Two years ago Enlightenment Theatre and ITSAZOO started brainstorming the idea of an event that brought together many of the young emerging theatre companies in Vancouver. we wanted to provide exposure, artistic opportunities and to share audiences but most importantly we wanted to create an event that cemented our community of emerging artists and fostered new relationships and connections. Bridge Mix was our brain child and I am so proud of what has been created. This was the second year of the event and it was by far the best one yet.
There are tons of young theatre artists in this city just trying to make a go of it. There is very little opportunity and much of the time the only thing that keeps us going is our own perseverance and the support from those around us in the same position. The more people around you the more likely you are to stick it out rather than giving up under the pressure and disappointment that comes with making a career in theatre. Because of this event we now all have more people around us, our circle has grown and solidified.
The companies involved in Bridge Mix this year were made up of truly amazing, creative, generous and determined individuals. We had a wide range of participating artists involved from students, to recent grads, to locals, to individuals from far away. We had people involved with a wide variety of skills and talents, each bringing something entirely different to the table. We unified together in a parkade and brought great life to a dead space.
I feel very proud of what we accomplished with this show. We are fighting against so many things including limited funding, exhaustion and lack of exposure, but this show did not feel like a struggle. It felt very hopeful. There are futures for the companies that were involved – they will have careers. There were connections made between companies and audiences learned about companies they hadn’t heard of before and people who don’t normally attend theatre went to an event that they loved, encouraging them to view theatre in a new way. Those are no small accomplishments. On a more personal note I feel so much more connected to the people around me. So much of the time my job consists of me sitting alone in front of a computer trying to get this theatre thing going. It can be lonely and isolating. Bridge Mix reminded me that I am a part of a community and that we value each other. When I sit alone at my computer it is in the pursuit of a larger goal, something we are all striving for together. I think we all feel a little bit more connected, a little bit more at home in the scene. All of this is a bit corny but we so often spend a lot of time being negative and it’s important to celebrate the good times when they come.
So thank you to our co-producers, everyone who created a show, was in a show, saw the show, played music, gave money, or even joined us on the roof for a beer at the end of the night. All of you played a part in cementing a growing community that is the future of theatre in Vancouver. You have given me hope that this is only the beginning.
If you were involved in this production in any way or saw it and would like to provide feedback please feel free to comment or to email me, Chelsea, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your positive feedback can be used to help us secure funding in future years and your criticism will help iron out the kinks. Tell us what you thought!