Last week we announced our 2019/2020 season at our Launch Party, featuring DJ Softieshan. This year brings exciting collaborations with PuSh Festival and Zee Zee Theatre, as well as productions by international queer artists like d’bi young anitafrika! Check out our Artistic Director’s vision for this year as well as our full listing of shows below:
A Message from Artistic Director Fay Nass
We live in challenging times, charged with extreme polarities. In such a sensitive moment, when conservatism is on the rise and gaining power around the world, our responsibility is to find stronger connections within our communities, to create space for dialogue, and to encourage empathy. Theatre has always done this: it’s a place of gathering and reflection. While our job is to push boundaries, to challenge the status quo and shift paradigms, our job is also to shine light on what connects us and brings us closer. Our 2019/2020 programming reflects my long-term goal of bringing stories onstage that offer new perspectives and reduce the gap of misunderstanding through authentic presentation of stories that are not often told. Our society is enriched by a diversity of cultures and narratives, and the more we experience other points of view, the more we expand not only as artists but as humans.
This is why our 2019/2020 season is revolutionary on all fronts. The three plays in this season exist in a liminal realm: they acknowledge the dystopian fears of the present day while envisioning possible utopias. My approach to politics is through the senses. Logic without the visceral has done us no good. We are bringing you plays that are visually stunning, emotionally potent and politically progressive. We hope the frank’s new season inspires you and sheds light in these dark times.
Telling It Bent: A Writing Workshop for Trans, Two Spirit, Queer and Questioning Youth
January 2020 – May 2020 | The Cultch
In Partnership with the IGNITE! Youth Driven Arts Festival
Telling It Bent (TIB) is a writing workshop for queer, trans, Two Spirit, and questioning BC youth, ages 14 to 25. The goal of TIB gives young LGBTQ2S artists an opportunity to hone their writing skills and explore queer themes creatively in a safe space. This year, each youth will work on a short, ten-minute play, to be showcased at the Cultch as part of their 2020 IGNITE Youth-Driven Arts Festival.
“I really appreciated what the workshops offered and provided me… it gave me the opportunity to connect with other queer folks in an amazing way and space…Overall, I think these workshops helped me feel more confident and empowered as both a writer/artist and in my identity as a queer woman of colour.” -Previous Youth Participant
She Mami Wata & The PussyWitch Hunt
Part of the 2020 PuSh International Performing Arts Festival
Performance Works | January 28th – February 1st 2020
Written and performed by d’bi young anitafrika | Directed by Fay Nass | Featuring Shanique Kelly a.k.a DJ Softieshan
The Frank Theatre presents the West Coast Canadian Premiere of d’bi young anitifika’s critically acclaimed solo show. This Dora Award-Winning work centres on gender, sexuality, and the erotic through the life of four friends – Niki, Michael, Kizzy and Everdon – growing up in present-day Jamaica, who are challenged to renegotiate their complex relationship under revised ‘antibuggery’ laws. Raised in the violence and silence of misogyny and homophobia, Niki lives on the margins of church, the burlesque pole and womxn’s thighs. As the play unfolds we learn that Niki is not the only one living on clouds and in shadows. Mami Wata is Anitafrika’s continued exploration of divinity, activism, the erotic and the Black diaspora.
★★★★ -NOW Toronto
“This type of performance is proof as to why d’bi young anitafrika is a Canadian Poet of Honor and YWCA Woman of Distinction in the Arts.”
– Malik Shaheed Review, MARK-CHÉ DEVONISH
Trans Scripts: Part 1, The Women
By Paul Lucas
A co-production with Zee Zee Theatre
March 12th – 21st 2020 | The Firehall Arts Centre
Directed by Fay Nass and Cameron Mackenzie | Featuring: Quanah Style, Amy Fox, Morgane Oger, Carolynn Dimmer, Jaylene Tyme, Sabrina Symington and Josie Boyce
Trans Scripts, Part I: The Women is the culmination of four years of interviews with more than 75 people of trans experience in six countries. It centres on the lives of seven transgender women. Their true stories, told in their own words, are honest, funny, moving, insightful, and inspiring. But most of all, they are human, shedding light not on our differences, but on what all people share. This Canadian premiere features seven local trans actors.
Diaspora: A devised performance by queer immigrants and refugees:
Directed and Curated by Fay Nass
Summer 2020 | The Annex Theatre
After a sold-out reading at the 2019 Queer Arts Festival, the Frank Theatre is thrilled to present the full-scale production of Diaspora at the Annex.
Diaspora is an interdisciplinary performance created by queer refugees and immigrants. Through text, design and physical theatre, it explores the challenges and freedoms that come with living in exile. The true stories and personal reflections in Diaspora reveal how language, culture and political circumstance shape queerness. Artistically innovative and emotionally authentic, Diaspora invites audiences to look beyond Western perceptions of gender and sexuality.