Neworld Theatre creates, produces, and tours new plays and performance events. We tell stories that are as complicated and contradictory as the enormously small country we live in. Historically, our work is rooted in an experience of ethnic and cultural diversity. While diversity remains a core value, our programming now asks a broader range of questions about responsibility, identity, and difference.
In the past decade, Neworld has produced nearly 50 works (the vast majority new), and presented them at over 100 festivals and theatres in 12 different countries and 41 cities worldwide. Major projects in our 23-year history include international touring hit Winners and Losers, the canonical war-on-terror satire, Ali and Ali and the aXes of Evil, James Fagan Tait’s landmark Dostoyevsky adaptations Crime and Punishment and The Idiot, and King Arthur’s Night, a radically inclusive production commissioned by Luminato and featuring a fully integrated professional cast including actors from BC’s Down Syndrome Research Foundation plus a live band and a 16-person choir. Major awards: Siminovitch Prize, Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award, Rio-Tinto Alcan Performing Arts Award, Chalmer’s Canadian Play Award, Seattle Times Footlight Award, two Arts Club Silver Commissions, Vancouver Critics’ Choice award (three times), and the Canada Council Staunch-Lynton Award.
Artistic and organizational collaboration are central to our ethic and the way we work; this allows for programming choices that can adapt to opportunities as they arise. We are not tied to a particular aesthetic or genre, and instead encourage formal experimentation. Humour is one of the key strategies we employ to engage audiences with complex or experimental content. We ask artists and audiences to embrace work which challenges assumptions about the nature of theatre and its function in the world.
Our work is designed to respond to the creative interests of Neworld’s core artists, issues that seem central to the city we live in, and opportunities that emerge in relationship to our collaborative community. Our motto is “plays well with others.” Collaboration is central to the way we work. We measure the company’s impact through our ability to juggle development of new work, productions of various types, presentations, partnerships, mentorship, community engagement and advocacy.