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Applied Theatre: Vancouver Wabi-Sabi

The next step of Vancouver Wabi-Sabi is to transform our map into an applied theatre performance. Applied theatre is also known as community-engaged theatre. With this upcoming project, we aim to look at the themes that emerge on the map with a new perspective. To better gain an understanding of the medium of applied theatre, we sat down with three esteemed theatre directors and interviewed them. Their unique insights will help guide this project.

Applied Theatre Interviews: Artistry and Aesthetics


David Diamond is the director of šxʷʔam̓ət and is the artistic director of Theatre for Living. We sat down with David to discuss how applied theatre can be used to engage the community, the current issues surrounding the arts in Vancouver, and how he approached reconciliation in šxʷʔam̓ət.  


Will Weigler has a doctorate in Applied theatre from the University of Victoria. With his doctoral research he wrote The Alchemy of Astonishment. He recently directed From the Heart, an immersive play about reconciliation. We spoke with Will about From the Heart and ways to encourage community involvement.  

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Angelo Moroni is the artistic director of S.I.T.E theatre, and does work with the Kitsilano Neighbourhood House. He has done extensive work with the community in Vancouver and Mexico City. We discussed the nature of Theatre of the Oppressed (a subset of Applied Theatre) and how it can be used to invoke social change. 

Short Film Series: Vancouver Wabi-Sabi

To understand and combat social disconnectedness and perceived isolation happening in our city, Vancouver Wabi-Sabi (a transdisciplinary project) is collecting a varied bank of observations, thoughts, questions and ideas to link those up in new and unexpected ways through digital arts, films, and participatory theatre. Just as it is important to actively contemplate the observed and to collect the above mentioned bank of ideas, it is important to engage and act responsibly. 


Creativity begins with prolonged observation and enters a state of problem solving.

Part 1

A State of Mind

Part 3

The Art of Seeing

Part 2

A Sense of Place

Part 4

What's not on the Map

Our Team (Oct. 2018 - Apr. 2019)

Artistic Director: Angelo Moroni (Current)

Angelo has been practicing and exploring the techniques of Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) for 15 years. He has adapted the techniques for children, the mentally diverse and visually impaired communities. He has given extensive workshops in Mexico City and Vancouver facilitating TO to kids, teens, adults/seniors, Newcomers living Canada at Neighbourhood Houses, Community Centers, and with a variety of Universities and organizations including Amnesty International, UBC and SFU. He currently collaborates with Theatre Terrific as a musician/composer. He is also the founder and Artistic Director of SITE Theatre, and has presented original work at the Vancouver Fringe Festival (2017), Museum of Anthropology, UBC (2017) and the Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza (2018). Plus, Angelo has finished his studies in Addictions Counselling (VCC, 2018). He continues giving TO workshops to help community members find solutions to difficult social issues. Burnaby Family Life (April/Sept. 2018), Cross Border Conference (2018).

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Artistic Director: C. E. Gatchalian (Sept. - Nov. 2018)

Chris Gatchalian is a Filipino-Canadian playwright, theatre-maker, producer, and author. Born and raised in Vancouver, he has an MFA in Creative Writing and Theatre from the University of British Columbia. His works include Falling in Time, Broken, Claire, and Crossing. Chris is the recipient of the 2013 Dayne Ogilvie Prize, awarded annually to outstanding LGBT writers. He will be directing our applied theatre performance and leading our performers through a series of devising exercises. 

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Keiko Honda



Executive Producer


Susan Coleman



Community Member


Tenglong Feng



Film-maker (UBC Sociology)


Eileen Chen



Writer (UBC English)


Valerie Simon



Writer/Film-maker (UBC RGLA)

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Varouj Gumuchian



Community Designer

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Shelby Chapman



Weaver / Community Member


Grace Jenkins



Writer (UBC English)


Ken Oertel



Film-maker (UBC Geography)

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Community Devising
During these months, we have begun a series of interactive sessions for the purpose of creating deeper dialogue about our sense of home and the fluidity of space around us, which will eventually be developed into performative art. Aside from our regular weekly sessions, we will periodically host free workshops where everyone in the community is welcome to join the devising process. 


CALL for Participants [Expired]

We plan to initiate a broad, meaningful, and sustained conversation on the challenges and rewards of living in Vancouver including the issues of disparity, diversity, inclusion and multifaceted linkages between urban environment and our wellbeing. An award-winning playwright and theatre-maker, Chris Gatchalian, will be the artistic director of our new participatory theatre project, Vancouver Wabi-Sabi. He will establish a small group comprised of writers and community members that will be tasked with collaboratively creating short scripts (for theatre and film) on these issues and developing a play for social change. “Collaborative writing”, called devising, will begin the process early in October 2018 and until the end of March 2019.  Chris will lead the “collaborative writing and discussion group” which will meet weekly at VACS office in the Dunbar-Southlands area.


Time: EVERY Thursday at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm starting on October 4, 2018 and ending on April 25, 2019 — totalling 25 devising sessions (except for the winter holidays)

Place: VACS office in the Dunbar-Southlands area *ZOOM conference option is available

         *From Jan. 10 to Apr. 25: Dunbar Community Centre (4747 Dunbar St.), 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Requirements: A commitment to attend a minimum of 18 sessions     

**Light refreshments will be served for each session

To find out more or if you are interested in the project, email

Benefits of Joining

Participation in “collaborative writing” has been found to have several benefits at the individual, group, and organizational level.

• Collaborative writing is a cost-effective means of participating in professional development

• An opportunity to protect time to engage with art

• Exposure to new ideas or methods that can inform, or be integrated into practice

• Using research and discussion to inform decision making

• Improving professional skills by becoming more familiar with particular subject areas, tools or resources

• Increasing awareness of others’ interests and perspectives

• An opportunity to connect with community members’ and perhaps a prompt for collaborative action

Thank you to our supporters:

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This project is funded by the 2018 City of Vancouver's Cultural Arts Grant
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