The 2022 PuSh Festival is underway! PuSh is a festival presenting contemporary performance works which are visionary, genre-bending, and experimental. The shows in the festival are also presented with accessibility in mind, to invite as broad an audience as possible to experience the performances. Many have captions or surtitles, and written introductions that describe essential elements of the show to make the performance accessible to audience members who are Deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or live with vision loss. Relaxed performances are also offered at select shows, and include a visual story with information in pictures and words for both the venue and the performance.

Among the shows at this year’s festival:

  • Vox.Infold  – an immersive musical experience which invites you to experience sound as touch, atmosphere, and enveloping presence. Fully accessible for patrons with low vision.
  • AALAAPI | ᐋᓛᐱ – a hybrid performance which combines the aesthetics of theatre and radio to transport us to the north, where we watch the lives of two women living in Nunavik play out as the radio in the centre of their home plays an audio documentary…which the audience and the women begin to scrutinize. Presented with surtitles in English and French.
  • I Swallowed a Moon Made of Iron a haunting song cycle by composer and performer Njo Kong Kie 楊光奇 which sets the poetry of Xu Lizhi 許立志 to song and delivers a lamentation for our digital age. Performance in Mandarin with English translations projected; braille prints of the poems available at the venue. Streamed performance available starting February 6 at 4:00PM until February 7 at 11:59PM.

This year’s lineup also includes VIOLETTE, which uses virtual reality to invite you into the imagination of the title character, a woman with intellectual disabilities, and tackle the difficult subject of abuse from a rare perspective.

VIOLETTE | Jan 26 – Jan 30

VIOLETTE is an immersive experience which mixes live theatre and virtual reality to tell the story of the title character. It brings viewers one by one into Violette’s private realm—her bedroom, and then her imagination. Violette invites you in to listen to a story, and the dark, enchanting tale unfolds in VR.

The cast is neurodiverse, and the story reflects aspects of their lived reality. The show is produced by Joe Jack et John, whose productions have used video, dance, the spoken word, and more to address urgent social issues and promote diversity.

W woman wearing a VR headset sits on a bed in a small, sparse, white room.

“Through a tale addressing the subject of abuse, everyone witnesses a unique voice in the face of a reality often experienced by women with intellectual disabilities.” – show description, Joe Jack et John

The show is available in both English and French with captions. It is always a relaxed performance, and a visual story is available in both English and French on the PuSh website. Content warning: This work addresses sexual violence and other abuses that women with disabilities may experience but there are no graphic scenes of those acts in the video.