Open events
Event #1102

Unload: Theatre with Veterans


Sunday, June 2, 2019

15:00 - 16:30
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AMS Nest - NEST 2601
UBC performances
English | anglais
This open event is hosted by

“We all have things we need to unload,” says a military veteran in this 30-minute play portraying a powerful bond between two men who have respectively faced personal loss. When an actor asks his veteran friend to help him prepare to audition for the role of a soldier, they embark on a soul-searching journey to address difficult memories. Drawing on his ability to overcome challenges in and out of uniform, the veteran must guide the actor through an unspoken grief that has been haunting him for decades. The heart of the play invites audiences to witness a dramatized version of a group therapy model where individuals unload some of their ‘baggage,’ or trauma, to move forward with their lives. Filled with emotional truth and laughter, this moving and surprising play brings to life research on veterans transitioning home and the lived experience of civilians carrying trauma. 

Featuring George Belliveau and Luke Bokenfohr (Royal Marine – ret’d)


Directed by Christopher Cook

Developed and written by the UBC Research-Based Theatre Collaborative

George Belliveau is Professor of theatre education at The University of British Columbia, Canada. His research focuses on research-based theatre and performed research. He has published extensively in the areas of theatre & drama education and arts-based research. His latest co-edited book Research-based Theatre: An Artistic Methodology (Intellect, 2016) explores a variety of international projects that use theatre to examine social issues. He is a professionally trained actor, and has participated in over 100 theatre productions as an actor, director, or playwright. 

Luke Bokenfohr is a graduate student in the Counselling Psychology program at The University of British Columbia and a full-time, patrol-based police officer with the Vancouver Police Department in Vancouver, Canada. Luke served in the British Armed Forces for ten years as a Royal Marine Commando, deploying to Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan. Luke has been actively involved in supporting military veterans by bringing awareness to mental health initiatives through his involvement in research-based theatre, notably as an actor in Contact!Unload.

Christopher Cook is a therapist, playwright, and theatre creator. He is passionate about using theatre as a therapeutic, learning, and research tool. His playwriting credits include The Better Parts of Mourning (the frank theatre company), Strip (Staircase Theatre), Gerty: Live! In Concert! (BC Buds Festival), and Quick Bright Things (Persephone Theatre; nominated for Outstanding New Play, SAT Awards, 2018). He has facilitated the collective creation of theatre projects with diverse community groups, from residents of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside to LGBT2SQIA+ youth. Chris completed his MA in Counselling Psychology at the University of British Columbia and runs a private practice in Vancouver.

3:00pm - 3:15pm: brief welcome and contextualizing of the play
3:15pm - 3:45pm: play Unload
3:45pm - 4:30pm: panel and discussion with audience

  • George Belliveau, Professor of Theatre Education, The University of British Columbia
  • Luke Bokenfohr, Graduate student in the Counselling Psychology program, The University of British Columbia and police officer with the Vancouver Police Department
  • Christopher Cook, Therapist, playwright, and theatre creator