am a is a new play that examines identity through the lens of Neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is a science that explores the brain’s capacity for change. But how do we change our brains? How do we consciously remove ourselves from the superhighways we have created and begin bush-wacking a new path through our neurons and synapses? And if we can change, how far can we go?
am a is being created by a collective of artists from Vancouver and Montreal. Spearheaded by Mindy Parfitt and Amber Funk Barton it uses personal text, scientific writings, dance, song and frivolity to explore personal confrontation. As they perform in mediums they are not trained in, Mindy with dancing and Amber with singing, they expose their vulnerabilities and weaknesses.
In many moments of the play we see the performers fail but in that exact moment we also see them succeed. We watch these two performers really try something they haven’t perfected and understand the significance of the action. We witness vulnerability that is organic to the performer. We witness desire that is deeply felt.
am a is a celebration of being human. Of daring to succeed. Of daring to fail.
Come for the Show – Stay for the Party.
Amber Funk Barton
performer / choreographer
Amber has worked as an independent contemporary dance artist in Vancouver for 14 years and has danced with several independent choreographers and companies. In 2008 she founded and became the Artistic Director of her own contemporary dance company, the response.
performer / director
Mindy Parfitt is a multiple award winning director. She is a founding Co-Artistic Director of Horseshoes & Hand Grenades. Theatre credits for HHG include directing This Stays in the Room, Palace of the End, 4.48 Psychosis and You Are Here. For the Arts Club, Mindy directed the World Premiere of Colleen Murphy’s Armstrong’s War and Joan MacLeod’s The Valley. She directed Hooker Monologues, which told true stories about sex work performed by sex workers and their allies. In 2012 Mindy completed her MFA in Directing at UBC.
set / lighting designer
Ana Cappelluto is an award winning scenographer. She has designed shows that have been produced in Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, New York, Switzerland, Italy and Paris. She is an Associate Dean at Concordia University’s Faculty of Fine Arts. Ana worked with Mindy Parfitt on 4.48 Psychosis in Vancouver, for which she won a Jessie Richardson Award for set design. Her work has traveled to numerous national and international festivals including Londrina International Festival, Brazil, Singapore Arts Festival, Atlantic New Dance Festival, Nova Scotia, Valencia International Arts Festival, Venezuela, Spoleto Festival, Florida, Festival Teatro a Mil, Santiago, Chile, Festival International des Théâtres Francophones, Limoges, France and Aoyama Round Theatre, Tokyo, Japan.
For more than 10 years, Cande has designed video and sound for theatre, music and dance performances in México and Canada. Credits include collaborations with Theatre for Living (Headlines), Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, Arts Club, Theatre Replacement, Electric Company, Neworld, Rumble Productions, Leaky Heaven, Conspiracy Theatre, Boca del Lupo, Real Wheels, Urban Ink, and Pi Theatre. In 2010, he collaborated with Berlin-based company Rimini Protokoll for whom he did the video design for Best Before, which toured internationally. Currently he is an independent promo producer at Knowledge Network and co-Artistic director of Rough House Productions.
Antoine Bédard most recently created the sound design for Robert LePage’s Quills in Quebec City. Antoine has worked for numerous established Canadian Theatre Companies including Rumble Productions, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, The Chop (Vancouver), Buddies in Bad Times, Crow’s Theatre (Toronto), Segal Centre for Performing Arts, Centaur Theatre, Theatre du Quat’sous (Montreal) and the Stratford Theatre Festival. His has designed sound for choreographers that include Sarah Case and Cayetano Soto. He has also created numerous scores for television and cinema. Antoine is an electronic musician, best known for his recordings under the name Montag.
Heidi Taylor is a Vancouver-based dramaturg, director and performer. She has been Artistic and Executive Director at PTC since 2012. Her practice includes sited, devised, and interdisciplinary work. She has worked on over 20 premiere productions in the last ten years, including Tetsuro Shigematsu’s Empire of the Son, Mindy Parfitt & Alexa Devine’s This Stays in the Room, Sean Devine’s Re: Union, and Tanya Marquardt’s Transmission. Heidi holds an MFA from Simon Fraser University, where she has taught intro acting off and on since 2001. In 2014, she was the only Canadian recipient of the inaugural Bly Creative Capacity grants from LMDA for the ACK Lab, an inclusion project with Jan Derbyshire. Upcoming productions in 2016 include Quelemia Sparrow’s Perfect Timing, commissioned by Full Circle First Nations Performance, produced by Alley Theatre and developed with PTC, and Kendra Fanconi’s Tinkers, a site-specific production by The Only Animal on the Sunshine Coast.