We are J MAR Electric, helmed by core members John Millard, Martha Ross, and Victor Pokinko. In a few weeks, we will take our show, The Cave, on a five-week tour to the interior of BC and Vancouver.
This tour needs your help!
What is The Cave?
This entertaining and incredibly relevant cabaret started about five years ago when we decided to create a show that imaginatively addresses the tragedy of climate change, and we wanted it to be as entertaining as it was tragic. Tomson Highway, our friend, the illustrious Cree playwright and raconteur, agreed to write the lyrics for John's music and Martha's book. The three of us came up with the idea that a group of animals flee a raging forest fire and hide in a cave. And the animals sing songs. About their lives, about humans, about their impending doom.
And then our excellent producer, Victor Pokinko, joined us and has been with us ever since.
We hired our wonderful performers, musicians and designers and the amazing directors Adam Paolozza and Gregory Oh. And the brilliant animator, Bruce Alcock,
Naomi Campbell of Luminato loved the show so much that she put The Cave in their festival in 2019 and then again in this year’s festival, in association with Theatre Passe Murraille, because the Artistic director, Marjorie Chan, also really loves The Cave.
It was a hit!
“The Cave does what the best cabarets do: takes aim at the status quo. A fable told by animals in Cree and English song, we leave The Cave understanding that if we don’t get off our fat complacencies, all life will be lost to the coming inferno.
The creative trio behind The Cave, Tomson Highway, Martha Ross and John Millard are brilliant. They wield song and humour the way a surgeon wields a scalpel. You are so busy enjoying yourself, you don’t feel the cut--not at first. The energy the performers bring to the production is incendiary. Breathtaking!"
Shelagh Rogers- Host/producer CBC Radio, Honorary Witness TRC
The Cave keeps expanding, and at some point, we realized that we wanted more people to see it. Thus the tour to BC through areas ravaged by forest fires in the past few years.
And we need your help.
What We Need:
Touring a show across this country is an expensive undertaking. The Canada Council and all the venues are contributing to pay for this tour. However, our budget was created two years ago, and everything is more expensive because of inflation (thanks COVID).
We're a small company of independent creators. Unlike a larger production company with many projects and cash reserves to average out their yearly budget, this is our one big show. We're working hard to close the gap in our budget, and if we don't manage to, we will personally have to pay the difference.
That's where you come in.
Your Generous Support Will Contribute to...
Travel. Accommodations. Per diems for our team.
We're 17 people on the road (10 onstage, 7 behind the scenes), and touring a show like this costs a fair bit of money: our travel budget line alone to cover the team for five weeks is well over $100 000.
With another $10 000, we will meet our goal and be able to comfortably move this small army of artists across the country and share this beautiful piece of art with communities directly affected by climate change.
Thank you so so so much in advance, and if you are in Vancouver or the BC Interior in October and November please come out to see it!
Learn more at www.thecaveproject.ca
“Daringly conceived and brilliantly performed, Canadian composer John Millard and Cree author Tomson Highway’s heady, mischievous cabaret discovers fraternity in the myth world as our natural one burns.”
Music by John Millard, Lyrics by Tomson Highway, and Book by Martha Ross
Directed by Adam Paolozza
Music Direction by Gregory Oh
Associate Music Direction by Chris Pruden
Produced by Victor Pokinko and J MAR Electric
Andrea Koziol, Derek Kwan, Alex Samaras, and Maryem Tollar
John Millard: Banjo and Vocal
Rob Clutton: Bass
Matti Pulkki: Accordion
Greg Samek: Percussion
Peter Lutek: Reeds
Chris Pruden: Keyboards
Kevin Olson: Stage Management
Remington North: Production Manager
Kari Pederson: Associate Producer
Bruce Alcock: Animation Designer
Andre du Toit: Lighting Designer
Kara Pankiw and Trevor Schwellnus: Set Designer
Christopher Ross-Ewart: Sound Designer
Alia Stephen: Projections and Lighting Associate
Fundraiser Video by Nicholas Porteous
Oct 19: Rotary Arts Centre (Kelowna)
Oct 20: Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre (Vernon)
Oct 22: Arts Revelstoke (Revelstoke)
Oct 25: Kicking Horse Culture (Golden)
Oct 27: Key City Theatre (Cranbrook)
Oct 29: Capitol Theatre (Nelson)
Nov 10 - Nov 20
Thanks to Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, Toronto Arts Council, Luminato Festival, Soulpepper Theatre, Theatre Passe Muraille and all the generous donors who have made this project possible since 2017.