon Laherty, Sarah Mainwaring, Scott Price Composition Luke Howard Trio – Daniel Farrugia, Luke Howard, Jonathon Zion Sound Design Lachlan Carrick Lighting Design Andrew Livingston, bluebottle Screen Design Rhian Hinkley, lowercase Costume Design Shio Otani AI Voice Over Belinda McClory Script Consultant Melissa Reeves Creative Development Michael Chan, Mark Cuthbertson, Mark Deans, Rhian Hinkley, Bruce Gladwin, Simon Laherty, Pippin Latham, Andrew Livingston, Sarah Mainwaring, Victoria Marshall, Scott Price, Brian Tilley, Sonia Teuben Company Manager Erin Watson Production Manager Bao Ngouansavanh Executive Producer  Tim Stitz Tour Director Daniel Schlusser Stage Manager Alana Hoggart Sound Engineer Eugene Mackinnon Tour Producer David Miller

Funded by Creative Australia, State Government of Victoria, City of Greater Geelong

Co-commissioned by Carriageworks, Theater der Welt, Düsseldorf 2020, the Keir Foundation, the Thyne Reid Foundation and The Anthony Costa Foundation, supported by Creative Partnerships Australia through Plus 1, with development support from the Geelong Arts Centre, Arts Centre Melbourne, Melbourne International Arts Festival, the Une Parkinson Foundation, The Public Theater (New York City) and ArtsEmerson (Boston). The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes was developed, in part, at the 2019 Sundance Theatre Lab at MASS MoCA.