Nov 24th – Dec 4th, 2016
Our personal, secret catalogues of small terrors can move us from the rational to the irrational in mere moments. The way we choose to deal with our fear shapes our lives and the lives of those around us. Our choices to act or not act based on our irrational need to protect ourselves can take us to the heights of joy and plunge us into the depths of despair. Theatre Yes’s ANXIETY challenged audiences to explore the underbelly of these phenomena as they journey through this one-of-kind immersive performance sculpted by Edmonton playwright Cat Walsh and scored by renowned sound artist Gary James Joynes in collaboration with some of Canada’s most inventive small-scale companies. Each of the 6, guest companies contributed 10-minute immersive performance installation-style pieces that examine anxiety, its mechanisms and how it shapes our lives.
The process for ANXIETY started in the spring of 2016 when Northern Light Theatre from (Edmonton), Theatre Skam (Victoria) and Outside the March (Toronto), LoHiFi Production (Halifax) and Curtain Razors (Regina) and Théâtre à corps perdus (Montreal) ) received mysterious artifacts and a set of directions in the mail. You can see photos of the objects in the links below. In November of 2016 1-2 members of each collaborating company joined us in Edmonton to rehearse and oversee the installation of their 10 minute pieces in rooms ins an office warehouse space in an industrial district in Edmonton. Theatre Yes provided the means to implement each of their designs and hired professional actors/performers for rehearsal and performance. The partner companies created directed and rehearsed their respective pieces as their contribution to one large pan-Canadian convergence of small-scale innovators from across the country.
THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO MADE ANXIETY SUCH A FANTASTIC SUCCESS. It was a theatrical event to be remembered. It takes a village to make a small-scale, national collaboration and ANXIETY was successful because of the hard work and full on BUY-IN of so many artists, technicians, administrators, theatres, arts organizations, universities and volunteers here in Edmonton and across the country. Every contribution large and small made it the huge, wonderful thing it was. Heartfelt thanks to the EVERYONE who donated to our GO FUND ME campaign, billeted and drove artists, drove and arranged buses, worked front of house, and the oh-so-many people who lent us things and went above and beyond to make it happen. What an amazing and generous community we have in Edmonton. What a terrific theatre community we have across Canada. Thanks for believing and exploring and making it happen.
ANXIETY Trailer by Ryan Parker Photography/Sound by Gary James Joynes
Theatre Yes seized the extraordinary opportunity of having small-scale companies from across the country in one place to host discussions, which explored the unique roles small-scale companies play in Canadian Theatre, which concluded with a public panel discussion held at the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton, Alberta, facilitated by the National Arts Centre. You can down load the podcast of the public panel discussion PARTICLE COLLISIONS: THE SMALL SCALE THEATRE EXPERIMENT which was generously recorded by the What It Is Podcast (Edmonton) HERE.
ANXIETY features a cast of some of Edmonton’s most talented local performers.
LoHiFi Productions (Halifax) Since 2009, Halifax’s LoHiFi has been crafting theatre, film, and performance art that draws audiences into richly detailed worlds. Whether it’s an epic journey across a card table, a 40-foot glowing jelly fish swimming across the night sky, or Salvador Dali as a hardboiled detective in love with a singing banana, Chris Little and Theo Pitsiavas flip our understanding of the familiar to create surprise and spectacle.
Théâtre à corps perdus (Montreal) Founded in 2003, Théâtre à corps perdus was born from a desire to evoke what we won’t talk about, that which leaves us without a voice. Our creations explore the troubled zones of being: the urges that tug at us, the lies that we tell ourselves, the difficulty to speak. Our approach questions the theatrical ritual, mixing reality and fiction, either by speaking through testimony, or by orchestrating theatrical experiences in significant urban settings. Playing with the architecture of bodies in space, we try to awaken mysterious otherworldy imprints to evoke what moves us, here and today.
Outside the March (Toronto) is a Toronto-based theatre company led by Mitchell Cushman. The company creates theatre that is immersive, site-engaging, new, wide-reaching and communal. Since 2009, Outside the March has invited audiences to play in kindergarten classrooms, parade with Queen Elizabeth along the Danforth, tinker in garages, congregate in churches, venture out on a 911 paramedic call, and share the spotlight onstage at the Royal Alexandra Theatre.
Curtain Razors (Regina) is a Regina-based company dedicated to restoring theatre as an essential art form that invites artists and audiences to participate in the creation of live and communal events. We are committed to cultivating a space in Saskatchewan where local and innovative interdisciplinary artists can conceive, incubate, develop, and present original work that achieves a world-class level of excellence. Live. Here. Now.
Northern Light Theatre (Edmonton) is dedicated to producing intimate and affecting work that speak to the modern audience of the urban human condition, the failure to find security and the loss of the dreams held by all for love and happiness. They challenge both artist and audience by producing and developing provocative scripts, language rich texts that are dark, poetic and funny- reflecting a complex world, and lead us to question our hierarchy of values.
Theatre SKAM (Victoria) Founded in 1995, Theatre SKAM’s mandate is to create a living, contemporary, professional theatre; to provide varied and provocative theatrical entertainment for audiences in Victoria and on tour, and to employ emerging theatre artists. Working to create dialogue and partnership with like-minded arts practitioners, community groups and local experts, we’re known for our sense of fun as we create theatre that is innovative and entertaining, and above all – never boring.
We’d like to also thank these members of the community for their support!