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Q & A | CRANKED Co-Directors Rachel Aberle and Daniela Atiencia

This October, Green Thumb is bringing CRANKED by Michael P. Northey to the digital stage.

This highly popular, award-winning production has been updated for digital presentation and includes new music and content addressing the current fentanyl and opioid crises. As addiction weaves its way through communities across BC, this powerful piece is more timely than ever.

All performances are presented live and include a post-show discussion facilitated by Addictions Counsellor, Jordana Jackson (Alliance Clinic, Surrey)

School presentations will be streamed live October 4 - 8. To learn more or book a performance, email Tour and Education Manager Aliya Griffin at: touring@greenthumb.bc.ca

Public performances are taking place October 6 & 7 at 7 pm PT. Tickets available in partnership with Massey Theatre here:


Tickets $10.00 per device

Read on to learn more from Rachel Aberle and Daniela Atiencia, about updates to the script, adapting for a livestream format, and working in a co-director partnership.

Can you talk a bit about what updates have been made to the script and music for this production?

Playwright Michael P. Northey has done some really phenomenal script updates that really bring the story into the present. The landscape of the music industry and the specifics of how and why drug use is dangerous have changed substantially since the show premiered in 2004, and Michael has done a fantastic job of keeping the heart and soul of this show consistent while making sure that the plot really lives in a contemporary world. We have been so incredibly fortunate to be able to work with Kyprios on the music again, who has done outstanding updates to the existing tracks and written an entirely new song. Between the new music and the changes to the script, the show is stronger than ever.

What do you think will surprise audiences about this show?

How well it translates to a digital format! It really feels like a theatrical take on a young rapper’s Instagram Live or TikTok feed.

What questions do you hope the show will raise?

Hopefully audiences go away questioning the assumptions they have about what ‘kind’ of person can fall into drug addiction. Addiction does not discriminate, and the more open minded people are about who drug users are, the more we start to see stigmas break down, which ultimately makes it easier for people to seek resources and support.

What has been the most exciting (or challenging) part of bridging the in-person live theatre and livestream worlds?

It’s just really fun to get to tell this story in a new way, and it’s incredibly exciting to have artists back in a room creating together after so many months apart, and to know that, regardless of the unpredictability of COVID, we’ll be able to share this work in a safe, accessible way.

What has it been like collaborating as co-directors on this piece?

Co-directing has felt really natural with CRANKED, because it’s such complex material, and integrating video, lights and sound adds a whole other layer of complication, so having two heads on this project, and two different perspectives is such a gift. Rachel has a more text-driven practice, and Daniela brings a wealth of experience in visual storytelling, so together it feels like we’re able to cover all the bases of a really rich and intricate project.


Stan, a.k.a. “Definition” is a rising freestyle MC – or at least he was, until his life’s passion lost out to his drug habit. Now on the road to recovery and preparing for a come-back show, Stan confronts his demons and recounts his harrowing journey through the wild highs and deep lows of addiction. Using spoken word and hip hop, this pulse-pounding, full-sensory experience deals in the brutal realities of addiction and drug culture, and the redemption that can lie in recovery.

Post-show conversation facilitated by Addictions Counsellor Jordana Jackson (Alliance Clinic)

Recommended for ages 13 +

Posted on

September 22, 2021