Discover the Next Big Thing… In Your Own Back Yard

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 or

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.

The Neanderthal Arts Festival runs July 18-29, 2012 at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre. Adventure Passes, which grant access to every play in the Festival, are available for a limited time at a cost of $50. More info is available at


Sara Ramsay | Screaming Muse

cell: 604.719.3544


Coercion {Hardline Productions, Vancouver} In the back room of Rodrigo Silveira’s butcher shop, Jason Weights is pleading for his life. Convinced that Jason is the soldier who tortured him years ago, Rodrigo wants from Jason an admission of guilt – by whatever means necessary.  What follows is a ferocious investigation into the ambiguous nature of truth and the contentiousness of Coercion.

House of X {Wild Excursions, Vancouver} The latest from Conrad Alexandrowicz is a black comedy using movement and invented speech to enact stories from heightened genres: melodrama, horror, fairy tale, epic. Tossed together like vegetables in a salad, these fragmented stories challenge us to understand and interpret conflicts that arise from a series of showdowns of two against one.

The List {Bouchewhacked, Vancouver} To be a wife and a mother living in the country is what she always wanted and what she has achieved. No longer comfortable in her situation, she rebels against her daily list of chores, only to find that she neglected to take care of the one task that may have led to her neighbour’s death. Performed in The Cultch Dressing Room Kitchens.

Rosie Bitts' Shimmy Town featuring Dave Lang and the Black Squirrels {Victoria} The crowd murmurs with anticipation as everyone waits for the hottest show in town: a swinging band and a little racy Burlesque. For them, it's a night out, a special occasion, but for Rosie and Dave it's just another night at work. Nerves are getting frayed, relationships are strained to the breaking point, yet the show must go on.

STATIONARY: a recession-era musical {Delinquent Theatre, Vancouver} Expanded from the smash hit of last years Bridge Mix, Stationary is a musical for the generation that has stepped out - bachelor degree in hand - to discover that the world isn’t big enough for everyone to be a winner.  Singing about it definitely takes the edge off.

The Sunday Service (Vancouver): Vancouver’s funniest improvisers will take in every show in the festival over two weeks. And then perform it all for you in one hour.

Tyumen, Then {Groundwater Productions, Toronto} July 4th, 1941: Trapped in the boxcar of a motionless train, somewhere between Moscow and Siberia, two confined soldiers guard the rousing corpse of Vladimir Lenin. Join these award-winning Toronto theatre artists for a ruthless, wicked, seriously unhinged satire about ideology, war, and the quest for survival.

Neanderthal Reading Series (new for 2012)

BOUCHEWACKED Three Staged readings of contemporary and controversial francophone work in translation by some of Vancouver’s top talent and a “rencontre” with bilingual playwright and performer Gilles Poulin-Denis.

EXHIBIT A {411 DRAMATURGY} A staged reading of a new verbatim piece based on transcripts from the Kimberly Proctor murder investigation.

Christmas Eve in Saigon {Resounding Scream Theatre} the true story of a  fateful and traumatizing trip to Ho Chi Mihn City, formerly Saigon. 3 days, 30 ATM machines, 300 cigarettes and one unforgettable story.