Extraction [2013]

Winner of the Rio Tinto Alcan Performing Arts Award

Through the biographies of three performers, the bilingual, documentary-style play Extraction looks at lives transformed by the rapid growth of Beijing and Fort McMurray, Chinese investment in Alberta’s tar sands and the evolution of Canada/China relations.

Extraction premiered in 2013 as part of The Cultch season in Vancouver. Theatre Conspiracy was presented with the annual Rio Tinto Alcan Performing Arts Award, a $60,000 prize that supported the development and production of Extraction.

The performers in Extraction are not actors but people with distinct life experiences who play themselves: A former Canadian diplomat and journalist who spent the most of the past 20 years in China; a recent Chinese immigrant making a new life in Vancouver; and a former Fort McMurray oil-industry worker.

Co-created by Tim Carlson, Amiel Gladstone, Jeremy Waller, Jimmy Mitchell, Sunny Sun and Jason Wilson
Writer/Producer Tim Carlson
Director Amiel Gladstone
Starring Jimmy Mitchell, Sunny Sun and Jason Wilson
Associate Producer & Dramaturg Jeremy Waller
Assistant Dramaturg Sean Marshall Jr.
Lighting & Set Design Adrian Muir
Animation & Graphic Design Cindy Mochizuki
Projection Design Conor Moore
Original Music Ron Samworth
Stage Management Yvonne Yip
Technical Director Robin Richardson
Assistant Stage Management Stacy Sherlock
Documentary video Flick Harrison
Research (Beijing) Sherrie Dai
Translation Tracy Xu
Conspiracy communications, website, marketing design Belinda Bruce

Conspiracy showcased an excerpt from Extraction at PuShOff 2013 and mounted an in-progress presentation of Extraction at the Your Kontinent: Richmond International Film & Media Arts Festival 2012 at Performance Hall, Richmond Cultural Centre.


  • Cultch (world premiere)                                                                       Vancouver, Canada                                March 2013                                                 
  • Your Kontinent Film and Media Arts Festival (in-process)                      Richmond, Canada                                                                          

“Theatre Conspiracy’s Extraction is consistently thought-provoking, touching on the hot-button petro-power issues … For a show about the oil economy it seems only appropriate that Extraction is a hybrid part theatre, part TED Talk.”
— Mark Leiren-Young, Vancouver Sun

Extraction uses an innovative mix of real stories and audience participation to get under the surface of the
workings of the international oil industry … Insightful exploration into the industry that just might end up
defining our country’s future.” 
— Schmuel Marmorstein, Sad Mag, Vancouver

“Having once been employed in the resource extraction industry in Fort McMurray and also having worked as a
teacher in the Chinese city of Harbin, Extraction was a ‘must-see’ for me personally. Although, it would also
appeal to anyone who might be cynical of big government and big corporations – which likely means everyone.”
— John Jane, Review Vancouver


Extraction Exceeds Expectations – by Jennifer Ruffelle, Vancouver Weekly

Theatre Conspiracy’s new play: Extraction – by Shmuel Marmorstein, Sad Mag

Extraction – John Jane, reviewVancouver.org

Extraction strikes oil and pipeline – By Mark Leiren-Young, Vancouver Sun

Support from: Canada Council, BCAC, City of Vancouver OAC, Hamber Foundation, BC Gaming Access, Rio Tinto Alcan Performing Arts Award, The Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation, Cinevolution Media Arts Society. We acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia.