By Sunny Drake
Firehall Arts Centre, 280 E Cordova St
March 18-April 3, 2022
Tuesday-Saturday, 7:30 pm
Saturday & Sunday, 3:00 pm
ASL Interpreted Performance: March 24, 7:30 pm
Relaxed Performance: March 26, 3:00 pm
*As per PHO, vaccine passports and masks will be required for entry. For further details click here.
A comedy about culture, hockey, relationships and sex. Two dads and their sons are sentenced to stay in the hockey dressing room until they’ve talked through their feelings about a heated scuffle. In 90 hilarious minutes, these guys get to know each other and themselves a whole lot better, while redefining what it means to WIN. Men Express Their Feelings enriches, instigates, and empowers questions of gender, sexuality, identity and the cultural impact on all of these.
“I’ve found comedy is the best way to talk about some difficult things, but while having a laugh and a really fun night out as well.“-Sunny Drake, playwright
Zee Zee Theatre presents
MEN EXPRESS THEIR FEELINGS
By Sunny Drake
Quinn Churchill** as Brad Bacon
Jeff Gladstone* as Mr. Bacon
Ishan Sandhu as Raj Sharma
Munish Sharma* as Mr. Sharma
Directed by Cameron Mackenzie
Stage Managed by Liam Kearns*
Choreography & Intimacy Coaching by Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg*
Set Design by Kimira Reddy
Costume Design by Donnie Tejani
Lighting Design by Nico Weismiller
Sound Design by Sara Vickruck
Props Design by Carol Macdonald
Technical Direction by Ash Shotton
Assistant Stage Managed by Sabrina Banks (also appears as Coke Can & Hot Dog)
Alternate Assistant Stage Management by Stephanie Elgersma & Jack Bumbala
(also appears as Coke Can & Hot Dog)
Cultural Consulting by Paneet Singh
Community Engagement Coordination by Rahat Saini
Accessibility Consultation by Anika Vervecken
Relaxed Performance Consultation by Jake Anthony
Dramaturgy by Kathleen Flaherty, Matt McGeachy, Isaac Thomas
Hindi Translation by nisha ahuja, Isaac Thomas
Cultural Dramaturgy & Other Script Consultation by nisha ahuja, Rohit Chokhani, Chanelle Gallant, Arti Mehta, Daniel Perry, Dana Prather, Paneet Singh, Joelle Wildgoose
*Participation of these artists arranged by permission of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association under the provisions of the Dance-Opera-Theatre Policy (DOT)
**Studio 58 Outside Placement
The Men Express Their Feelings script development process was supported by Downstage Theatre, Factory Theatre, Hit & Myth Productions, PTC, Canada Council for the Arts and Ontario Arts Council.
Thank you to Vancouver’s gay hockey club Cutting Edges!
Clare Preuss & Downstage Theatre, Heidi Taylor and PTC, Nina Lee Aquino and Factory Theatre, Chris Bullough, Conner Christmas, Ray Dhaliwal, Brett Dahl, Nathan Pronyshyn, Richard Young, Mark McGrinder, Radha S. Menon, Aaron Jan, Majdi Bou-Matar, Nick Green, Manoj Sood, Dave Mott, Nadeem Phillip, Zac Scott, Mark Crawford, Anthony Perpuse, Noah Spitzer, Peter Dickinson.
Special thanks to our funders: the Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council, Province of British Columbia, City of Vancouver, the McGrane-Pearson Foundation at the Vancouver Foundation, TD, 100 Gay Men for a Cause
Photography or recording of any kind is strictly prohibited in the theatre.
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Zee Zee Theatre lives, learns, works, and breathes on the traditional, ancestral, and stolen lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Watuth), and Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nations of the Coast Salish peoples.
I grew up in a sports obsessed household in Australia with four older brothers. My brothers played rugby and my own sport of choice was field hockey–which I played and coached for 10 years–so when I went to my first (ice) hockey game in Canada, I was that clueless guy cheering: “c’mon, get the ball back!” Thankfully, I now know it’s called a puck. I only saw snow or ice a few times in my life before moving to Canada 11 years ago–so I’m totally in awe that hockey players get out on a slippery surface with blades on the bottom of their shoes and achieve anything other than NOT DYING.
Hockey can be awesome: the fast pace and energy, comradery, skill and strategy. And hockey culture can also be brutal, crushing and hostile. I have similarly complicated feelings about masculinity and so writing a hockey play felt like the right choice for Men Express Their Feelings.
Writing this play, I got to learn about a lot of things. I couldn’t have done so without the support of a great team, including cultural dramaturgy and other consultants – THANK YOU to the many voices who shaped this work.
I debated whether to acknowledge in this program note that I’m a trans man. And additionally that at this point in my life I’m quite effeminate–I’m probably the guy sitting next to you in a flamboyant shirt. These parts of myself give me particular insights into the themes in this work since I’ve had a wide range of gender experiences in my life. Who gets let in to the locker rooms of masculinity–and the entry costs and member benefits–have been lifetime studies for me. Yet my fear is that in acknowledging that I am trans, some cisgender (non-trans) men might claim I’m “not a real man” to discredit my attempts to playfully re-envision masculinity.
Here’s the irony: this fear is one of the many things I have in common with a lot of cisgender men, who are continually pressured to live up to stale ideals of masculinity, or risk being “not real men”.
So I take this risk–and the risks of this play–alongside and in support of all you all. More and more men and masculine people are realizing the enormous costs of these narrow ideals of masculinity–so let’s be not-real-men, together. Or better yet, let’s rewrite the playbooks for masculinity and men. Oh, and let’s have some laughs while we’re doing it! – SUNNY DRAKE
JAKE ANTHONY – Relaxed Performance Consultant
Jake is an advocate for people with disabilities, a Canadian Certified Inclusion Professional (CCIP) and a person who identifies as living with a disability himself (specifically autism.) His current day job is working as the Program Ambassador and spokesperson for AutismBC. He previously worked as an actor in theatre for fifteen years with companies such as Realwheels Theatre, Presentation House Theatre, The Virtual Stage, Metro Theatre, Gateway Theatre, Theatre Terrific, Mortal Coil Performance, as well as acting in productions with the Vancouver Fringe and PuSh International Performing Arts Festivals. He is a graduate of the William Davis Centre for Actors’ Study at the Vancouver Institute for Media Arts. Jake has also served as a relaxed performance consultant for the Arts Club, as well as a few seasons of the PuSh Festival. He is thrilled to be working with the Zee Zee Theatre team on this entertaining and hilarious play. Enjoy the show!
SABRINA BANKS – Assistant Stage Manager
Sabrina Banks (she/her) is a theatre artist from Winnipeg, Manitoba, the unceded lands of Treaty No. 1 Territory, the traditional lands of the Anishinabe (Ojibway), Ininew (Cree), Oji-Cree, Dene, and Dakota, and is the Birthplace of the Métis Nation and the Heart of the Métis Nation Homeland. Recent assistant stage management credits include Studio 58’s Can We Fix It? (Risky Nights), Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Winnipeg’s The Yeomen of the Guard, and Ruddigore. Select acting credits include Studio 58’s Sasha (Tomorrow Love), Nora/ Ensemble (A Doll’s House), University of Winnipeg’s Frankenstein (Elizabeth). She is thrilled to be working with Zee Zee Theatre for the first time, and honoured to help put on this beautiful work of art! Sabrina would like to thank her friends and family for their continued support, and you, dear reader, for continuing to support and engage with the theatre community, to keep this wondrous medium alive.
QUINN CHURCHILL –Brad Bacon
Quinn Churchill, an Actor/Musician, is a current student at Studio 58. He is privileged to have been raised, and now play, on the unceded territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations. From a young age Quinn was exposed to a variety of art forms, so much so that now he may very well be spreading himself thin. Fingers crossed, Quinn looks to meld his passions of music, physical theater, and film into something, anything really.
He has worked as a Street Theater Clown for the HENDRICKS GIN: A.W.E.V.A.N.A.I.R ad campaign as well as the following Studio 58 productions: The ROCKY HORROR SHOW, EVERYBODY, CERULEAN BLUE, THEATRE THE PLAY, and FORT. For the latter half of his final semester he has taken an outside placement and will be acting for Zee Zee Theatre in the production: MEN EXPRESS THEIR FEELINGS.
Quinn would like to thank Zee Zee for offering such a fantastic opportunity. It’s not often you get to express a feeling or two.
SUNNY DRAKE – Playwright
Sunny’s inventive and award-winning theatre works have been presented in over 60 cities across the world and translated into 4 languages. His wide range of audiences have spanned international arts festivals goers, queers in underground warehouses and elderly ladies in regional theatres. Last year he premiered a TV adaptation of his project CHILD-ish, where adults speak children’s exact words (check it out at www.sunnydrake.com). His new comedy, Every Little Nookie, will premiere this year at the Stratford Festival. Currently in development is his audio drama series, Climate Change & Other Small Talk, collaborating with 9 playwrights and companies from around the world.
KATHLEEN FLAHERTY – Dramaturg
Kathleen Flaherty is a theatre director, audio producer and a dramaturg who recently turned over the duties of Dramaturg at Playwrights Theatre Centre to fresher eyes and ears. A twenty year veteran producer of radio drama and Ideas documentaries for CBC Radio, Kathleen has had the privilege of working with Sunny Drake on both the stage and audio versions of METF. Her qualifications for this work include an MFA in Directing and a childhood in prairie towns where hockey was a family second language. Kathleen has lived on unceded Coast Salish territory for the past twenty years.
TARA CHEYENNE FRIEDENBERG – Choreographer & Intimacy Coach
Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg, is an award-winning creator, performer, choreographer, director, writer, and artistic director of Tara Cheyenne Performance, working across disciplines in film, dance, theatre, and experimental performance. She is renowned as a trailblazer in interdisciplinary performance and as a mighty performer “who defies categorization on any level“. Along with her own creations Tara has collaborated with many theatre companies and artists including; Neworld Theatre, Itsazoo Theatre, Bard on the Beach, The Arts Club, Boca De Lupo, Ruby Slippers, The Firehall Arts Centre, Vertigo Theatre (Calgary), Silvia Gribaudi (Italy). Tara lives on the unceded Coast Salish territories with her partner composer Marc Stewart and their child Jasper.
JEFF GLADSTONE – Mr. Bacon
Jeff played Auto in Whale Riding Weather by Bryden MacDonald in the 2009 Zee Zee Theatre production, and is thrilled to return for Men Express Their Feelings all these years later. Since then, Jeff has been a performer on many Vancouver stages, including Bard on the Beach (5 seasons), Arts Club Theatre Company, Vancouver Playhouse; festivals across Canada such as Rhubarb Festival, Revolver, and Summerworks; and television and film roles including Kingsway (TIFF, VIFF 2018), and the upcoming CBC miniseries Bones of Crows by Marie Clements. Jeff is a founding member of Vancouver’s newest improv company Tightrope Theatre, performing out of their space on Main & 7th.
LIAM KEARNS – Stage Manager
Liam is a queer, Vancouver-based Stage Manager working professionally in the arts scene. He is excited to be back working with Zee Zee Theatre after unpacking Dead People’s Things in 2019. Previous stage management endeavours include swimming in the deep blue ocean with The Rainbow Fish (Mermaid Theatre of NS), going off to war in Redpatch (Arts Club), living in a grey world in The Giver (Kaleidoscope Theatre), riding The Number 14 (Axis Theatre) and morphing into a human train for Munscha Mia (Carousel Theatre). Outside the theatre, Liam likes baking vegan treats, getting lost in a jigsaw puzzle and spending the entire day outdoors geocaching.
CAROL MACDONALD – Props Designer
A Vancouver based props buyer, builder, finder, hunter, gatherer and persuader; Carol is delighted to be back with Zee Zee Theatre since last making Christmas and latkes for the gang having a Holiday at the Elbow Room Café! Welcoming live theatre back to our stages this year will also have her propping up at Touchstone Theatre, Bard on the Beach, TUTS, and the Arts Club. cmac is a graduate of Studio 58.
CAMERON MACKENZIE – Director
Originally from South Africa, Cameron is a director, producer and drag queen working on the stolen, traditional and ancestral territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh, and Səl̓ílwətaʔ. He produced and curated Club PuSh for the PuSh Festival from 2013 to 2020, and is founder and Artistic & Executive Director of Zee Zee Theatre currently in their fourteenth season. Zee Zee highlights: Trans Scripts, Part I: The Women, Elbow Room Café: The Musical, Lowest Common Denominator, My Funny Valentine and Whale Riding Weather.Other directing credits: Antony & Cleopatra (Studio 58), Angels in America Part 1 & 2, (Assistant, Arts Club), Pauline (Assistant, City Opera Vancouver), Hamlet (Assistant, Bard on the Beach), La Cage aux Folles(Associate, Vancouver Playhouse). A recipient of the Ray Michal Award for Outstanding Body of Work by an Emerging Director for 2014/2015, he has also been nominated for Outstanding Direction at The Jessie Awards. He is a graduate of Studio 58 and trained with Pochinko clown master, John Turner. Mackenzie’s drag alter ego Isolde N. Barron has hosted numerous weekly and monthly shows, taught drag workshops for various ages and helped transform The Cobalt, an East Van space into a vital queer hub for nearly a decade ushering in a new era of drag in Vancouver.
KIMIRA REDDY – Set Designer
Kimira is a Set Designer based in BC. She uses virtual reality as a concept tool for set design and creates an immersive VR walk-through of the final product. She is also the Communications Director for Raven Spirit Dance. Originally from South Africa, she holds an MFA in Design from UBC and a Bachelor’s in Performing Arts Technology. Credits: VR Technician for Uninterrupted (Canada Wild Arts Society). Set Design for we the same (Ruby Slippers); Like It Or Not (Greenthumb Theatre); bad eggs (Unladylike Productions); Playthings(Affair of Honor); Zoning Out (Blackout Theater); No Child (The Arts Club); The Turn of the Screw (Aenigma Theatre); Romance, Relationships, Rights (UBC Centre for Inclusion & Citizenship partnering with Community Living Society); Burqa Boutique, The Way You Carry On, Fireflies (Killjoy Theatre); The Crucible (UBC Theatre). Assistant Set Design for Birds and The Bees (The Arts Club); The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare in Love, All’s Well That Ends Well, Coriolanus (Bard on the Beach). Props for Foolish Operations; A Journal of the Plague Year (TomoeArts); Liminal Magic (Rumble Theatre). More at:www.kimirareddy.com
RAHAT SAINI – Community Engagement Coordinator
Rahat Saini is an actor, comedian, storyteller, and podcast host. After completing her BFA in Theatre at UVic (2020), Rahat returned to the mainland and has continued her performance training at McIlroy and Associates and Kot Creative Studios in Vancouver. Her comedic flair has led her to create content for a quickly growing audience of 100,000+ followers on Tiktok (as @rahottie), as well as host her own podcast “OK FINE! I’ll Watch It” (Comedy Here Often? Network). Rahat is always passionate about the power of a good story and so excited to be a part of sharing this story with all of you!
ISHAN SANDHU – Raj Sharma
Ishan Sandhu is an actor and writer who currently resides on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories belonging to the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh Nation. He came to Vancouver from India to pursue his higher education and graduated from UBC with a BFA in Acting and Economics. Ishan grew up idolizing the work of character actors and feels most at home when he gets to step into the shoes of those who live off the beaten path. Some of his favourite theatre credits are: The Wars (Sergeant Singh), Commedia Dell’arte (Arlecchino), The Changeling (Antonio) and The Here and This and Now (Robby). Doesn’t it feel lovely to sit inside a theatre rather than scrolling through the internet while The Office plays in the background?
MUNISH SHARMA – Mr. Sharma
Munish Sharma has been working in theatre, TV, and movies in Vancouver for over a decade. He is very grateful and excited to be working with Zee Zee Theatre for the first time! And for it to be a fun and important show like Men Express their Feelings! Munish was recently the Artistic Associates over at Pi Theatre, and this past summer created the pop-up dance show, Dance Like No one’s watching with his mentor Richard Wolfe. Munish also made his directorial debut at the Globe Theatre in Regina this January directing his own play Mrs. Singh and Me. It will be available as an audio play on all major music streaming services in mid-March 2022. As a playwright, he is currently in the midst of bringing his next show, Danceboy to full production. You can catch Munish next, in the upcoming world premiere of Himmat written by Gavan Cheema, at the Historic Theatre at the Cultch, and playing Francis Flute in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Bard on the Beach this summer! A few career highlights include a Jessie Nomination for his work in The Invisible Hand for Pi Theatre in 2016 and Pick of the Fringe at the Vancouver Fringe in 2015 for Mrs. Singh and Me, his first playwriting credit. Recent credits: A Thousand Splendid Suns (Arts Club), The Orchard (After Chekhov) (Arts Club), The Matchmaker (Arts Club); All’s Well that Ends Well (Bard on the Beach); Bombay Black (Raghupriya Arts and Culture); Victim Impact (Theatre Conspiracy). Instagram @munisharma.com0
ASH SHOTTON – Technical Director
Ash Shotton (they/he) is a theatre technician and TD who moved to Vancouver in 2018 after completing a technical theatre diploma at VIU in their hometown of Nanaimo. They love working in theatre to be able to facilitate peoples’ creative visions and to work on interesting and thought provoking projects. This is Ash’s second project with Zee Zee, after ATDing Trans Scripts in March 2020.
PANEET SINGH – Cultural Consultant
Paneet Singh is a playwright and filmmaker whose work is largely inspired by Sikh and South Asian histories and cultures. Notable writing and directing credits include The Ecstatic (2021, Diaspora Creative/Indian Summer Festival), Press Breaker (2021, Telus STORYHIVE/Diaspora Creative), Flowers from Venables (2020, WoodenBull Films), Guards at the Taj (2019, Vancouver Fringe Festival), A Vancouver Guldasta (2018, Diwali in BC/The Cultch), The Undocumented Trial of William C. Hopkinson (2018, Monsoon Festival of Performing Arts). Notable consulting credits include Unkept (2019, Crazy8s Film Society) and All’s Well that Ends Well (2019, Bard on the Beach).
DONNIE TEJANI – Costume Designer
Donnie Tejani is an award-winning costume designer and has been working consistently within the Vancouver theatre community since 2016 primarily in musical theatre. When not designing costumes, Donnie can often be found dressing backstage on shows for the Arts Club or styling wigs for performers and drag queens as, “OMG Wigs.” You may recognize some of his work from the reality competition series, “Canada’s Drag Race.” Notable credits: The Rocky Horror Show (Studio 58), Like it or Not (Green Thumb Theatre) and Company (Raincity Theatre) for which he won the Jessie Award alongside his mentor, Christina Sinosich.
SARA VICKRUCK – Sound Designer
Sara Vickruck is an award winning multi-disciplinary performer and theatre maker living on the unceded territories of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking peoples. Vickruck is happy to be back collaborating with Zee Zee Theatre having previously sound designed Trans Scripts, Part 1: The Women, and Zee Zee Theatre also co-presented Sara and Anais Wests critically acclaimed slam poetry musical, Poly Queer Love Ballad. To keep up with what Sara is working on follow them on instagram @saravickruck or head to their website www.saravickruck.ca
NICO WEISMILLER – Lighting Designer
Nico (they/he) is a Vancouver based designer and technical wizard. Excited to be designing a show after the last couple years, and as a member of the Queer community, they’re honoured to be involved in this Zee Zee production and to be working with a wonderful team. Recent credits for Nico include: Dissection of a Mixed Heritage Woman; The Wolves; Love/Sick; Deep Into Darkness; and Dry Land.”