Great Day for Up

A  20th Anniversary Season Special Event

Presented by Vancouver International Fringe Festival

September 9 – 12, 2016
Waterfront Theatre
1412 Cartwright Street, Vancouver BC

In celebration of our 20th Season we returned to the Festival where Electric Company began in 1996. Great Day for Up was written by Co-Artistic Director Jonathon Young when he was still an acting student at the Studio 58 Theatre Training Program. That same year Electric Company Theatre was launched and Great Day for Up was included in our first season. It seemed fitting to return to this piece of 20-year-old writing as one way of marking our 20 years as a mainstay of the Vancouver theatre scene.

In Great Day for Up assigning meaning to things is the central preoccupation. But while language is key to the comprehension and ordering of experience, it’s also a barrier to it. The central character Wound is stuck in a state of perpetual climbing: his only progress is vertical, dragging a bundle full of “what he knows” from one level to the next. Coping with exhaustion, random chance and a universe that may well be ignorant of his plight, his journey from Down to Up is anything but direct. The rising action of the play lurches and lulls depending on his concentration: a combination of focus, determination, and effort, tempered with contemplation, idleness, and finally despair. It’s only in the final moments of the play, after an epiphany about his sense of direction that Wound manages to reframe and overcome his predicament:

Then, he is said, to have made a lasting change: it turns out his “Here” was dis-configured, or, in other words, he had it turned around. “Up” was not up but “In”. He had been dis-oriented all this time. But now, as he goes, he climbs in. He climbs in. …In.

In the end, it is the power of language that gives Wound the inspiration to go on.

Electric Company Theatre acknowledges the financial assistance of The Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council, City of Vancouver, and the Province of British Columbia.