Saturday was a day full of theatre for me. Not theatre in the sense of drama at home, but actual real drama in real theatres, seeing as I actually attended two different performances, one in the theatre at the Evergreen Cultural Centre and the other in Vancouver’s Cultch.
The first performance we (my kids and I) saw was a matinee at the Evergreen Cultural Centre. It was a one man play called Campground which was written and performed by Lucas Meyer. It was not what I was expecting but it certainly was an interesting and very enjoyable performance.
I have to admit, I’m a traditionalist when it comes to theatre. To me, the Fourth Wall is impenetrable. Actors act. Audience quietly watches. And then yesterday Lucas Meyer pushed through that Fourth Wall, locked eyes with me, and invited me up onto the stage!
Of all the audience members to breach that imaginary wall, he had to choose me! To be honest, all I had to do was help him pull a massive tent onto the stage and then sit inside the tent and hold a flashlight so that he could put on a shadow puppet show.
Interesting to note, while I was on stage I had no awareness of the audience and I simply did what I was asked to do.
The part of play I enjoyed the most was Meyer’s ability to change character simply through a movement. He sat forward in the chair and he was a cop asking questions. He sat back the second the cop character completed the question and he was answering the cop’s questions in the voice and with the mannerisms of the “suspect”. It was remarkable.
In the evening I headed down to iconic Vancouver East Cultural Centre, the Cultch, to see the 12th Annual Louis Riel Day Celebration.
Again, the Fourth Wall was almost non-existent. Audience members waved and called out hellos to performers and the performers were just as willing to call out to family and friends in the audience. And you know what? It was awesome! It was a welcoming and inclusive performance in which I felt comfortable and safe to clap and stomp along to the infectious beat of the drumming and fiddling.
The following video is NOT from the performance I saw but it gives you an idea of how amazing the dancing actually is.
And the dancing by the Louis Riel Metis Dancers was breath-taking. The dancers’ footwork was awe-inspiring. And the stories behind the dances quickly developed a deep and trusting relationship between audience and performer.
What a great weekend of theatre!