Photo Credit: Jan Pan
Neworld Theatre is a tenant at Progress Lab 1422 (PL 1422), a 7000 sq ft shared performing arts space for creation and development in East Vancouver on the traditional and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
Founded in 2009 by Neworld Theatre, Electric Company, Rumble and Boca del Lupo, PL 1422 remains home to three of the founding companies (Rumble, Electric Company, Neworld) while welcoming Company 605, Playwrights Theatre Centre (PTC), rice & beans theatre, Tara Cheyenne Performance and Theatre Conspiracy into the fold. PL 1422 is managed by Vancouver Creative Space Society (C-Space), a not-for-profit society co-managed by its resident organizations. PL 1422 continues to be a vital presence in our community, providing exceptional, readily available and affordable creative space to the theatre industry and the wider arts sector.
In 2009, a dream between four kindred theatre organizations was realized when Boca Del Lupo, Electric Company, Neworld and Rumble opened Progress Lab 1422. Shortly after, the Vancouver Creative Space Society (C-Space), an innovative and co-operative joint venture was established by these organizations to collectively manage PL 1422. In 2018, after almost a decade, Boca Del Lupo took over Performance Works on Granville Island, and Theatre Conspiracy became the fourth full-time resident.
Then, July 1, 2019, our rent more than doubled.
With many of PL 1422’s original founders having moved on or out of leadership roles, a new generation of C-Space members were challenged to find a way to salvage or else face losing our unique home. In consultation with colleagues, funders and the creative community, we explored many approaches to the challenge of our rent increase. We considered moving elsewhere, but affordable and accessible creation space for performing arts organizations is hard to come by in Vancouver. So, we decided to stay and undertake the biggest and most ambitious project since we opened PL 1422 a decade ago and make room for more organizations to join our shared space and collective.
In November 2019 we welcomed three new resident organizations: Playwrights Theatre Centre (PTC), a new-play company dedicated to reimagining theatre, rice & beans, a local theatre company interested in experimenting with languages and the theatrical form, as well as Company 605, our first resident dance company, with a fourth, dance-theatre Tara Cheyenne Performance joining us soon after. At this time, we also re-invested in the building by improving the current studio and meeting space, and creating an additional smaller studio space to make PL 1422 more accessible, flexible and expansive. With this substantial growth, we anticipate even more performances, workshops, auditions, circles, talks and community meetings.
Through its 10-year history, Progress Lab 1422 has organically grown from a co-location space to an interdisciplinary creative hub, supporting a wide range of artistic disciplines and creating a welcoming and generative space for artists from historically underrepresented and marginalized groups. This exceptional space has been home to the creation and realization of some of Canada’s most innovative performance works of the last ten years including Betroffenheit (named the Best Dance of the 21st Century by The Guardian), the interactive and boundary-pushing Foreign Radical, radically inclusive King Arthur’s Night, The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius (winner of six Jessie Awards), international touring hit Winners and Losers, amongst many others.
Progress Lab 1422 Accessibility Audit conducted by the Radical Access Mapping Project (RAMP) using the RAMP Audit Template. RAMP focuses on accessibility auditing, captioning and personal reflections on ableism and accessibility. Due to the lack of useful (or often any) accessibility information in our communities, RAMP puts out Free Audit Templates.
Looking for more intel? Visit PL 1422 online at it’s website.