The rEvolver Theatre Festival

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The latest evolution in Upintheair Theatre's ten-year history of Festival production, rEvolver builds on the success of the Walking Fish and Neanderthal Arts Festivals, and takes place each May at The Cultch in East Vancouver.
rEvolver: brings audiences the full range of contemporary theatrical practice, from script-based theatre to devised and site-specific works, staged readings of work-in-progress, and in-depth discussions with artists.
rEvolver: presents adventurous, high energy, and sophisticated new work by emerging companies and artists.
rEvolver: is the only venue in Vancouver dedicated to offering professional presenting opportunities to emerging artists and companies.

The 2015 rEvolver Theatre Festival will run May 20 - 31, 2015.


Upintheair first foray into festival programming successfully filled a gap in the Vancouver theatre community with the creation of the Walking Fish Festival. In 2003 opportunities for emerging artists in Vancouver were limited, and there was little collaboration between artists from different schools and methodologies. In response to this lack, and the shortage of cost effective venues for production, Upintheair established Walking Fish to provide emerging artists with an affordable production process where they were free to develop their artistic process while forging links to other artists and the greater community. After 9 years and over 80 plays, the festival established a reputation as a venue through which emerging artists could take risks, produce high quality work, meet other like-minded theatre practitioners, and be exposed to large audiences. Artists who passed through Walking Fish have gone on to professional careers and to play significant roles in the wider theatrical community.

In its final years, it became clear that the opportunities provided by the Walking Fish format were no longer as vital and relevant, as other companies had also stepped into this space, such as the Firehalls BC Buds and Itsazoo Theatre’s Bridge Mix and 10x10. Seeking a new format to revitalize our festival production, we launched the Neanderthal Arts Festival in partnership with LeftRightMinds Initiatives. The successful production of Neanderthal filled yet another niche in Vancouver theatre by presenting low-cost theatrical productions in the summer months in East Vancouver where local and national artists could produce new and experimental works. Both local and national shows presented at Neanderthal have gone on to be productions in established venues across Canada and the United States.

Following on from the Neanderthal Arts Festival (2010-2012), Upintheair felt it was vital to make significant changes to our festival model for 2013 – including changing the name to the rEvolver Theatre Festival. The rEvolver Theatre Festival features new work by emerging artists and companies. Our vision with the festival is twofold: firstly, to provide emerging professional theatre makers with a supported environment in which to produce and develop new work and connect with audiences, and, secondly, to engage audiences with the full range of contemporary Canadian theatrical practice, from script-based theatre to devised and site-specific works, staged readings of work-in-progress, in-depth discussions with artists, and a broad range of styles, genres, and subject matter. The rEvolver Theatre Festival is going into its third year.

Current Festival

Mainstage Shows

  • The Art of Building a Bunker created by Adam Lazarus and Guillermo Verdecchia, produced by Quiptake (Toronto, Ontario)
  • Balls created by Gilles Poulin-Denis and Cory Haas, produced by Groupe Ad Hoc + Stages Theatre Co. (Vancouver, British Columbia)
  • Caws and Effect created by Chloe Ziner and Jessica Gabriel, produced by Mind of a Snail (Vancouver, British Columbia)
  • Double Recessive written and performed by Jordan Lloyd Watkins (Vancouver, British Columbia)
  • Hell of a Girl created by Jeff Gladstone & The Bad Ideas, produced by Kristina Lemieux (Vancouver, British Columbia)
  • The Peaceful Sea written by Angela Ferreira, produced by Theatre Elsewhere (Vancouver, British Columbia)
  • The Progressive Polygamists created and performed by Pippa Mackie and Emmelia Gordon (Vancouver, British Columbia)
  • Mr. Snortoose and the Machine Children's Machine created by Elysse Cheadle (Vancouver, British Columbia)

Founder's Lounge / Site Specific

  • Cocktails with Maria created by Joel Klein and Isaiah Bell, produced by Low-Rent Gutter Opera Performance Collective (Vancouver, British Columbia)
  • Half Girl/Half Face written by Zoë Erwin-Longstaff, produced by Surplus-Value Theatre (Toronto, Ontario)
  • The Stranger created by Daniele Bartonlini, Danya Buonastella, Rory de Brouwer, and Chiara Fontanella, produced by DLT Teatro (Toronto, Ontario)

Reading Series

  • Ta Gueule Readings presented by BoucheWACKED! Theatre Collective and Ruby Slippers Theatre
    • Nour Voir Nous by Guillaume Corbeil, translated by Jack Paterson
    • The Crow by Lisa Vaillancourt, translated by Maureen Labonté
  • Born in a Country That No Longer Exists written by Anja Savcic, produced by star star theatre (Vancouver, British Columbia)
  • Cave written by Miguel Eichelberger, produced by Elizabeth Kirkland (Vancouver, British Columbia)
  • Modern Love written by Sebastian Archibald (Vancouver, British Columbia)
  • Rip Van Winkle book and lyrics by Alyssa Kostello, composed by James Coomber (Vancouver, British Columbia)