Aaron Bushkowsky

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Aaron writes and publishes in many genres: film, theatre, poetry, prose, and non-fiction. Heteaches at Kwantlen University, Langara College, Studio 58, and Vancouver Film School and works independently as a film story editor and playwriting dramaturge. He is the co-artistic director of Solo Collective, a professional Vancouver theatre company whose productions have been nominated and won Vancouver's Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards. He is a graduate of Studio 58.

List of Plays

Farewell, My Lovely

2014 Vertigo Theatre, Calgary; Arts Club Theatre, Vancouver (2015), Craig Hall, Director

An adaptation of Raymond Chandler's hardboiled detective story of the same name, featuring down-on-his luck Philip Marlowe who's trying to solve the disappearance of Velma, a beautiful nightclub singer. This play takes the theme of film noir and gives it a modern flair, full of intrigue, gun-play, and the blues.

Play With Monsters

2012 Solo Collective Theatre, Performance Works, Vancouver, Rachel Peake, Director

An ex-con meets his match with a prim and proper woman of Asian descent in the vineyards of Burgundy only to have his parents come back to haunt him in the form of zombies. This playful, hilarious romantic comedy deals with family dysfunctions in a unique way, throwing everything at the audience including bad opera singing and ninjas with throwing stars.

Nominated for FIVE Jessie Theatre Awards including Outstanding Original Script.

“Playful Play With Monsters Kills at Performance Works” — Vancouver Sun

After Jerusalem

2011 Solo Collective Theatre; Performance Works, Vancouver, Rachel Peake, Director

A down-on-her-luck middle-aged woman travels to Jerusalem at Christmas trying to find romance. Once there, she lies about being a famous actress only to run into a soldier wannabe film-writer who wants her to get his script to Ryan Reynolds. This comedy shows us lies and romance with an edge.

Nominated for two Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards, including Outstanding Original Script and Outstanding Performance/Actress Nominated for the prestigious Carol Bolt Award (2012), a national playwriting competition sponsored by the Playwrights Guild of Canada, PACT (the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres), and Playwrights Canada Press "Do you want to see artists having a really good time? After Jerusalem is a banquet of pleasure." The Georgia Straight

The Project

2009 Solo Collective Theatre; Performance Works, Vancouver Rachel Peake, Director

An egotistical film-maker wants to make a film about starving Africans to boost his flagging career only to discover that the Heart of Darkness holds many secrets. A black comedy that pokes fun at our Hollywood "artists" with good intentions. (This play shattered Solo Collective's box office records.)

Nominated for four Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards (three for Outstanding Supporting Actor/Actress, one for Outstanding Sound Design) “As a regular theatre-goer in Vancouver, it was a thrill to watch actors delivering a literate, intelligent script by someone who knows how to write.” Plank Magazine

My Chernobyl

2008 Richmond Gateway Theatre; The Belfry, Victoria, BC Britt Small, Director

A lonely Canadian man goes to Belarus to hand over an inheritance to a distant relative only to find himself engaged to a young Russian woman who works at the GAP.

Victoria Critic’s Choice Award – Best Production, Best Script Nominated for nine Jessie Richardson Awards including Outstanding Production and Outstanding Original Script. Published by Canada Playwrights Press, 2009 “My Chernobyl is one of the standout shows of the season. Your best bet for smart, cynical theatre, My Chernobyl gets a glowing recommendation.” The Vancouver Sun

"If Gogol had been Canadian, he might have written something like My Chernobyl. I'm still smiling. This is one smart and funny script, the performances are exquisite and the Belfry Theatre/Gateway Theatre co-production is delightful in every respect. You never know which way Bushkowsky is going to go: serious, political or comedic." The Vancouver Courier


Landscapes of the Dead

2006 Solo Collective Theatre, Vancouver, BC Johnna Wright, Director

An overbearing mother uses her fame as an artist to continually manipulate her son but her plan backfires after she discovers she doesn’t have long to live.

Nominated for two Jessie Richardson Awards.

“Aaron Bushkowsky's latest play is a smart, black comedy….” The Globe and Mail


Soulless

2004 & 2005, Rumble Theatre, Vancouver, BC Norman Armour, Director

2008, 505 Productions, Toronto Kelly Straughan, Director

A developer finds himself caught between doing the right thing and making money after a woman threatens to stop a downtown development because it deprives people from promised affordable housing. Things worsen when the same woman is discovered dead at the site and the developer is charged with her murder.

Nominated for six Jessie Richardson Awards, including Outstanding Original Script.

“Bushkowsky's script is so poetic, provocative, and witty that it's never less than a pleasure.” The Georgia Straight

“Bushkowsky's finest, most moving work.” The Courier


One Last Kiss

The Belfry; The Vancouver Playhouse, 2004 Roy Surette, Director

After thirty years of marriage an elderly couple find themselves stuck with retirement in the big city with nothing to do until Antonio Stradivari makes an appearance to help with inspiration.

Nominated for one Jessie Richardson Award.

“Vancouver’s playwright to catch.” The Courier


The Dead Reckoning

The Vancouver Playhouse, 2002 Glynis Leyshon, director

Set in the 1590s where Christopher Marlowe competes with William Shakespeare for the consideration of Queen Elizabeth I, this dark comedy explores the world of spies and treachery where chivalry still exits.

Nominated for two Jessie Richardson Awards, including Outstanding Original Script

“Reckoning is one handsome tale.” The Courier

“The play succeeds on the strength of several arrestingly dramatic moments.” The Globe and Mail


The Waterhead

Solo Collective, Vancouver, 2000 Del Surjik, director

A middle-aged man comes to terms with the mystery of a missing sibling in a haunting monologue of tragedy and regret.

Nominated for four Jessie Richardson Awards, including Outstanding Production and Outstanding Original Script.

Published by Playwrights Canada Press, 2003 “One affecting evening.” The Vancouver Sun


Strangers Among Us

Western Gold Theatre, Vancouver, 1998 Kate Weiss, director

Two people suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease meet and fall in love over and over again because they don’t have very good short term memory. This sad, romantic tale shows that hope remains even after tragedy strikes.

Nominated for four Jessie Richardson Awards, including Outstanding Production and Outstanding Original Script.

Published by Playwrights Canada Press, 1999 “Bushkowsky’s script delights in the comic possibilities of misfiring language, in conversations that stumble comically as if the dancers have forgotten the dance.” The Globe and Mail


The Big Blue Bird

Vancouver, an Equity Co-op, 1998 Aaron Bushkowsky, director

Three generations of men – a Russian grandfather, a strict businessman father, and a very Canadian son -- cope with the missing women in their lives in this extraordinary tale of memory, loss and reconciliation.

Nominated for three Jessie Richardson Awards, including Outstanding Original Script.

“Bushkowsky’s Blue Bird Soars.” Vancouver Courier


Other Productions

The Promised Land (a monologue) Solo Collective Theatre, 1999 Nominated for two Jessie Richardson Awards, including Outstanding Original Script

Java Life, New Play Centre, 1998 Dancing Backwards, Phoenix Theatre, Edmonton, 1992 Nominated for six Edmonton Sterling Awards, including Outstanding Production and Outstanding Original Script

Awards

Other Writing