The world premiere of spoken word artist Shane Koyczan’s hard-hitting opera about bullying opens this week. With music by Neil Weisensel, this is an amazing project by Vancouver’s renowned opera company. This beautiful, courageous and visually stunning opera explores the inner life of an overweight young boy transformed by bullying. On the playground, in school hallways, and most profoundly in his own mind, the boy is shunned, bullied, and cruelly provoked. Supported by the love of his grandmother, he finds courage through his vivid imagination, but that courage mutates, expressing itself with the violence that he himself has endured. Scarred and wary, the boy survives to face an uncertain future. Bravely autobiographical, beautifully poetic, visually innovative and musically memorable, Stickboy confronts a society struggling with its own fear and insecurity – a society that seeks conformity and uniformity at the expense of those who are different. Sung in English, with surtitles above the stage. Not suitable for younger children as there is a depiction of violence and coarse language is included in the libretto. Listen to CBC’s North by Northwest feature on this amazing production. Listen to a discussion about the project on CBC’s North by Northwest.
Vancouver Playhouse, Dunsmuir and Hamilton
7:30 p.m. October 23 to November 7
1:30 p.m. November 1; 2:00 p.m. November 5