Photo of Conor Wylie’s K BODY AND MIND by Dan O’Shea
During the week of February 2-6, 2021, Theatre Replacement and Company 605 produced a special edition of PushOFF, our annual curated platform of touring works and projects in development by Vancouver and Canadian artists. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency and the current context for the arts, our program in 2021 moved online, and revolved around digital presentations of works by Vancouver/Canadian artists hoping to make connections with international presenters, artists markets and audiences.
PushOFF 2021: Speculative Futures
SHOWCASE PRESENTATIONS included projects from our 2019 & 2020 COLLIDER Artists-in-Residence, Conor Wylie and Mahaila Patterson-O’Brien, as well as work by Vancouver artists Josh Martin, Erika Mitsuhashi, Julianne Chapple, Lucien Durey and Winnipeg’s We Quit Theatre.
This year, the program also featured a series of new IDEA COMMISSIONS. We asked artists to think up a ‘speculative work’ for the platform and imagine ideas for projects in response to the question: If you could make a work right now — any work, without any restrictions whatsoever, what would that work be? These restrictions are not limited to the pandemic, but also include the current cultural and socio-political shifts, as well as other practical restrictions, such as money, time, space, energy and resources. Artists included: Sarah Chase, Lisa C. Ravensbergen, Marie Claire Forté, Justine A. Chambers, Zahra Shahab, Jeanette Kotowich, Popcorn Galaxies and Amanda Sum.
PushOFF always looks to draw attention to projects that provide a strong sense of the artistic practices of the participating artists. We are living in a moment when change (in many contexts) is necessary. We see these idea commissions as opportunities to face that change through an artistic response, offering a peek into what artists are currently exploring, thinking and feeling during this unprecedented time in the world.
2021’s program presented the unique opportunity for PushOFF to open up to local audiences as well — visit pushoff.org to see an archive of this year’s program and for more information.
PushOFF is independently produced by Theatre Replacement in partnership with Company 605. Curated by T/R Co-Artistic Director Maiko Yamamoto and Company 605 Co-Artistic Directors Josh Martin and Lisa Gelley. Funding support provided by the Province of British Columbia’s Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development through the International Presence program and the City of Vancouver COVID-19 Cultural Impact Critical Assistance Grant.
To date, PushOFF artists have included:
The Chop Theatre
Les Productions Figlio
Tara Cheyenne Performance
Electric Company Theatre
dumb instrument Dance
The Contingency Plan
SNAFU Dance Theatre
MOVE: the company
the plastic orchid factory
Dusty Flower Pot Cabaret
Cat Main and Jamie Nesbitt
Craning Neck Theatre
Main Street Theatre
Anne Cooper Dance
battery opera performance
Western Front New Music
Self Conscious Theatre
Co. ERASGA with COCOONDANCE
Justine A Chambers
Veda Hille and Amiel Gladstone
Cie Manuel Roque
Hong Kong Exile
Action at a Distance
Mindy Parfitt & Amber Funk Barton
Shay Kuebler Radical System Art
The Biting School
Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre
Arash Khakpour & Emmalena Fredriksson
Wen Wei Dance
Erika Mitsuhashi & Francesca Frewer
Erin Brubacher & Christine Brubaker
Dancers of Damelahamid
Remy Siu, Daniel O’Shea, Sepehr Samimi, Paul Paroczai, Clara Cheung, Gum Cheng
Inverso Productions/Lesley Telford
Paper Canoe Projects