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Bruce - The Musical
This is the sixth in the series, Vancouver's Downtown Eastside: Past and Present. This week we meet Jay Hamburger, artistic director of Theatre in the Raw. Working out of the Carnegie Community Centre, Jay has produced numerous plays in the Downtown Eastside. He also has a show on Coop Radio.
Our conversation centred on Bruce: The Musical, about activist Bruce Eriksen, who started the Downtown Eastside Residents Association and later went on to be a city councillor. He was partner to former Vancouver city councillor and former NDP MP Libby Davies until his death in 1997.
The play was produced to honour him and his commitment to the people of his neighbourhood. We also discussed some of the other plays that Jay has put on stage and on radio, as well as the people involved in creating them.
To find out more about Theatre in the Raw, please visit: theatreintheraw dot ca
Bill Sample, the composer, can be reached at bill.sample67[at]icloud.com
In the present day, the Downtown Eastside faces multiple issues all of which have been exacerbated by COVID 19. This, within a population that has been struggling for decades. Amongst these are housing, health; including overdose, mental health and the impact of the pandemic, poverty and homelessness, indigenous reconciliation and policing.
Future episodes will include representatives from various organizations: civic, provincial and grassroots, addressing the task at hand.
The work to be done is not to be underestimated yet the resilience and determination of community members, not commonly recognized, continues to grow. As well as these individuals, we will also be hearing from those who live in the community and call it home.