Our work is focused on fostering possible futures: the next generation of artists, the next wave of companies. We work with emerging theatre makers because fostering new talent is the best guarantee of a healthy future. Our work explores new ideas. Through our productions we have a unique focus on speculative fiction: exploring important ideas about what is happening in the world right now, through an intelligent eye on the near future or alternate past. Through the rEvolver Festival we present new work by emerging artists with a focus on formal innovation expressed through experimentation in untried or risky content, issue or idea, writing style, genre, and staging.
About Our Charity
Upintheair Theatre was formed by Daniel Martin and David Mott in 1999. After producing a series of sell-out Fringe hits, the company launched the Walking Fish Festival in 2003 as a way of developing links and relationships among emerging theatre makers in Vancouver. Walking Fish became a key event in the Vancouver calendar for artists at the beginning stages of their careers. In nine years, over 400 artists participated in the production of 80 original, Canadian works. In 2010, we launched a larger two-week festival with a national scope, Neanderthal Arts. Neanderthal incorporated the Walking Fish Festival and full length shows from local and national emerging professional companies and artists. Its success spurred a period of intense growth, bringing onboard new and increased public and private investment, and launching the company onto the national stage. In 2013 Upintheair reinvented Neanderthal as the rEvolver Theatre Festival and moved from July to May. There is no other platform in Vancouver uniquely dedicated to offering professional presenting opportunities to emerging theatre makers.
Upintheairs second major activity stream is the creation and production of new work. We have created shows for theatres, parking lots, abandoned warehouses, and campervans. Notable hits have included Wedgie (the only original, locally created script to win Presentation House Theatre's On The House co-productionaward), Men of the World, 120bpm,and Wagabondi Ho! In October 2013 we were professionally presented for the first time, as our production of Inside The Seed by Jason Rothery opened The Cultch’s 2013-14 season to strong houses and rave critical reviews, and garnered five Jessie Richardson Theatre Award Nominations, winning for Outstanding Direction and Best New Play. We are currently in the process of adapting British “Weird Fiction” writer China Mieville’s acclaimed detective novel The City and The City as an audience-interactive-site-specific roving performance, to be produced in the fall of 2015 in partnership with The Only Animal.
What People Are Saying
"If shows in town were even half as entertaining as the ones that Upintheair Theatre Society put on, we would have no problem replenishing season subscriber lists with younger audience members."
— Ian Alexander Martin, The Boards (reviewing Men of the World)
"Within the theatre landscape of Vancouver it is a vital incubator for work – a chance to try something out without huge financial risk, but still in a professional atmosphere. I cannot endorse the continuation of the festival enough."
— David Deveau. rEvolver Festival Artist
"I felt confident, capable and supported …. It is the first time in my emerging career that I have felt that, and I believe it is integral for a young artist’s development."
— Adele Noronha, Emerging Artist, Performer - Inside The Seed
"Opportunities such as are offered by Upintheair to aspiring artists are rare…I dare anyone on any arts or funding council to tell me a better generator of fresh, young, enthusiastic arts patrons than a festival run by and for fresh, enthusiastic, developing artists. I dare you. "
— Alan Hindle
"Being part of the rEvolver Festival was a truly rewarding experience. I appreciated the dedication of the festival organizers and their commitment to seeing the artists rewarded for their hard work. There just are not other opportunities like it. "
— Robert Leveroos, rEvolver Festival Artist
"Theatre is all about communion and storytelling. Wagabondi Ho! has those elements in spades."
— Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight, Read More
"I honestly couldn't have asked for a better opportunity … to have my first professional appearance as an emerging artist be the Canadian premiere of a fresh new play."
— Dallas Sauer, Emerging Artist, Performer - Inside The Seed
"Theatre companies like Upintheair Theatre are essential to the growth and nurturing of our thriving theatre community. We continue to create and exist, because they continue to support us. "
— France Perras, Bouchewhacked Theatre, rEvolver Festival Artist
"Always ready to help out, give advice and encourage us as we navigated new territory. Their hands on approach was reassuring and integral to building a good atmosphere. The experience of rEvolver, the exposure to new audiences and presenters has greatly assisted our company and production."
— Brian Fidler, Ramshackle Theatre, rEvolver Festival Artist
"Upintheair have exposed me to the hard work and dedication young artists put into their careers. As a mother, I have been able to watch these shows with my family, enjoy fantastic entertainment value, and feel that I am gaining a greater understanding of my children's generation."
— Anonymous Audience Member
"(A) riveting piece of theatre ... superbly directed ... Inside The Seed is a compelling production of this world premiere."
— Jo Ledingham, On The Scene, Read More
"It is rare to be able to participate in someone else’s project and feel that you’ve gained as much as you’ve contributed…. ultimately, it was the universal questions of growth and loss that lingered in our hearts after the workshop. "
— Robin Anderson, Workshop Participant
"Important subject matter wrapped up in a sexy stylish production"
— David C Jones, The Charlebois Post, Read More
"The kind of thing no traditional theatrical space could contain."
— Colin Thomas, Georgia Straight (reviewing Borborygmi at Bridge Mix), Read More