Boca del Lupo Offers
Plays2Perform@Home is a script “Box Set” that can be ordered online and delivered to your home (mail order theatre) or picked up from The Fishbowl on Granville Island where we will also be running the Red Phones.
The moment that venues started to close around the world, Boca del Lupo Artistic Director Sherry Yoon, and Artistic Producer Jay Dodge started asking themselves; “What is the essence of theatre?” “How can we keep the ember burning for those who love performance as much as we do?” We’ve all been watching as productions go online and performances carry on through platforms such as Zoom. However, when Sherry and Jay looked to answer the questions they posed to themselves, going digital didn’t quite satisfy:
“Theatre is live, theatre is communion, theatre is something to be experienced together, in the flesh.”
To date Boca del Lupo has commissioned four extraordinary playwrights to pen scripts to be performed around the dinner table, picnic blanket or campfire this summer. Working with Valerie Thai, the award winning head designer and art director of Adbusters for five years running, each writer will create 10 to 20 minute plays with 3 to 8 characters which will be packaged up in a boutique box set and delivered to your home. P2P@Home asks the audience to take a leading role in creating a piece of theatre with the close friends and family they have chosen to be a part of their “bubble”. The first four playwrights contributing scripts are: Governor General Award winner and well known character actor Hiro Kanagawa, Jessie Award Winning playwright, director and actor Jovanni Sy, Dora Award winning director, writer, and collaborator Karen Hines, and Dora Award winning playwright, Tara Beagan (see their isolation bios below). Each script will be a different genre ranging from “Kitchen Sink Drama” to “Satirical Farce”.
Box Sets with all 4 plays are available for $30 for a limited time.
Order your copies from our Online Store, by sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or in person at our storefront office on Granville Island.
#100-1398 Cartwright Street, Vancouver, BC
Please email Carmela at email@example.com when you would like to come down.
As part of Boca del Lupo’s relaunch plan we will be following the lead of ActSafe where our own Carey Dodge sits on the Performing Arts Standing Committee [actsafe.ca]
Tara Beagan – Playwright
“How are you doing?” has become such an impossible thing. Asking it, pondering it, answering it, all. Life and all her ways move in cycles, it’s true. My writer self seems to have great blurts of productivity and then gaping canyons of space carved out by the former desire to write. So my partner Andy Moro and I squirrel-proof the garden, binge watch anything compelling, cook at all times of day, ride bikes, clean house, repeat. Sewing masks for friends and family is a creative-ish outlet. It also helps me feel like I’m doing something about now. There is some semblance of control threaded into each seam. When writing seems lost, I revisit past works. This scrolling back through time has me rolling further back. This project coincided with recalling an early 90s fixation on supermodels and the fashion industry. Growing up in small town Alberta, the only regular access to arts and culture was the library, CKUA radio, and the monthly Vogue and Elle I’d acquire at the drug store. Far away photo shoots papered my bedroom walls. I knew names of every model and each line they were paid to endorse. Today the only models I care about are the ones who send me selfies as they sport the masks I’ve sewn.
Karen Hines – Playwright
Where does that blue come from? That robin’s egg blue?
Karen Hines is an award-winning writer, performer and director in theatre, television, film and magazines. She is a two-time finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama (The Pochsy Plays; Drama: Pilot Episode) and her short films featuring the character Pochsy have been presented internationally, as have the live Pochsy Plays. Her latest dark comedy, All the Little Animals I Have Eaten (Nightwood, Crow’s) was recently cancelled before its Toronto opening due to COVID-19, as was the Montreal Jamais Lu Festival performance – in translation by Mishka Lavigne. So, like a robin with a vanished egg, Karen is currently writing two dark comedies to take its place.
Hiro Kanagawa – Playwright
In BC, COVID isolation has been a waiting game: waiting for the pandemic to arrive in earnest on the one hand, waiting for “real” life to resume on the other. As I write this, neither has happened.There is an artificiality, an unrealness to life in the liminal state between realities. We’ve all experienced it before for short periods: when the WiFi or the power goes out, for instance, or you’re waiting for a storm that may or may not strike your location, you typically occupy yourself doing inconsequential things until “real” things can resume again.
When I was tasked with writing a play that is in some way inspired by this Age of COVID, I realized I only wanted to write a play that explicitly acknowledges this limbo. Plays, after all, are themselves outside the normal fabric of the time-space continuum. And a play that is performed not by actors in the ritual space of the theatre but by the audience members themselves in the real space of their lives is separate both from real life and from the simulacrum of real life that is theatre. Two negatives make a positive, right? Hmmm…
From the above it should come as no surprise that my play “Negotiations” is self-consciously meta, which is to say, meta meta. This may sound like something an intellectual would do, but I promise you I’m not and I kinda hope you aren’t either. By acknowledging and exploring the artificiality of what we are doing here, I hope we discover what we have lost and what we miss the most in our COVID limbo: real human connection.
Jovanni Sy – Playwrights
The last normal thing Jovanni and I did was to dance at a Boca show with Carmen Aguirre. Since then we’ve been isolated in Richmond, seeing only my 86-year-old mother (at a distance, with masks, mostly outdoors). I am still translating plays (which may never be produced, but I have obligations anyway). Jovanni, meanwhile, is “cooking his feelings”: preparing fantastic meals with simple ingredients; honing his flaky dough techniques on parathas, roti canai, and green onion pancakes. He’s gone for a few walks with friends, but all my close friends live in Vancouver and I’m scared to take public transit. (I am good friends with everyone he walks with, too… but I feel it’s healthy for us to spend at least ONE hour of the day apart from each other.) Yesterday was the first day I’ve seen any of my friends since March. Dear Annie drove in from Vancouver: we shopped at Value Village, had lunch in the neighbourhood park with Jovanni, then got this ice cream at the cute little matcha parlour across the street. Heaven.
We grieve for everyone’s huge losses as well as our own private misfortunes. Jovanni was about to be the Senior Playwright-in-Residence at the Banff Centre, and then he had a six-month contract acting at Bard on the Beach. I’ve lost 2 residencies and 4 productions stretching from coast to coast, including 2 world premieres. We worry about the theatre community and about the art form to which we have devoted our lives.
We have been deeply moved by the worldwide protests for racial justice in the wake of the police murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many other names that need to be said. For Jovanni, #inthedressingroom – Black Canadian theatre actors posting harrowing tales of the emotional abuse they have suffered over decades – has dredged up a lot of traumatic memories. You see, white theatre people (and Canadians in general) don’t tend to come on all Ernst-Zündel-obvious-racist. We condescend; we undermine IBPOC by implying (even to their faces) that they don’t deserve to be in the room; if you ever call us on our bullshit, we are either SUPER-offended and will punish you without admitting that that’s what we’re doing, or else we were “only joking” and you need to lighten up. The flip side of this is “performative wokeness”: when white folks seek praise and attention simply for NOT acting like assholes. When we manage to still make things all about us.
Jovanni and I are delighted to participate in this Boca initiative, an exciting counterpoint to the drive to take the performing arts online. We knew that we needed to write a comedy, because laughter, and ice cream, and being together, and the possibility of positive social change, are the things that are keeping us going. Although we almost never work together, we are embracing the moment. Think of this text as a little artistic sourdough starter… a gift from our bubble to yours. – Written by Leanna Brodie
Valerie Thai – Art Director
Valerie specializes in art direction, print design and illustration for socially conscious and sustainable companies. Prior to creating her own company, she was the award-winning head designer and art director at Adbusters Magazine for five years running. She currently is the art director at This Magazine. Valerie holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia and a Bachelor of Communication Design from Emily Carr University of Art and Design.