May 27, 2012

Out of the Box in a Big Way

At today's Theatre by the River core meeting, I spoke to my fellow actors about changing up our regular style of theatre. We do plays - relevant, provocative, well written plays. We're proud of the shows we've done. And there's nothing wrong with the very traditional form of theatre we're doing - audience sits in the dark, actors perform a story, audience considers story. It has, after all, worked for a thousand years.

But I feel a desire to mess around with the form - the way we tell a story. Not only to more effectively convey ideas and feeling about the human experience, but to grab attention in an irresistible "I have to go see that!" way.

Which reminded me of French company Royal de Luxe. They do giant puppet shows. Giant in scope, giant in length and giant in physical size. A show featuring their building high puppets last several days and traverses whole towns, dwarfing the everyday life that tries (and fails) to bustle around them.

The Atlantic has some beautiful photos online of Royal de Luxe in action.

I don't think TBTR will ever become a giant puppet company, but I wonder: how can we take the traditional form of theatre and give it a funky twist. Thoughts?

1 comment:

  1. Primrose Madayag Knazan5/28/2012

    A couple of years ago, I attended the first Asian-Canadian Theatre Conference and learmed about some highly imaginative presentations of alternative theatre. fu-Gen's Sex Tape Project required an audience of 12 to watch a play from a building across the street using binoculars. Three different versions of dialogue by three different playwrights are presented via headphones so members experience the play differently. Theatre Replacement's Bioboxes create one-on-one experiences where a single actor sits in a chair across from a single audience member, knees touching, a box over their heads. The actors, all new immigrants, tell their stories in 10 min mini-plays in the über-intimate setting, literally bringing the audience into their world. These innovative presentations make me as a writer more inspired and humbled regarding my own style of storytelling. They are also excellent examples of the concept of 'The medium is the message.' I would love to watch or be part of a new and innovative way to bring theatre to life in Winnipeg.