The award-winning Poly Queer Love Ballad returns with a run at East Vancouver’s Sum Gallery in March.

Winner of the Vancouver Fringe New Play Prize in 2018, this musical is the love story between a polyamorous bisexual poet and a monogamous lesbian songwriter who meet during an open-mic night at Vancouver’s Cafe Deux Soleils.

Merging slam poetry with pop-folk tunes, the duo at the centre of the story use two microphones, a loop pedal, and array of instruments, as they struggle to reconcile their mutual attraction, despite opposing perspectives on love.

Reprising their roles from their 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival production are co-creators Anais West and Sara Vickruck, in what has become a new iteration of this love story with a queer local flavour.

“Under the guidance of composer and sound design mentor Mishelle Cuttler, Sara has been adding nuance and complexities to the sound design of the show, layering in more transitions,” says West in a media release. “We’ve also been deepening the characters’ relationship in the text through our Fringe New Play Prize dramaturg.”

Co-Presented by The Queer Arts Festival, Zee Zee Theatre, and Frank Theatre Company, it was a natural fit for these three organizations, and will mark the first theatre production in The Sum Gallery, the only-year round queer dedicated arts space in Vancouver.

“We’re excited to work with Queer Arts Festival because, for one, they are the largest queer-mandated multidisciplinary festival in Canada, and we also experimented with the first stages of the show through one of their programs,” says Vickruk in the release. “Anais brought early drafts of the show’s poetry to one of their drop-in sessions, and was overwhelmed by the support of the badass queer women who mentored her.”

The relationship with The Frank Theatre Company came after West and Vickruck first met during a production of Vickruk’s play Kill Your Lovers, which was directed by The Frank’s artistic director, Fay Nass.

“We are passionate about The Frank’s intersectional approach to queer theatre-making and Fay is one of the few queer women of colour running a theatre company in Canada,” says West. “She’s a tireless advocate for equity in theatre, and is an inspiring vision for the future of queer theatre.”

The production is also being co-presented by Vancouver’s Zee Theatre.

“With Zee Zee Theatre’s added support, a company that’s shared stories of marginalized communities for ten years, we couldn’t feel more loved by our community,” continues West.

Poly Queer Love Ballad plays the Sum Gallery (425 – 268 Keefer St, Vancouver) March 5 – 11. Visit polyqueerloveballad.com for tickets and information.