The return of Animals of Distinction, and more highlights of the 2020 PuSh Festival

Frontera. Yannick Grandmont photo.

Now in its 16th year, the PuSh Festival is dedicated to creative risk-taking and interdisciplinary collaboration. This year’s festival takes place Jan. 21-Feb. 9 at various venues and includes 27 works from 24 companies from nine countries, including six world premieres. See some highlights below.

Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story (Jan. 24-30 at the Frederic Wood Theatre, UBC)— The true story of two Romanian Jewish refugees who meet while awaiting medical inspection in Halifax’s Pier 21 immigration centre in 1908. Narrator Ben Caplan narrates the concert/drama hybrid from Halifax’s 2b Theatre.

Old Stock. Stoo Metz Photography.

The Fever ( Jan. 29-Feb. 2 at the Annex)—Marianne has just held a party. From there, the performance builds into an intimate study of trust and community. From U.S. company 600 Highwaymen.

The Fever. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova.

Frontera (Jan. 30 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre)—Montreal choreographer Dana Gingras’ dance company Animals of Distinction does its thing to a musical performance by Fly Pan Am, and lighting installation from United Visual Artists. The work examines the idea of borders—both external and internal (“frontera” means border in Spanish).

Cuckoo (Feb. 3-5 at Waterfront Theatre)—South Korean performer Jaha Koo shares the stage with a collection of electronic rice cookers, re-programmed to speak of the events of recent years, including the catastrophic market crash of 1997, which led to widespread depression and suicide among youth.

Cuckoo. Photo Credit: Radovan Dranga.

Monday Nights (Feb. 6-9 at the Anvil Centre, New Westminster)—A basketball-theatre mash-up experience in which you, the audience, are invited to participate. Includes a group of five men who “explore the construct of masculinity and relationships and how a simple game can help us understand ourselves and connect to the greater community.”

Monday Nights. Photo Credit: Taku Kumabe.

For a complete listing of shows, times, and other PuSh-related events (such as the Club PuSh lineup) as well as passes and single tickets, visit

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