We meet new-friends-of-the-show Murray Cullen & Theo Pitsiavas of Theatre Yes’ cross Canada experiment – Anxiety.
Last May, six of the country’s most adventurous small-scale indie companies, experimenters all, Halifax to Victoria, received a mysterious package in the mail.
Each contained an artifact, along with poetic notes, enigmatic instructions, journal fragments. Each package was different.
Edmonton’s Northern Light Theatre, for example, got a glass candy bowl, lined with a lace doily, full of teeth. In Montreal, Théâtre à corps perdus found a tin of shortbread cookies and a leather pouch containing a flash drive with a surveillance tape. In Victoria, Theatre SKAM opened a cigar box to discover a cellphone set up with cryptic messages and codes, and hints of an owner from another time.
What the deliveries had in common was a return address — Theatre Yes, Edmonton AB — and an invitation to create Anxiety for, and possibly in, an audience. How stressful is that?
AFTER THE HOUSELIGHTS – blog by Jenna Marynowski
Heather Inglis, Theatre Yes’ Artistic Director, says of the inspiration for Anxiety, “It started with a curiosity about the role that horror plays – not just the genre itself, but why we’re drawn to it. Obviously, it’s an old genre, but what we consume as a story in the last seven or ten years as a society is increasingly more violent and brutal and so what is our attraction to that material?… That led to an investigation of fear as entertainment and why people love it. Why the haunted houses and why the roller coaster rides? But, the more we talked about it, the more it became apparent that in dramatic terms fear – the experience of fight or flight – is an end result. There isn’t a lot of dramatic tension in it, people just move into a physiologically heightened state and try to get out of it. ”