"Vancouver's foremost avant garde experimental, exploratory theatre company"
— Jerry Wasserman, vancouverplays.com.
Artwork by Tomoyo Ihaya
The Well is a performance ritual in which we contemplate personal death and the potential death of the climate as we know it. Moments of surrender. Personal artifacts, words, songs, our bodies — into the well. Slated for performance in 2020.
Artwork by Andreas Kahre
Look to the sky for a sign. A moment of reflection. Something to buy. A window. A screen. In Billboard we re-imagine the uses of these spaces. And consider other possibilities of relating to them. Slated for production in 2021.
Oh What a Beautiful Morning! ...with sing-a-long!
In this expanded version of its 2018 show Fight With a Stick turns its gaze on the iconic musical Oklahoma!
Boasting 800 productions a year, Oklahoma’s cultural legacy refuses to die. In Oh What a Beautiful Morning! we radically reinvent one of the most powerful theatre forms of our time — the American Musical — and one of the most enduring of those musicals.
Not a critique but a journey into the hidden corners of this enduring work. We ask ourselves who we are in relation to this endlessly produced musical? 500 licensed productions a year! What's the enduring appeal? Can this be anyone's story? Can it be ours? Fight With a Stick’s company of theatre artists, composers, video artists and choreographers dive deep into the sensory world that made the musical an instrument of American national identity building, but also an inspiration to generations of musical theatre fans. As always the company messes with states of perception to draw out what is lurking in the background — the cornfield, the sky, the sounds of the landscape.
“Oh What a Beautiful Morning! is not a play — although it is playful. It is not a romantic musical — although there is music. It is not a movie — although there is film. It is something completely new, and I was as ‘high as an elephant’s eye’ when it was over” — Jo Ledingham, Theatre Reviews.
Created by: Performers — Hayley Gawthrop, Logan Hallwas, Hin Hilary Leung, Sean Marshall Jr., Makailla Pallyaguru. Alex Lazaridis Ferguson (director), Paula Viitanen (TD/set), James Maxwell (sound design), Josh Hite (video creation), Jordan Lloyd Watkins (video design/technologist), Delia Brett (choreographic consultant), Sharon Lau (light design), Janice Ma (costume design), Katie Roberts (production management), mia amir (artist-in-residence), Jay White (graphic design).
We acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia, the Canada Council for the Arts, the City of Vancouver, the Hamber Foundation.
Artwork by Josh Hite
Fight With a Stick presents A Vista, the ultimate theatre experience of making the background the main performer. Over three nights in March, dozens of painted backdrops become the main attraction as the company works the antique hemp-rope rigging system to animate the beautifully painted settings. Up to fifteen backdrops are in action at one time, each one playing off the next in a unique visual choreography of canvass, pipe, rope, sound and lights.
During the three-day event, a “crew” of performers and designers animate 45 backdrops working to partner with the collective movement possibilities of the hemp house rigging system and the drops it holds. Each evening will focus on a different formal elements of the painted backdrops: Weds. Mar. 20th – Full Drops, Thurs. Mar. 21st – Portals, and Fri. Mar. 22nd - Legs. The drops are openly handled and revealed in an ever-changing installation sequence in which no transition or backdrop is given more attention than any other.
A Vista is created collaboratively by:
Director: Josh Hite. Devisers-crew: mia susan amir, Howard Dai, Alex Lazaridis Ferguson, Kate Franklin, Logan Hallwas, Elissa Hanson, Josh Hite, Dan O’Shea, Walter Kubanek, Diego Romero. Light design: Jordan Boivin, James Proudfoot. Sound Design: Nancy Tam. Dramaturgy: mia susan amir, Alex Lazaridis Ferguson, Steven Hill. Engineer: Scott Billings. Consultants: Stephen Jackson, Natalie Purschwitz, Shawn Sorensen.
Oh What a Beautiful Morning! (2018) Specializing in making the background the foreground, and messing with states perception, Fight With a Stick Performance turned its gaze on the iconic musical Oklahoma! Don’t look for big show numbers. Look instead to the cornfield, the sky, the landscape and what is conspicuously missing. The company’s team of theatre artists, composers, video artists and performers dove deep into the sensory world that has made Oklahoma! a propagandistic monument to American national identity building.
Oh What a Beautiful Morning! was created collaboratively by Alex Lazaridis Ferguson (direction), Steven Hill (dramaturg), Josh Hite (video creation), James Maxwell (composer), Paula Viitanen (technical direction), Hayley Gawthorp (performer), Hin Hilary Leung (performer), Claire Carolan (light design), Diego Romero (movement consultant), Delia Brett (movement consultant), Rita Wei (stage management).
Image of Hayley Gawthrop and Josh Hite by Alex Lazaridis F.
Cinerama (2017) At the edge of the city we put on a live performance of weather, water, and tide — an immersive live "cinema" on the shifting sands of the low tide mud flats at Spanish Banks. Nominated for the Critics Innovation Award.
Cinerama creative team: Steven Hill (director), Alex Lazaridis Ferguson (philosopher of scenography and spatial dramaturg), Scott Billings (installation design), Natalie Purschwitz (installation design), Nancy Tam (sound design), Paula Viitanen (technical direction). Performer-Devisers: Delia Brett, Nellie Gossen, Elissa Hanson, Josh Hite, Walter Kubanek, Melissa Meneses-Skoda, Diego Romero, Jordan Watkins. Tech support: Parjad Sharifi.
Artwork by Natalie Purschwitz
Revolutions (2016) A telescopic journey through dust, human chemical relationships and geological time. Revolutions is an immersive performance in a 7,000 square foot warehouse. Winner of the Critics Innovation Award.
Revolutions was created collaboratively by: Steven Hill and Alex Lazaridis Ferguson (co-direction), Jay White (set design), Josh Hite (video artist), Nancy Tam (sound design), Sean Marshall Jr. (performer-deviser), Kyla Gardiner (Lighting design), Beckett Brett (performer), Delia Brett (performer-devisor), Paula Viitanen (stage management), Carmine Santavenere (performer-deviser).
Image by Jay White
Steppenwolf (2015) Adrift and alone in the world, a man on the brink of his 50th birthday struggles with his dual nature: the cultivated intellectual versus the instinctual animal—the “wolf of the steppes.” Crippled by his despairing sense of dislocation, he contemplates the man reflected in the mirror. In this new work inspired by Herman Hesse’s 1927 novel and staged for the Russian Hall, the audience is seated before a bank of mirrors. Somewhere within the reflection, a story begins. As the evening unfolds, the viewers become the viewed in a “Magic Theatre” where the entrance is “not for everybody.”
Steppenwolf is the debut work of Fight with a Stick. Nominated for the Critics Innovation Award.
Steppenwolf was created by: Directors: Alex Lazaridis Ferguson, Steven Hill. And devisers: Nazli Aktari (performer), Nneka Croal (performer)Josh Hite (video), Brette Little (performer), Sean Marshall Jr. (performer), Natalie Purschwitz (set, costumes),(performer) Parjad Sharifi (light design), Nancy Tam (sound design).
Image by Natalie Purschwitz
Fight With a Stick Performance is a transdisciplinary company of artists and associates with an interest in space, perception, and working in collaboration with other-than-human-materialities. The company is led by Artistic Director Alex Lazaridis Ferguson and features the work of many of Vancouver's most adventurous theatre and dance artists, installation and video artists, sound and lighting designers, and is privileged to perform for some of the city's most curious and adventurous audiences. We promote diversity and deeply consider our relationship to the Indigenous territories on which it works and plays.
Image by Natalie Purschwitz
We acknowledge the financial assistance of the province of British Columbia.
The Canada Council for the Arts.
City of Vancouver, Department of Cultural Affairs.
The BC Arts Council.
The Hamber Foundation.
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