With 27 works from 24 companies from nine countries, deciding what to see at this year’s PuSh International Performing Arts Festival is no easy task.

We’ve taken away some of the guesswork for you and come up with a list of five shows we think you should not miss:

1. Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story

A fusion of concert and drama, Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story tells the true tale of Chaim and Chaya, Jewish refugees from the pogroms of Romania. Garnering international attention, this show from Halifax’s 2b Theatre Company should be on everyone’s PuSh list.

2. High Water

In High Water, a solitary soul uses consumer products to build entire worlds inside a fish tank, working on the spot against a rising horizon of water. Presented with the Vancouver International Children’s Festival it is a show for both children and adults in a testament to human creativity coupled with timely commentary on its dangers.

3. Footnote Number 12

A deep dive into the politics of language and the dynamics of privilege, Footnote Number 12 turns the act of reading into a subversive piece of literary criticism. James Long uses the late David Foster Wallace’s essay Roger Federer as Religious Experience as the base for a series of seriocomic monologues.

4. Anywhere But Here

Featuring music from Canadian rapper Shad Kabango Carmen Aguirre’s Anywhere But Here chronicles the travels of a refugee family in 1979 from Canada to Chile in a bid to return to the country from where they were originally expelled.

5. Frontera

In Frontera, Canadian experimental rock band Fly Pan Am teams up with choreographer Dana Gingras and her Animals of Distinction dance company. In this multimedia performance, ideas of borders and surveillance are explored, asking us how they define us, and when do we dare challenge them?