World Premiere of Corey Payette’s Starwalkerby
The Cultch presents Urban Ink & Raven Theatre’s world premiere of Corey Payette’s Starwalker, February 16 to March 5, 2023, at the York Theatre. The story follows Starwalker, an Indigi-Queer Two-Spirit drag queen learning the ropes of the East Van Drag community.
Corey Payette’s Starwalker
- Where: York Theatre (639 Commercial Dr, Vancouver)
- When: February 16 to March 5, 2023
- Tickets: From $25. On sale now through The Cultch’s Box Office
When Starwalker is introduced to Drag at the House of Borealis, their whole world changes, introducing them to a home they never knew they needed, creating a new persona that blends their grounded Indigenous cultural spirit with drag performance, resulting in an empowering and celebratory experience that only tearing down the patriarchy can provide.
Award-winning interdisciplinary storyteller, writer, composer, and director Corey Payette has gained acclaim for his large-scale contemporary musicals, which bring his Indigenous perspective to mainstream spaces—including Children of God, and Les Filles du Roi (which Payette co-wrote with Julie McIsaac). Both powerful musicals had their premieres at The Cultch’s York Theatre, and have toured extensively, receiving accolades wherever they go.
In 2021, Payette received the inaugural BC Reconciliation Award for his work and commitment to inspiring and making lasting change to reconciliation through the arts. His highly acclaimed musical production, Children of God, has brought conversations on truth and reconciliation to audiences throughout Canada.
Starwalker was commissioned and developed by The Musical Stage Company (Toronto). Their blank canvas offer gave Payette the freedom to explore a side of himself that he hasn’t spent as much time within his other work. It allowed him to express the joy he finds in his Two-Spirit and queer identity.
“I really wanted to look at uplifting some of these voices in a way that was joyous and wasn’t tied to their trauma,” says Payette. “While the characters have experienced hardship, the show is actually about how they are working their way through those issues to find joy, to find love, and to find family and home.”
Starwalker will share a familiarity of style and scope with Payette’s past work, but brings to life a more modern story, presented with a contemporary score combining pop/rock music, with pulsing drums, and powerful vocals from some of Vancouver’s most talented.
An incredible cast—Dillan Chiblow (known as Tommy/Tom in Children of God), Stewart Adam McKensy (known for his portrayal of Lola in Kinky Boots), and Jeffrey Follis (Drag Queen Urupa)—bring Starwalker’s story to life with choreography from Ralph Escamillan, and musical direction from Sean Bayntun.