Tag: PUSH Festival

We’re All Here – Chalice Choir Plays PuSh

We’re All Here

by Leslie Hill (far left) 

UCV’s Chalice Choir spent an exhilarating evening Friday night (January 19, 2018) on stage in The Events, by David Greig, a play about a lesbian priest’s journey through the trauma of surviving a mass shooting that kills everyone else in the community choir she directs. Despite the darkness of the subject matter, the play is ultimately redemptive. The cast involves two actors and a choir – a different choir every night. Singers are required to learn the music and discouraged from reading or seeing the play in advance. The first ‘practice’ with the actors comes an hour before the audience arrives.

It’s unnerving, to say the least.

“You’re not supposed to act,” Richard Wolfe, the director, told us. “We want you to focus on the performance on stage just like the audience. You’re a kind of Greek chorus.”

Fair enough. I’m certainly no actor; in fact I was so mesmerized by the play, I didn’t even realize until the last scene that I’d been on the edge of my chair the whole night. Luisa Jojic as Claire, and Douglas Ennenberg as the Boy were riveting. Doug Ennenberg, of course, is one of UCV’s own, but I doubt any of us was prepared for the sense of menace he exuded, or  his extraordinary and raw physicality. He also portrayed a psychiatrist, the Boy’s father, a school friend, Claire’s partner, and a politician, shifting easily from one character to another. Luisa Jojic, a veteran actor from Bard on the Beach, was brilliant as the anguished survivor, a priest who has lost her faith, and is searching fruitlessly for answers. Under the supervision of Mishelle Cuttler, the production’s music director, we sang our own opening number and the seven songs that are part of the play on cue. In the last scene, we moved out and filled the stage to sing directly to the audience, ‘We’re All Here’, a community choir, participants and observers both. I teared up. It was an extraordinary night and a wonderful privilege.

Now I need to go back and see another night with a different choir.

The Events plays in the Russian Hall until January 28 as a part of Vancouver’s Push Festival.

Tickets click here. Note opportunity to volunteer and see for free.

A list of the choirs can be found here.

Chalice Choir performing at PUSH Festival – Jan 19

The Chalice Choir will be one of the participating local choirs in this production of The Events as part of the Push Festival

The Events: Chalice Choir does PuSh Fest, Friday January 19th

This month, our choir will be one of 13 choirs to join actors Douglas Ennenberg and Luisa Jojic onstage for a full-scale Canadian Premier performance of The Events. Secret Songs – Love, Fear, Beauty – One Night Only!

About the play:

Claire, a left-wing lesbian priest – and a young man with a violent design. The play is not filled with violent acts. It follows Claire’s attempt to understand how someone could do an awful thing. David Greig’s daring new play explores our destructive desire to fathom the unfathomable and asks how far forgiveness will stretch in the face of atrocity.
January 17-28 @ the Russian Hall. Tickets @ pitheatre.com

More details:

Douglas Ennenberg and Luisa Jojic will be performing in the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival with Pi Theatre at the Canadian Premier of “The Events” by David Greig. January 17-28 @ the Russian Hall. For one night only, January 19th, the Chalice Choir will be joining the performers onstage to sing specially prepared songs, and to act as the presence, or ghost, of a community.
Once again Pi Theatre is bringing Vancouver the international work it needs to see. The journey of Luisa’s character is at the height of any great Shakespeare play. Douglas will be playing 11 complex characters. The form balances experimentation with resonance. A different choir every night will fill out the full breadth of our little world.
Come to see some of our many collaborators – we will be joined onstage by 13 local choirs (that’s 250 community members!), and 5 guest speakers. Find the dates for your faves or friends on the Pi website.
There are great prices for PuSh Passes and Youth Passes available on pushfestival.ca or buy tickets through pitheatre.com.
Tell your friends!

About the Play

“I don’t want to understand what happened to me, I know what happened to me. I want to understand what happened to him.”  The Events tells the story of Claire – a right-on, left wing female priest who leads a choir in a community setting.  Claire experiences something terrible – a young man she vaguely knew turns a gun on those who ‘aren’t from here’ in an attempt to make his mark on society.  This is not a biopic of such terrible events.  The play is not filled with violent acts.  It follows Claire’s attempt to understand how someone could do such an awful thing, and how this leads her on a path to self-destruction.  The play focuses on the reaction of communities to acts of aggression and how hard it can be to move on.  David Greig’s daring new play explores our destructive desire to fathom the unfathomable and asks how far forgiveness will stretch in the face of atrocity.
This image was taken in December 2017 for our concert.


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