Conceived by Sherry Yoon and designed by Jay Dodge, with technology by Carey Dodge, Red Phone is a conversation that you will not soon forget. Part theatre and part social intervention, Red Phone is an audience-to-audience performance that utilizes the intimacy of a phone call and the technology of a teleprompter. It takes place between two hand-crafted, fully enclosed phone booths outfitted with a vintage red phone and an integrated teleprompter.
Two at a time, audience members engage each other in a five-minute conversation in the booth. The act of having the conversation with an unseen partner provides an anonymity that adds to the intimacy of the performance, encouraging participants to be the actor in their own theatrical experience. Red Phone is a one-of-a-kind performance that has been described as the theatrical equivalent to singing in the shower.
Free of charge, anyone can walk up and into the booths with a friend or family member and spend 5 minutes engaging in some of the most urgent, touching, thought provoking conversations written by some of Canada’s most exciting writers. With a Canadian catalogue of over 2 dozen scripts and tour stops spanning from Vancouver Island to Newfoundland, Red Phone is a truly national project.
Next up is Red Phone 2.0, the international edition which kick off with a presentation at the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival in Vancouver this coming January!
Following 7 years of touring the project to communities across Canada, we know turn our attention to the rest of the world. Starting with South America, in 2023 Red Phone will tour to Argentina and Uruguay with commissioned scripts from four prominent South American playwrights: Florencio Award-winning and twice National Literature Award-winning Gabriel Calderon (Uruguay), BUHO Award-winning and Twice Moliere Prize-winning Marianella Morena (Uruguay), INT Award winning Nelson Valente (Argentina), and twin-sister collaborators and National Theatre Institute Prize-winning Maria and Paula Marull (Argentina). The first chance to experience these scripts will be in Vancouver as part of the PuSh Festival this January.
Red Phone at the PuSh Festival is supported by our Community Partner, the Vancouver Latin American Cultural Centre.
International Writers & Translators
Gabriel Calderón is a playwright, actor and director. He has been active in Uruguayan theatre since 2001 when his first premiere, ‘Más vale solo’ was awarded Best Play. Since then, he has written more than twenty plays that have performed in Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru), Europe (Spain, Italy, Germany and France) and the United States.
Calderón premiered and directed “Historia de un jabalí o algo de Ricardo” , at the Teatro de La Abadía in Madrid, a production of Temporada Alta 2020 and Grec 2020-Festival de Barcelona, which was called one of the best plays of 2020 by ‘La Vanguardia’.
He completed his training in Spain (Fundación Carolina, 2004) and England (International Residency at the Royal Court Theatre in London, 2009). He was a member of the Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab (New York) and artist-in-residence at the Théâtre des Quartiers d’Ivry (Paris) between 2011 and 2013.
Marianella Morena is a playwright, director, lecturer and columnist. Within the Uruguayan scene, she’s one of the artists with the highest international acclaim. Her work is programmed and shown in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, the United States, Spain, Germany, France, Paraguay, Chile and Mexico. She is involved in research in Uruguay, Argentina, North America, Italy, France and Cuba. Marianella works with classical plays around personal and political themes, in search of truthfulness. She exposes issues and uses the economic crisis to develop her own language, which she herself calls ‘the capitalisation of adversity’. Concerned with the current context and times, Marianella creates political projects in which she puts social, gender, and Latin American issues in the limelight. She has received awards and recognition from the Molière Prize, the Cultural Centre of Spain, the University of Buenos Aires, the Argentinian ACE Critics Awards, and the Uruguayan public broadcaster.
Director, playwright and theater teacher. Cultural Manager and Curator.
He is the founding artistic director of the venue and company Banfield Teatro Ensamble, one of the most exciting Argentinean independent theater companies that has emerged in the country in the past decade. He has worked as coordinator of the art program at Ezeiza prison in Buenos Aires.
Some of his most important texts are: “El loco y la camisa”, “El declive”, “Solo llamé para decirte que te amo”, “La Mujer que soy” and “Los perros”. Apart from directing his own plays, he has staged more than 60 pieces in the Americas and Europe, participating of festivals such as Hispano in Miami, Santiago a Mil in Chile, Iberoamericano de Cádiz and Internacional de Tarragona in Spain, Gulbenkian Próximo Futuro de Lisboa in Portugal, Sens Interdits de Lyon France and VIE de Modena in Italy. His texts have been premiered by local casts in Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Panama, Uruguay and Spain.
María and Paula Marull are twin sisters, playwrights, directors and actresses. Their works have a record number of audiences and permanence on the Argentine scene, translated and performed in different parts of the world. Their plays La Pilarcita, Yo no duermo la siesta, Hidalgo, Vuelve, and El dia Perfecto, have garnered numerous nominations and awards across Argentina and Uruguay.
Together they created “Espacios Gemelos” (Twin Spaces), an intervention for the FIBA Abasto Marathon 2019, “The Glass Woman”, for the Interficciones cycle in Sagai 2019, “Rosita’s Dream”, at La casa del teatro for FIBA 2020. “Lo que el río hace, the Documentary” for the Hybrid Modes cycle of the Teatro San Martín 2020.
“Lo que el río hace”, the play, made for the CTBA, won the RFI award, Radio Cultura France 2022, and the EEBA School of Spectators Award 2022 among others.
Mercedes Bátiz-Benét (she/her) is a Mexican-born multi-disciplinary artist, writer, and award-winning director. Known for her emotionally potent and surrealist style, she has written and directed numerous plays that have toured nationally and internationally. Mercedes is the artistic director of Puente Theatre where her mission is to advocate for the inclusion, representation, and development of immigrant, IBPOC, and culturally diverse voices.
Canadian Writers & Translators
Alice Abracen (she/her) is an award-winning playwright, librettist, and video game writer based in Montreal. Her work has been featured with McGill Opera’s Beta Lab, Boca De Lupo’s Red Phone Project, Alumnae Theatre (Toronto) Underlings Theatre (Boston), the Harvard Radcliffe Dramatic Club, the Montreal Fringe, the New Words Festival of NTS, and two Women Playwrights International Conferences (Cape Town & Santiago). Her libretto The Chair, co-written with composer Maria Atallah, was a winner of the inaugural Mecenat Musica Prix Trois Femmes. The Covenant, winner of the 2017 Canadian Jewish Playwriting Competition, recently premiered at the Segal Centre’s Studio Space in November 2022. What Rough Beast will be featured as Centaur Theatre’s Brave New Looks in March 2023. Alice is one of the founders of Theatre Ouest End.
Sharon Bala’s bestselling debut novel, The Boat People, won the 2019 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction. It was a finalist for Canada Reads 2018, the 2018 Amazon Canada First Novel Award, the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award, the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award, and was longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award and the Aspen Words Literary Prize. The Boat People is on sale worldwide with translations on the shelves or forthcoming in French, German, Arabic, and Turkish. In 2017 Sharon won the Writers’ Trust/ McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize for her short story “Butter Tea at Starbucks” and had a second story on the long-list. She is a member of The Port Authority, a St. John’s writing group. Visit her online at sharonbala.com.
Keith Barker is a member of the Métis Nation of Ontario. He is a playwright, actor, and director from Northwestern Ontario. Keith is the Director of the Foerster Bernstein New Play Development Program at the Stratford Festival, and the former Artistic Director at Native Earth Performing Arts in Toronto. He is the winner of the Dora Mavor Moore Award and the Playwrights Guild’s Carol Bolt Award for best new play. Keith was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for English Drama in 2018 for his play, This Is How We Got Here. He received a Saskatchewan and Area Theatre Award for Excellence in Playwriting for his play, The Hours That Remain, as well as a Yukon Arts Award for Best Art for Social Change.
Leanna Brodie is a playwright and performer whose plays include The Vic, For Home and Country, Schoolhouse, and The Book of Esther. Ulla’s Odyssey, Brodie’s Flourish Prize–winning opera with New Zealand composer Anthony Young, toured the UK for two years with OperaUpClose. Vancouver audiences may have seen her in in Terminus (Pi Theatre), And Bella Sang to Us (Firehall Arts Centre) or Bonjour, là, bonjour (Théâtre la Seizième).
Brodie is also a leading translator of contemporary Québécois/Franco-Canadian playwrights. Recent premieres include Wildfire (Factory Theatre, Toronto: Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Best New Play, Director, and Production); Joe Jack et John’s Violette (PuSh Festival); Rébecca Déraspe’s I Am William (Stratford Festival); and Fanny Britt’s Benevolence (Ruby Slippers/Pacific Theatre). Ruby Slippers’ production of her translation of Christian Bégin’s Après moi was nominated for 5 Jessie Awards.
Currently, Brodie is Assistant Professor (Playwriting) at the UBC School of Creative Writing. Upcoming: Wildfire (CBC’s PlayME podcast); and Anaïs Pellin’s Clementine (Carousel Theatre, Vancouver). With co-writer Jovanni Sy, she is working on Salesman in China, a commission from the Stratford Festival.
Bridget Canning writes fiction. Her debut novel, The Greatest Hits of Wanda Jaynes, was selected as a finalist for the 2017 BMO Winterset Award, the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award, the NL Fiction Award, was long listed for the Dublin International Literary Award and has been optioned for film. Her second novel, Some People’s Children, was published with Breakwater Books in the spring of 2020. She is the recipient of the 2018 ArtsNL Emerging Artist Award.
Bridget holds an MA in Creative Writing from Memorial University and a Masters in Literacy Education from Mount Saint Vincent University. She balances her writing career with teaching Communications at the College of the North Atlantic.
She was raised on a sheep farm in Highlands, Newfoundland and currently lives in St. John’s. www.bridgetcanning.com
Ginny Collins is a Winnipeg-based playwright who has worked with both English and French theatres. Most recently, Ginny’s play The Flats was produced by Prairie Theatre Exchange, was translated into French (Les Flats), and produced at Théâtre Cercle Molière. Ginny’s plays The Good Daughter, Terroristas and The Propeller Moment have been published by Scirocco Drama in anthologies.
Ivan Coyote is a writer and storyteller. Born and raised in Whitehorse, Yukon, they are the author of thirteen books, the creator of four films, six stage shows, and three albums that combine storytelling with music. Coyote’s books have won the ReLit Award, been named a Stonewall Honour Book, been long-listed for Canada Reads, and been shortlisted for the Hilary Weston Prize for non-fiction, and the Governor General’s Award for non-fiction twice. In 2017 Ivan was given an honorary Doctor of Laws from Simon Fraser University. Coyote’s stories grapple with the complex and intensely personal topics of gender identity, family, class, and queer liberation, but always with a generous heart, and a quick wit. Ivan’s stories manage to handle both the hilarious and the historical with reverence and compassion, and remind us all of our own fallible and imperfect humanity, while at the same time inspiring us to change the world. Ivan’s 13th book, Care Of, was released in June 2021 by McClelland and Stewart.
The Artistic Producer of Boca del Lupo since 2001, Jay Dodge was also part of the founding collective in 1996. During his tenure, the company has won the peer-assessed Alcan Performing Arts Award, and several Jesse Richardson Theatre Awards including seven nominations for the Critic’s Choice Award for Innovation and the Patrick O’Neill Award for best anthology with Plays2Perform@Home. Jay is a passionate set and video designer with Jessie Richardson Awards in both of those categories as well as a published playwright including a contribution to Boca del Lupo’s Red Phone project. His artistry is one of innovation and daring and his one man show, PHOTOG. featured interactive video, stunt rigging and verbatim text, touring to World Stage, Prismatic, Festival Trans Amerique and PuSh. Currently serving on the national board of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres, Jay also has special interest in creative space making including as co-founder of celebrated colocation space PL1422, co-founder of the Granville Island Theatre District, and as project consultant for Video In/Video Out and Left of Main.
Sherry J Yoon, is currently the Artistic Director of Boca del Lupo in Vancouver BC. As theatre director her passion for creating new performance through collaborative pursuits has enable her to create work in theatres, intimate performance installations and large spectacle site specific work. Through co creation, collaboration, partnerships and commissions she has premiered and toured festivals and venues across Canada, Europe and Latin America. During Sherry’s tenure the company has received numerous awards including the Alcan Performing Arts Award, Jessie Richardson awards, and the Critics Choice Award for Innovation. She is currently working on an interactive installation about climate change and our relationship to the guilt and isolation that people carry, involving the audience charging a battery on a stationary bicycle. Sherry also participates in multiple local and national arts advisories, and has launched the 3.7% – and advocacy group to support emerging and established BIPOC women and non binary artists in leadership, and most recently Stop Asian Hate an initiative that has galvanized Asian Canadian Leadership in the performing arts across Canada. She is also a freelance director and has recently been honored as a finalist for the prestigious Siminovitch Award for directing.
Susanna Fournier is an award-winning Canadian theatre-maker, actor, and educator. Her main crush is constructing new texts for live performance and visioning interdisciplinary productions. Her work is rowdy, joyous, and sometimes “impossible” – especially lately since her latest project, Always Still the Dawn, a double bill of new plays set to premiere at Canadian Stage in Toronto, was one of the many projects rendered “impossible” by the COVID 19 pandemic. That’s ok though, for her, art is anything but easy and certainly never predictable. In 2018/19, her company, PARADIGM productions, launched her critically acclaimed trilogy, The Empire, across three different Toronto venues and as a podcast series you can listen to at www.empiretrilogy.com. She’s a graduate of The National Theatre School of Canada and Generator’s Artist Producer Training Program. She’s on faculty at both Randolph College for the Performing Arts and Armstrong Acting Studios where she teaches empowered, mindful, and playful approaches to performance. In writing she explores the space between who we are, who we have been, and who we want to become. Her work is trauma-informed, heart and spirit forward because she thinks tenderness can change our world and wonders if you do too. www.susannafournier.com
Shauntay Grant is an author, poet, playwright, and multimedia artist who lives and works in Kjipuktuk (Halifax, Nova Scotia). A multidisciplinary artist with professional degrees in creative writing, music, and journalism, she “creates artworks that are engaging and accessible, but also challenging, rigorous, and informed by deep research” (The Royal Society of Canada). She is the author of The Bridge, published by Playwrights Canada Press and winner of a Robert Merrit Award for Outstanding New Play by a Nova Scotian, and the editor of the forthcoming anthology From The Ashes: Six Solo Plays. Her work has been commissioned by Boca Del Lupo (Red Phone Project), Obsidian Theatre (21 Black Futures), Eastern Front Theatre (Micro Digitals Creation Project), Against the Grain Theatre (Identity: A Song Cycle), and others. Shauntay is the author of several books for children including Sandy Toes: A Summer Adventure (Abrams Appleseed, 2023) My Fade Is Fresh (Penguin Random House, 2022) and Africville which won the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award and was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Awards. Her honours include a Joseph S. Stauffer Prize in Writing and Publishing from the Canada Council for the Arts, and a Poet of Honour prize from the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. She is a former poet laureate for the City of Halifax, and she teaches creative writing at Dalhousie University.
Ryan Griffith is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada (2007). His play Fortune Of Wolves was recently published by Playwrights Canada Press. His short play Shepody, Rage and Wolfe was featured as part of the National Elevator Project Plays produced by Theatre Yes in Edmonton and Halifax, and his original plays Returning Fire and A Brief History of the Maritimes and Everywhere Else, as well as his adaptation of Alistair MacLeod’s The Boat have recently been produced by Theatre New Brunswick. He has served as a board member for both PARC (Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre) as well as the Playwrights Guild of Canada. Currently, Ryan is the Artistic Director for the Next Folding Theatre Company in Fredericton.
Hines is an award-winning playwright, performer and director in theatre, television and film, and a National Magazine Award-winning writer. She is a recent finalist for the Siminovitch Prize in Theatre, and a two-time finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama for The Pochsy Plays and Drama: Pilot Episode. Hines appeared as “Karen” for three seasons on CBC’s Emmy Award-winning Newsroom, and in many “awkward assistant” roles in Toronto-for-New York movies. Her short films featuring the character Pochsy have been presented internationally, as have the live performances, and her solo Crawlspace (recently presented by Boca del Lupo) has toured widely (Crawlspace is now a CBC PlayMe Podcast). Hines’s latest dark comedy All the Little Animals I Have Eaten was cancelled before its 2020 Toronto opening due to COVID-19, but morphed during lockdown, and will premiere in a French translation at Montreal’s Jamais Lu Festival this May. Along with a few current Boca projects, Karen is now writing the fourth in the Pochsy series, Pochsy IV: My Heart Breaks For You.
Hiro Kanagawa is a Vancouver-based writer and actor. His play Indian Arm received the 2017 Governor-General’s Literary Award for Drama. His other plays include The Tiger of Malaya and The Patron Saint of Stanley Park, both of which have been performed across Canada. His next play, a stage adaptation of Mark Sakamoto’s bestselling memoir Forgiveness, is the recipient of a National Creation Fund grant and is slated to premiere in January 2023 at Vancouver’s Arts Club Theatre and at Theatre Calgary in a production directed by acclaimed Nikkei director, Stafford Arima. Hiro’s long collaboration with Boca del Lupo also includes Azano for their Micro-Performance series and Negotiations for Plays2Perform@Home. A sought-after script doctor and consultant, Hiro was story editor on the critically-acclaimed Canadian series Da Vinci’s Inquest, Da Vinci’s City Hall, Intelligence and Blackstone.As an actor he is perhaps best-known for his numerous recurring and guest starring roles on popular television and streaming series such as Star Trek: Discovery, Altered Carbon, The X-Files, iZombie and many more.
Shawn is an actor and playwright. His plays have been produced at the Arts Club, Touchstone Theatre, and Pacific Theatre. He has won two Jessie Awards for playwriting for World’s Greatest Guy and Prodigal Son. Shawn has been the Program Leader for the LEAP Playwriting Intensive for Young Writers at the Arts Club for over 10 years. He loves to write plays and to be part of the development process with fellow playwrights.
Janet Munsil is a Victoria-based playwright and the author of more than a dozen plays produced internationally, including Ugly Duchess, Be Still, Circus Fire, Influence, I Have Seen Beautiful Jim Key, and That Elusive Spark. She completed her MFA in Writing at the University of Victoria. She is also a theatre director. She acknowledges her debt to, and respect for, the Duwamish, Nuu-chah-nulth, Hupačasath, Esquimalt, Songhees, Stoney, Sylix, and Nez Perce peoples, upon whose land she has lived.
Omari Newton is an award-winning professional actor, writer, director and producer. As a writer, his original Hip Hop Theater piece Sal Capone has received critical acclaim and multiple productions, including a run at Canada’s National Arts Center. Omari and his wife, fellow professional playwright Amy Lee Lavoie, received a silver commissions from The Arts Club Theatre to co-write a new play: Redbone Coonhound. A bold and innovative satirical comedy that confronts instances of systemic racism in the past, present and future. Omari co-directed the first in a series of rolling world premieres at The Arts Club Theatre in October of 2022. The play is set to open at Tarragon Theatre in Toronto, followed by a run at Imago Theatre in Montreal. The husband and wife duo have also just completed “Black Fly,” a satirical adaptation of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus that centers on Aaron and Lavinia. Newton’s work in Speakeasy Theatre’s production of Young Jean Lee’s The Shipment earned him a 2017-2018 Jessie Richardson Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor, as well as a nomination for Best Direction. He has recently completed directing critically acclaimed productions of “The Mountaintop” by Katori Hall, and “Pass Over” by Antoinette Nwandu. Notable film & TV credits include: Lucas Ingram on Showcase’s Continuum, Larry Summers on Blue Mountain State and lending his voice to the Black Panther in multiple animated projects (Marvel). Most recently, Omari has a recurring role as Nate on Corner Gas (the animated series) and a recurring role as Corvus of Netflix’s hit new animated series The Dragon Prince.
Yvette has written plays (The Unplugging, The Birds, Annie Mae’s Movement), libretti (Shanawdithit, Sophia), plays for film (Katharsis), plays for audio (Flag, You Can’t Get There From Here, Lache Pas La Patate), and a whack of short pieces for Sum Theatre’s Last Sunday, Short Cuts Festival, and Boca del Lupo. Boca pieces include Expedition, Red Phone, and The Fifth Setting (Plays2Perform@Home, Prairie Box). She is also a director and a dramaturg. She is also currently pursuing her Masters in Public Policy at Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy.
Ellen Peterson is a playwright, dramaturg, actor, and teacher. She is a graduate of the University of Winnipeg. Ellen’s plays The Brink and The Eight Tiny Reindeer of the Apocalypse premiered at Prairie Theatre Exchange (2013) and Theatre Projects Manitoba (2012) respectively. Other plays include Branta Canadensis, Learning to Drive, and The Blanket Show, and The Goose. Her adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility premiered at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre in October 2018.
Sharon Thesen is a poet, editor, and writer. She received her MA degree from Simon Fraser University, taught English and Creative Writing at Capilano College, and was a professor of Creative Writing at UBC Okanagan. She is the author of nine books of poetry, the most recent two Oyama Pink Shale and The Receiver.
Metis/Ojibway playwright and author Ian Ross was born in McCreary, Manitoba in 1968 and currently lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Film and Theatre. Ian Ross has written for theatre, film, television and radio. Ross’s play “Heart of a Distant Tribe” was published in the Manitoba anthology A Map of the Senses: 20 Years of Manitoba Plays, edited by Rory Runnells (Scirocco). His play fareWel, which garnered him the 1997 Governor General Award for Drama, is a dark comedy about Native life on the fictional Partridge Crop Reserve.
Marcus’ fifteen or so plays include King Arthur’s Night, Winners and Losers, Jabber, Ali and Ali and the aXes of Evil, Adrift and A Line in the Sand. They have been produced in 20 countries across North America, Europe and Asia. Marcus is the recipient of the Siminovitch Prize for Theatre, the Chalmer’s Canadian Play Award and the Rio-Tinto Alcan Performing Arts Award, among others. He is currently Senior Artist at Neworld Theatre, International Artistic Associate at Farnham Maltings in the UK, an artistic advisor to the National Arts Centre English Theatre and playwright in residence at Tarragon Theatre in Toronto.
Bruce Gibbons Fell (Toronto) is a Chilean award-winning playwright and translator. His plays and translations have been presented in Argentina, Canada, Chile, Cuba, the US, and the UK. His theatre company, SO MUCH DRAMA, showcased his work in Toronto and developed his play The Communist Manifesto for Children at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. Bruce is currently Director of New Play Development at Interdram (Santiago, Chile).
Mishka Lavigne (she/her) is a playwright, screenwriter and literary translator based in Ottawa/Gatineau. Her plays have been produced and developed in Canada, Switzerland, France, Germany, Australia, Haiti and the United States. Her play Havre was awarded the 2019 Governor General’s Literary Prize. Her play Copeaux, a movement-based poetic creation piece with director Éric Perron premiered in Ottawa in March 2020 and was also awarded the Governor General’s Literary Prize in 2021 as well as the Prix littéraire Jacques-Poirier. Albumen, her first play written in English received the Prix Rideau Award for Outstanding New Creation in 2019 and the QWF Playwriting Award in 2020.
Mishka is currently working on a bilingual opera libretto with Montreal composer Tim Brady and on four new creations in French, as well as on some translation and screenwriting projects.