THE DOWNTOWN EASTSIDE MUSIC THEATRE SHOWCASE:
Thirty songs from Seven Productions
Wednesday October 28, 8pm & Friday October 30, 8pm
Russian Hall, 600 Campbell
Welcome to the Downtown Eastside Music Theatre Showcase, a celebration of songs from seven original musical plays created for, by and with the Downtown Eastside. Musical Director Neil Weisensel is joined by a stellar group of musicians, singers from the original productions, the Carnegie Village Choir Project and many guests.
The Downtown Eastside community is proud of our plays, proud of our stories and songs, and proud of all the hundreds of artists and community members who’ve brought them to life. Inspired by Downtown Eastside stories of “struggle and loss, of celebration and perseverance,” these plays are born out of a community of caring that struggles with marginalization, offers sanctuary, and resists de-humanizing forces. The community is taking the initiative to define who we are, what we need and where we are going.
Musical material was gathered from the following productions:
I Love the Downtown Eastside (2002)
Produced by Savage God, this Valentine to the city of Vancouver from the Downtown Eastside celebrated the beauty and worth of friends and neighbours marginalized simply by living on Vancouver’s eastside.
In the Heart of a City: The Downtown Eastside Community Play (2003)
Telling tales of ordinary people doing extraordinary things, this ground-breaking joy ride through 150 years of laughter and tears was co-produced by Vancouver Moving Theatre and the Carnegie Community and featured over 80 performers young and old.
Condemned – A Work in Progress (2006)
The first time Downtown Eastside community members took it upon themselves to create and perform their own opera – produced by the Carnegie Community Opera Project – they brought to life the story of tenants who find themselves homeless after they’re kicked out of a low income hotel facing re-development.
The Returning Journey (2007)
“I have had a heart attack, a stroke, recovered from addiction, homelessness and childhood abuse and feel blessed to be alive and to have the opportunity to share and to give of myself.” In an outpouring of poetry and song, Downtown Eastside resident Dalannah Gail Bowen shared her journey to becoming whole – living with and in spirit – contributing to society and her art.
We’re All In This Together: The Shadows Project – Addiction and Recovery (2007)
In 2005, Vancouver Moving Theatre began a series of workshops and forums involving community members exploring the roots of addiction. Out of their recollections emerged a haunting story told in shadows on a giant screen – the encounter of two families from different social backgrounds facing humanity’s struggle with addiction.
A Downtown Eastside Romeo and Juliet (2008)
Created and performed by master clown Gina Bastone and Downtown Eastside community members, this “delirium of happiness… pure joy…and thought provoking madness” was inspired by the old tale of Romeo and Juliet and everyday life on Downtown Eastside streets – from a community in upheaval to people falling in love in impossible situations.
Bruce – The Musical (2008)
Theatre in the Raw joined forces with former Vancouver Sun reporter Bob Sarti to celebrate the life and achievements of legendary activist Bruce Eriksen whose legacy includes the Carnegie Community Centre, fire protection in hotels, and recognition of the Downtown Eastside as a residential community.
This showcase concert – produced by Vancouver Moving Theatre in partnership with the DTES Heart of the City Festival – features old favourites plus original music by some of Vancouver’s finest composers: Michael Creber, Joelysa Pankanea, Earle Peach, Wyckham Porteous, Bill Samples, Yawen V. Wang and Neil Weisensel. This event has been made possible with the support of the City of Vancouver Great Beginnings program.
Sliding scale admission $0-10 at the door