The struggle of millennial artists in Vancouver, captured by young local playwright

It's not easy trying to make it as a millennial living in Vancouver and doubly hard as a 20-something artist — but how much is one willing to give up to pursue their dreams?

Above the Hospital tells story of young couple trying to pursue music and filmmaking

One of the protagonists in the play considers giving up film-making to go into nursing instead, calling into question a relationship built on pursuing artistic dreams. (Ken Thorne Photography)

It's not easy trying to make it as a millennial living in Vancouver and doubly hard as a 20-something artist — but how much is one willing to give up to pursue their dreams?

That's the question at the core of the new play Above the Hospital, directed and written by 24-year-old Beau Han Bridge.

"Essentially, it's a play that is dealing with the mid-20s life crisis but in the context of a relationship," he told CBC EarlyEdition host Stephen Quinn.

It's presented by Bridge's Vancouver-based theatre company, Midtwenties Theatre Society, along with Red Gate Arts Society.

The two protagonists in the play, who moved to Vancouver to pursue becoming a musician and filmmaker, find themselves living in a small apartment above a hospital they can barely afford and questioning their dreams.

Personal connection

The story may feel more fact than fiction to some Vancouverites.

Bridge said it's partly based on his own personal story and definitely inspired by the experience of friends.

While hanging out with a group of friends one night, he said, the conversation turned to making it as an artist in the city and whether it's even viable or worth pursuing.

"All these conversations just stuck in my head," he said. "It's really easy to become cynical and to kind of be a realist and say 'one millionth of a chance might as well be impossible.'"

It’s not easy trying to make it as a millennial living in Vancouver and doubly hard as a 20-something artist — but how much are you willing to give up to pursue your dreams? 7:48

'Incredibly hard'

That worry was something Bridge himself faced while putting together the play, he said.

"It's incredibly hard," he said. "I had to put up a lot of my own money ... I had to find a lot of people."

Compared to the characters in his play struggling to get a start in the arts, Bridge said he considers himself fortunate.

He said he hopes Above the Hospital leaves the audience with a message of hope.

"No matter how many adversaries you have, you still have a chance to do it," he said.

Above the Hospitalruns from Jan. 12 - 21 at Red Gate Revue Stage on Granville Island.  

With files from The Early Edition