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Dave and I are stoked to be able to announce the programming for the first ever rEvolver festival! This festival features some remarkable artists and shows both from here in Vancouver and nationally. Its so rewarding to move closer to production of this new festival that we've been conceiving for the last year. From Walking Fish to Neanderthal Arts to rEvolver, it feels like the pace of evolution (haha) in our company has been relentless over the last few years. Here we go again ...  See you in May! - Dan

Vancouver, BC - Up in the Air Theatre proudly presents The Neanderthal Arts Festival, July 18-29, 2012 at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre. Featuring new cutting edge work by emerging and established artists, the Festival will offer four distinctive lines of programming: National Mainstage, Local Mainstage, Site Specifc Performance, and readings of new works. Adventure Passes, which grant access to every play in the Festival for only $50, are available until May 31 through www.upintheairtheatre.com or www.thal.ca.

This year, events will be held in an exciting array of sites at the Cultch: the Historic Theatre, the Culture Lab, the Dressing Room Kitchens, and the Wine Bar. Showcasing both national and local theatre companies, the Festival will tackle subject matter ranging from the disenchantment of college graduation {Stationary: a recession era musical}; to rape at a highschool graduation {Exhibit A}; to ideology, war, survival and Lenin {Tyumen, Then}; to PTSD post-Saigon {Christmas Eve in Saigon}; to backstage Burlesque {Rosie Bitts Shimmy Town}. New this year, the Festival will include a series of French Canadian work in translation, produced by emerging company Bouchewhacked. Eclectic and challenging, the Festival promises a range of options to suit varied tastes and showcase the best summer theatre in Vancouver.

The programming of Neanderthal Arts Festival is designed to provide a platform for theatre artists and companies to showcase and try out new and experimental work. Entering their tenth year as Festival producers, Upintheair Theatre presents programming that is aesthetically eclectic, drawn to humour and comedy, topically relevant, and high energy. The Festival itself fills a hole in summer programming in Vancouver. Mid-summer is usually dominated by big-name events (Bard on the Beach, Cirque du Soleil, Folk Fest, etc.), which come with big-ticket prices. By keeping ticket prices low ($14 for individual tickets, lower with a pass), Neanderthal is able to offer an affordable alternative to summer entertainment for those who want to engage with live arts but can’t quite swallow the big ticket prices.

First post on our new blog, and we are very excited: thanks to generous funding through the BC Arts Council's Capacity program, we were able last year to contract Left Right Minds to work with us on redeveloping our visual style and web presense: creating a new logo, building a new website, and pulling together our presence on all those other tricky web things - the facebook, the twitter, the flickr, the youtube, into one snappy package. First up was the logo, with Dave and myself working with LRM's designer Victor Terzis on a bunch of concepts before settling down on the guy you see now. Check out some of the earlier concepts and the evolution of this one through Victors draft drawings:

 

 

We are still working on reviewing and uploading a lot of our old media content - for now there are some awesome pictures of past productions up on the new flickr page, and we will be adding video from a lot of past shows over the next few months as we edit it - so keep an eye here, subscribe to our youtube channel (UpintheairTheatre), or check in with past productions to see stuff from Johnny Grant, 120bpm, Wedgie, and more! I think there might even be some old old video of Pyropornomania coming out of the woodwork!

Most importantly though, the new website is aiming for clarity and ease of navigation, so all of the goings on at Upintheair - be it new creation workshops, shows, fundraising events or Neanderthal Arts news - are easy to follow. You can go to our homepage and click on the big friendly buttons to buy tickets, get updates, sign up to any social media, and all that jazz. Plus it looks really snazzy.

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