Nakai Theatre, in partnership with the Yukon Arts Centre, is excited to announce the lineup for the 2015 Pivot Festival.

Now in its eighth year, the Pivot festival continues to establish itself as the Yukon’s January oasis of contemporary local, national and international theatre. Between January 17 and 24, the Festival will offer its most accessible and enjoyable program yet, serving up something for everyone in the family.

”From family oriented theatre events, to spoken word, to thematically and stylistically cutting edge drama, we are excited that this Pivot embraces many different Yukon audiences,” said Festival co-curator and Nakai Theatre Artistic Director David Skelton.

This year’s lineup stays true to the origins of the Pivot Theatre Festival and aims to bring accessible and ambitious theatre performance to the Yukon.

“David and I have reviewed dozens of Canadian and international performances to arrive at this wonderfully diverse blend of theatre and performance pieces,” said Festival co-curator and YAC artistic director Eric Epstein. “Programming a festival of this sort in the middle of the Yukon winter makes for certain challenges. We know that people want to see a ray of hope, even in the more challenging work.”

The festival kicks off with a by donation public performance of Mammalian Diving Reflex’s international hit, Haircuts by Children. The show embraces a theatrical style called ‘social acupuncture’ and follows a class of grade five students from Elijah Smith Elementary School who take over one of Whitehorse’s premiere hair salons, Head to Toe, and run it for the day. The students will have received one week’s training to prepare for political and local celebrity clientele. This particular medium challenges conventional roles and power structures. Audiences of all ages can enjoy the results.

This year’s flagship theatre production, presented at the Yukon Arts Centre between January 21 and 23, will feature Edge of the Woods Theatre’s Ralph+Lina. This Toronto-based physical theatre comedy performed by real-life wife-and-husband team Christine Serra and Dan Watson tells the touching and romantic tale of her grandparents. In the vein of early Fellini, it is a rough and tumble romance following the struggles of two Italian lovers in the face of war, immigration and old age. This show is appropriate for guests aged ten years and older.

This year’s cutting edge theatre piece will be the double-bill of My Pregnant Brother and My Playwright Sister. The first play is the international one-woman hit by Johanna Nutter, which describes her very personal and autobiographical tale of her involvement in her transgendered brother’s pregnancy and childbirth. The second play is the response to the first play by her brother, artist/filmmaker James Diamond.

Together, this duet of plays forms a remarkably intimate exploration of family dynamics and relationships. It also serves as an act of healing between the two siblings. The plays will run at the Old Fire Hall between January 22 and 24 with a special Association franco-yukonnaise sponsored performance of Mon frère est enceinte, the French-language counterpart to My Pregnant Brother. These plays are suitable for teens and adults.

On January 20, Pivot will present a special musical performance at the Old Fire Hall by Christine Fellows. With the aid of a pair of cellists, Christine will perform her Jack London-inspired song, Burning Daylight. Ahead of this performance will be a set of northern songs by local favourite Claire Ness.

Pivot Festival is also thrilled to present a solo performance by acclaimed spoken-word artist Shane Koyczan on January 24 at the Yukon Arts Centre. From his early days with T.O.F.U. (Tons of Fun University) to his vital, ground-breaking performance at the 2010 Olympics opening ceremonies, through his animated internet videos on bullying and trolls, to the recent premiere of his opera Stickboy and accompanying book, Shane has thrilled audiences with the power of his spoken art.

Accompanying these marquee events is the presentation of three exciting new theatrical works in progress:

On January 24, Whitehorse’s own Brian Fidler and Ramshackle Theatre present a workshop reading of Tombstone: A SciFi Western, at the Yukon Arts Centre Studio theatre. Tombstone: A Sci-Fi Western is a staged reading of Ramshackle's new cardboard science fiction puppet show that will premiere in 2016. Don't miss this sneak peak at Ramshackle's new groundbreaking exploration in film, puppetry and science fiction. Featuring Claire Ness, Brian Fidler, Genevieve Doyon and Suki Wellman with original music by Jordy Walker.

A reading of Nanay (Mother) A Testimonial Play will be held at the Whitehorse Public Library on January 18. Developed in a multiyear collaboration between geographers, Filipino migrant domestic workers, advocacy organizations, and professional theatre artists. Nanay is a testimonial theatre project, directed by Hazel Venzon, starring a local cast of actors and non-actors and includes a group conversation lead by Geraldine Pratt about Canada’s Live-In Caregiver Program.

Author of award winning Syphilis: A Love Story, Peter Jickling will read from a new work at the Whitehorse Public Library on January 25.

The Pivot Theatre Festival will once again be offering the popular Pivot Pass, which includes tickets to Shane Koyczan, Ralph and Lina, and My Pregnant Brother / My Playwright Sister for a special promotional price of $60. Get yours by visiting or calling the Yukon Arts Centre Box Office at 867-667-8574.

For individual tickets or more information about the Festival and its extra events, visit:
www.pivotfestival.com or www.yukonartscentre.com

Pivot Festival Sponsorship
Nakai would like to recognize the support of its public sponsors: Government of Canada, Department of Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts, Yukon Arts Operating Fund, Department of Tourism and Culture, Mike Nixon, Minister, with support from the Yukon Lottery Commission. We would also like to recognize the sponsorships from Northern Vision Development, NorthwesTel, Air North, Yukon News and CKRW The Rush.