1-Act Theatre Fest Coming to Vancouver, June 14-15

Like theatre but got a short attention span?  This festival is for you.

The Cultch in Vancouver is hosting a unique one-act theatre fest June 14-15.  For $18, you get four mini plays back to back – with all the action and drama condensed down into a single act each.

I think this is brilliant.  The traditional, three-act play is a cultural pillar that goes all the way back to Aristotle – but lots of people are intimidated by the length.  With so many other entertainment options out there – 3D movies, HD TV, YouTube – asking an audience to sit through two intermissions is a tall order.

Enter the one-act play.  Think of it as a short story.  You get all the climax and character and tension – but none of the tedious lead up and resolution of a three-act play.  Here’s what’s in store at the 1-Act Festival.

Some plays are originals.  Others are reinterpretations of classic one-act works.  They’re all performed by Shift Theatre – a collective of emerging artists dedicated to producing provocative, relevant art in Vancouver.

The fest kicks off on June 14 at 8 p.m. at the Cultch’s Vancity Culture Lab.

  • Start the night with The Act, a psychological tale of a disturbed women and her loosening grip on reality.
  • Next, dive into Caught in the Act, a comedy about two people trying to find out how they ended up in the same bed together.
  • Here We Are is a new staging of the classic tale of a newlywed couple whose bond unravels on their first train ride.
  • Wrap things up with A Rope in the Sand, about a woman stranded in the Egyptian desert after the Arab Spring riots.

On June 15, the festival offers a completely different lineup.

  • An Inheritance explores how one family’s women keep an oral history of its stories, both fact and fiction.
  • See Bob Run looks at a teenage hitchhiker with a dark past.
  • Funeral Parlor focuses on a grieving widow accosted at her husband’s funeral.
  • Nate and Troy: The Next Big Things is a part-improv and part-script comedy.

Tickets are $18 for adults; $15 for students and seniors.

If you can’t make those performances, Shift’s 1-Act Festival moves to Port Moody’s Inlet Theatre from June 21-23.

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