SHIFT Festival tells fierce truths in its titillating tenth year

By Kristi Alexandra

Truth telling is at the core of the SHIFT Festival’s tenth anniversary, according to artistic director Coco Roberge. The annual one-act play festival celebrates its first decade producing original works, which kicked off with Walls, a lobby installation by the Troika Collective, based on the book “Walls: Travels Along the Barricades” by Marcello Di Cintio.

The one-act plays, showing at the Firehall Arts Centre, include Unveiled, a collaborative project created by Fay Nass and devised in English/Farsi with an all-female, Iranian-Canadian ensemble and Pride, written and performed by veteran Vancouver actor Allan Morgan.

Saturday afternoon shows a reading of Titillations, a provocative, feminist, and body-positive exploration of all facets of the female breast by playwright Yvette Dudley-Neuman.

Yvette Dudley-Neuman

“Titillations, to me, is basically a show about boobs, about the power of the female breast and the iconic status that it holds in pop culture media – and yet it is still hidden all the time and under-discussed. Underwire, underdiscussed,” artistic director Coco Roberge reveals to Loose Lips.

The reading reveals a range of female experiences not unlike the stories heard in live theatre productions such as the Vagina Monologues.

“In the Canadian theatre canon, it’s very rare to find a breastfeeding woman, a breast cancer survivor, or anyone really who has anything less than a perfect pair,” she says, “so I really want to add to that canon. I’m really interested in empowering female voices on stage.”

The reading of Titillations takes place Saturday, June 3 at 3 p.m. and will be followed by a reception with snacks and a raffle featuring LUSH Cosmetics, and other prizes. Staged Reading tickets are $7.

All tickets are available online at


Kristi Alexandra is an unabashed wino and wannabe musician. Her talents include drinking an entire bottle of cabernet sauvignon, singing in the bathtub, and falling asleep.