Who are Screaming Chickens and Why are they Screaming?
Fair question. The official Screaming Chicken statement tells us the following:
Screaming Chicken Theatrical Society is an award winning, critically acclaimed, independent, member-run, not-for-profit organization that works to improve the quality, exposure and accessibility to non-traditional performing arts by producing high quality productions, providing development opportunities to performers and providing resources to the community. Sounds important, right? Well it is, but it's really only the dictionary definition. It doesn't tell you that we are a group of hard-working, wacky, fun-loving Burlesque performers, teachers, and general fans who bring the widest possible variety of ways to enjoy and participate in Burlesque to the city of Vancouver. Actually, we'd venture to say all of BC! And if the audience and us Chickens don't manage to have a rip-roaring good time in the process? Well then it probably isn't a Screaming Chicken event.
So, that sounds nice but you're still not really sure what burlesque is all about? No problem, come check us out in person from the viewpoint of an audience member! Screaming Chicken produces a variety of stage shows ranging from the monthly shows Taboo Revue at Wise Hall and Becoming Burlesque Graduations (one or the other each month) to limited-run, critically-acclaimed, full theatre productions such as Shine and more recently,Greece does Grease.
Ok, so you've seen a show, you've taken a couple of classes but you want MORE! You want to see your name in lights! You want your own stage name and persona, personal one on one coaching, and a series of intensive and comprehensive burlesque classes. You want a make-over, a custom-designed costume, a photo shoot, and even... (dare to imagine!) a POSTER and handbills advertising your fabulous stage debut as the city's newest Burlesque star-to-be as part of your very own show. Sound like a dream? Well it does to us too, which is why we are the only burlesque organization you will find that offers Becoming Burlesque, an eight week intensive burlesque program that culminates in a fully-produced stage show that includes all that you dreamed of.
Please don't think we're excluding the boys from this equation, by the way. Just ask any of our boylesquers. They'll tell you they've cornered the market on the best gig in town! The Cock and Tassle Revue does more than an excellent job of illustrating THAT!
Of course even the most seasoned burlesque performer is always striving to hone and refine their craft, and for that Screaming Chicken often brings in select burlesque masters to perform or teach advanced skill workshops on a regular basis. From advanced high heels and sexy floorwork with Ryann Rain to Bouffon clowning with Priscilla Costa, these are but two examples of the continuing education conducted by Screaming Chicken at the Coop.
"The coop, the coop... you keep mentioning the coop!" That's because the Chicken Coop ,located at 2280 East Hastings Street (near Nanaimo Street and just above the Dollar Store) is our burlesque headquarters. Featuring two mirrored rehearsal studios, admin offices, costume archives, and general lounge area, the Chicken Coop is always a hive of activity.
Costume-sewing work parties, rehearsals, classes, workshops, photo shoots, brain-storming sessions, socializing and general laughter and zanyness can be found here pretty much every day of the week.
"Wow, this all sounds amazing! Who started this place and who runs it?"
Screaming Chicken informally began doing shows in 2002 with Rebecca Franklin (Melody Mangler) and Norm Elmore (Mr.On), joined shortly after by Dan Hill (Evil Bastard) and was officially incorporated as a not-for-profit society in 2004 by Rebecca Franklin (Melody Mangler), Norm Elmore (Mr.On), Dan Hill (Evil Bastard), Camaro Luvroc, Candy Curves, Brandy Blue and Sedge Lewis (Lou Garou).
As a not-for-profit society, this magical collective of burlesquers runs on the sweat, laughter, and the glitter of all our members and volunteers. We have a membership base of over 60 that range from the addict (just can't get enough and must do something burlesque-related every single day) to casual participants (come out to a couple events per year).
We are an inclusive, welcoming, supportive organization dedicated to bringing the very best of burlesque to any and all who wish to watch or participate in this unique and historic art form.
So there you go, the only thing left to answer is why are the chickens screaming? Well, not much is more attention-grabbing than a coop full of loudly excited group of hens and roosters, right? Feel free to leave us comments and suggestions below!