Pi Theatre is giving audiences a “virtual escape” with a pair of live, online performances this month.
The Vancouver-based theatre company will stage its Provocateurs Presentation Series from Feb. 18 to 21, live in real-time from Montreal and Halifax, nothing pre-recorded.
The inventive, tech-savvy shows include Macbeth Muet (“an innovative interpretation of Shakespeare’s play performed by two actors using elaborate sound design, physical theatre, and the manipulation of inanimate objects to represent the play’s characters”) and the Canadian premiere of Frequencies (“a mixed reality techno confessional performance”).
Tickets start at $15 via pitheatre.com.
La Fille du Laitier’s Macbeth Muet deconstructs the Shakespeare tragedy “into a fast-paced, visceral theatre experience, using the body, objects as imagery, and a ton of fake blood.” The production, created by Jon Lachlan Stewart and Marie Hélène Bélanger Dumas, “presents a world so devoid of morality that human lives become as disposable as styrofoam cups. And the excess – the blood, the scraps, the waste – will all be left behind for future kings.”
Macbeth Muet will be presented via livestream (multi-view or single-camera view) with performances broadcasting from the Maison international des arts de la marionette (MIAM) in Montreal, on Feb. 18-19 at 7 p.m.
Meantime, HEIST’s Frequencies will be shown on Feb. 20-21 at 4 p.m., with creator Aaron Collier in the starring role of the multimedia story, from The Bus Stop Theatre in Halifax. It’s billed as “an innovative, solo, and mixed reality performance viewed through the eyes of a second actor wearing a VR headset with a special camera attached. While exploring his connection to his family in what could best be described as one part live techno concert and one part autobiographical confessional, the audience sees Collier and his keyboards augmented by digital scenography.”
Richard Wolfe, Pi Theatre’s artistic and producing director, says like the cashless society, digital representations of live events have been dramatically accelerated by the pandemic.
“Smaller independent companies across Canada and around the world are doing much of the R&D into the dramaturgy and the technology of the livestreaming experience,” Wolfe stated in an event advisory.
“La Fille du Laitier and HEIST are making real breakthroughs by using technology to create experiences you can’t get on Netflix or even at your local theatre,” Wolfe added. “Their work is of the now. Using multi-camera views and virtual reality augmentation, participants will see and hear the shows as they happen, with no chance of catching the ‘recorded livestream’ sometime in the future. The shows are thematically linked by a haunting. Both stories use the absent child as fuel for their action. Pi Provocateurs livestream brings you into psychic proximity with other people to share a moment, an idea, and an experience.”