Artist Profile: Marcus Youssef and James Long

Marcus Youssef and James Long – Winners and Losers

Marcus and Jamie are two of Vancouver’s most prominent theatre makers. We are incredibly excited to help bring them to Portland!

It seems like I’ve known these two forever as they are some of the most welcoming hosts for my annual pilgrimage to the PuSh Festival in Vancouver, BC.

My first encounter with either of these artists was in 2010, seeing Clark and I Somewhere in Connecticut by Theatre Replacement featuring James Long in a full body bunny suit. It was a fascinating piece about creating art with found objects (in this case a discarded photo album) and the way we project stories onto images. Since then we’ve shared many conversations and cocktails leading to this current moment. There are so many collaborators in this piece, it’s a veritable “who’s who” of Canadian theatre!

PERFORMANCE SYNOPSIS

Winners and Losers is a staged conversation that embraces the ruthless logic of capitalism, and tests its impact on our closest personal relationships as well as our most intimate experiences of self.

Theatre artists and long-time friends Marcus Youssef and James Long sit at a table and play a game they made up, called winners and losers. In it, they name people, places or things — Tom Cruise, microwave ovens, their fathers, rainforests, druids, etc. — and debate whether these things are winners or losers. As each seeks to defeat the other, the debate becomes highly personal, as they dissect each other’s individual, familial and class histories. And because one of these men is the product of economic privilege, and the other not, the competition very quickly begins to cost.

READ: “Virtuoso wordplay gives way to nasty verbal sparring in this tour de force” Paula Citron, Globe and Mail. May 23, 2013.

READ: “Winners and Losers Hits the Bullseye”Village Voice

READ: “Now Playing: Winners and Losers”. The New Yorker.

READ/VIEW: “Friendship Frays, a Topic at a Time” Charles Isherswood, The New York Times. February 1, 2015.

READ: “Winners and Losers is one of the best shows of the season” Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight. November 26, 2012.

WATCH OUR VIDEO TRAILER FOR WINNERS AND LOSERS

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BIOS

THEATRE REPLACEMENT

Theatre Replacement is an ongoing collaboration between James Long and Maiko Bae Yamamoto. Whether working together or apart, we use extended processes to create performances from intentionally simple beginnings. Our work is about a genuine attempt to coexist. Conversations, interviews and arguments collide with Yamamoto and Long’s aesthetics resulting in theatrical experiences that are authentic, immediate and hopeful. www.theatrereplacement.org

NEWORLD THEATRE

Neworld Theatre creates, produces, and tours new plays and performance events. We tell stories that are as complicated and contradictory as the enormously small country we live in. Historically, our work is rooted in an experience of ethnic and cultural diversity. While diversity remains a core value, our programming now asks a broader range of questions about political responsibility, identity, and difference. We ask artists and audiences to embrace work which challenges assumptions about the nature of theatre and its function in the world www.neworldtheatre.com

MARCUS YOUSSEF (writer/performer)

Marcus’ plays include Winners and Losers, Leftovers, Jabber, How Has My Love Affected You?, Ali & Ali and the aXes of Evil, Everyone, Adrift, Peter Panties, Chloe’s
Choice and A Line in the Sand. They have been performed dozens of times at theaters and festivals across North America, Australia and Europe, including: the Dublin Theatre Festival, Soho Rep, Festival Trans Ameriques, PuSh Festival (four times), Noorderzon (Netherlands), Ca Foscari (Venice), Brno Festival (Czech), Aarhus Festival (Denmark), On the Boards (Seattle) the Magnetic North Festival (five times), and many others. Marcus’ essays, journalism and fiction have appeared in Vancouver Magazine, the Vancouver Sun, Grain, This Magazine, the Georgia Straight, The Tyee, and many programs on CBC Radio and TV.

Awards and nominations include: Governor General’s, Rio-Tinto Alcan Performing Arts, Chalmer’s Canadian Play, Seattle Times Footlight, Arts Club Silver Commission, and Vancouver Critics’ Choice (three times). Marcus is Artistic Director of Vancouver’s Neworld Theatre, sits on the city’s Arts and Culture Policy Council, and co-founded the East Vancouver production hub, PL1422. He has served on the faculties of Concordia and Capilano Universities, teaches widely, and is currently a Canadian Fellow to the International Society of Performing Arts. neworldtheatre.com, @marcusyoussef, marcusyoussef.com

JAMES LONG (writer/performer)

James Long has been making theatre since 1995 and currently artistic directs Theatre Replacement with Maiko Bae Yamamoto. The company’s work has been presented in 40 cities and venues across North America and Europe and includes Clark and I Somewhere in Connecticut, Sexual Practices of the Japanese, BIOBOXES: Artifacting Human Experience, WeeTube, Dress me up in your love, The Greatest Cities in the World, Winners and Losers and Kate Bowie among others. Upcoming works with TR include Town Criers and Three Lectures on the North. As a freelance artist he has worked as a director, writer and actor with Rumble Productions, Neworld, urban ink, Leaky Heaven Circus (now Fight with a Stick), The Only Animal, The Chop Theatre, CBC radio and The Electric Company, among others. Recent favorite freelance work includes: Morko and its upcoming partner piece Loch – both site oriented performances created with visual artist and animator Cindy Mochizuki; How To Disappear Completely created for the Chop Theatre with lighting designer Itai Erdal: and, with Neworld, a new incarnation of the King Arthur story as told by Niall McNeil and Marcus Youssef. In addition to creating new work, James has taught performance and methods of creation to established artists across Canada and to students at The University of British Columbia, The University of Regina, Simon Fraser University, Studio 58 and Seattle’s Cornish College of the Arts. He is a graduate of SFU’s School of Contemporary Arts.

CHRIS ABRAHAM

Chris Abraham has been the Artistic Director of Crow’s Theatre since 2007. At Crow’s, he has directed numerous productions including Eternal Hydra, I,Claudia, Boxhead, The Country, and Instructions to any future socialist government wishing to abolish christmas. Chris is a multi-award winning theatre and film director, dramaturg and teacher who has worked with Canada’s foremost artists and theatres, including the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Canadian Stage Company, Tarragon Theatre, Segal Centre, Centaur Theatre, Globe Theatre, Theatre Junction, among many others. In 2000, he co-founded and was the Co-Artistic Director of Bill Glassco’s Montreal Young Company. In 2003, Chris directed the film adaptation of Kristen Thomson’s award winning hit I,Claudia for which he won a Gemini award. The film was also named one of 2004′s top ten Canadian films by the Toronto International Film Festival.

A graduate of the National Theatre School’s directing program, Chris later served as Co-Director of the school’s renowned directing program (2006-2010). Chris was the recipient of the John Hirsch and Ken MacDougall awards and the Siminovitch award for Directing in 2013, as well as the Siminovitch protege award in the award’s inaugural year. Chris has directed the highly lauded Stratford Shakespeare Festival productions of For The Pleasure of Seeing Her Again, The Little Years, The Matchmaker, Othello in 2013 and returns in 2014 to direct A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Chris lives in Toronto with his wife, actor Liisa Repo-Martell, their daughter Hazel and son Leo.

 

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