Richmond's Gateway Theatre will be celebrating Lunar New Year with both in-person and virtual festivities.
A Year of Blessings: Bun Fun New Year, set to launch on Jan. 21 at Gateway Theatre's in-person Lunar New Year celebration, is the first in a new series of free audio plays designed to educate young audiences on traditional Chinese festivals.
The title "Bun Fun" is a play on the Cantonese word for colourful and diverse, and the play tells the tale of twin bunnies Bunnifer and Bunnithy who learn the "true meaning of new year festivities" and interesting recipes while preparing for a Lunar New Year family feast.
A Year of Blessings is created by the Five Blessings Collective, a group of Asian-Canadian artists including Nancy Tam, Derek Chan, Jasmine Chen, Howard Dai and Amanda Sum. Two other plays will follow, including Little Shrimp, a musical adventure about the Qing Ming festival (the tomb-sweeping holiday), and a final play about the Dragon Boat Festival. All episodes will be available online.
Community members can catch two live readings of Bun Fun New Year, learn how to dance like a bunny and enjoy family-friendly festive crafts, on Jan. 21 in Studio B at Gateway Theatre. Tickets are $8 per person and two different time slots can be booked online. The event is free for ages two and under.
Gateway Theatre has also released details for the rest of its programming this year, which include Prophecy Fog, a performance by award-winning Indigenous artist Jani Lauzon, and Hey Viola!, a musical production about Canadian civil rights activist Viola Desmond.