Kutz & Dawgs
2012, 44:49 minutes, colour, English
Several venues in Vancouver and Abbotsford are taken over by rival gangs of cool alley cats (Kutz) and junkyard dogs (Dawgs), at war in the Fair Verona Junkyard – thanks to a ground-breaking community-engaged collaborative musical theatre project that was three years in the making.
The Russian Hall in Vancouver, Matsqui Centennial Auditorium in Abbotsford, and Vancouver International Children’s Festival at Performance Works on Granville Island were hosts to a reimagining of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet by way of West Side Story, as Kutz & Dawgs uses hip hop, World music, and dance theatre to tell a cautionary tale with an anti-gang, anti-violence and anti-gun message. In this thought-provoking commissioned work, young performers portray rivalling Kutz (alley cats) and Dawgs (junkyard dogs) in an exploration of the destructive force of gang violence.
The original script was developed by a cast of culturally and socially diverse youth performers in collaboration with and under the direction of MISCELLANEOUS Productions’ team of professional artists, educators and counsellors.
Like all of MISCELLANEOUS Productions’ projects, Artistic Director Elaine Carol sought to teach youth participants, audiences, and others in the broader community to use creative power and artistic expression to counter destructive social forces (gangs, racism, hatred, violence, poverty, addiction), change attitudes and celebrate diversity through Kuts & Dawgs.
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