Surrey’s Bear Creek Gardens will be a place for what’s billed as a “live-action Shakespearean video game – in a park.”
The outdoor theatre experience is called Slumber Here, a production brought to Surrey by Vancouver-based Geekenders and Instant Theatre Company.
The show, suitable for audience members aged 10 and over, is presented by Surrey Civic Theatres from June 20 to 23 (Wednesday to Saturday), with twice-nightly performances at the Newton park, 13750 88th Ave. Tickets are $5, including all fees, with a maximum of 25 people allowed for each performance.
“Slumber Here is a fully immersive, multi-sensory show in which audience members can move alongside the actors and become part of the story – almost like a live-action video game, complete with fetch quests, challenges, unusual characters, and a different ending at each performance,” says an event advisory from Surrey Civic Theatres.
“The actors will create a dreamlike fairy world – with fairy drinks, treats and flower crowns for the audience – as they act out Shakespeare’s comedic play A Midsummer Night’s Dream, skillfully bringing the poetic language to life. The show is designed so that audience members can follow different storylines, and it’s even possible for them to change the outcome of the play. The format of Slumber Here means that the usual theatre etiquette is more relaxed, which can make this show enjoyable for people who might not be at ease at a regular theatre show.”
The show is produced by Ryan Caron.
“Anyone seeing the show should come out feeling that they are special, they have been seen, and they will be remembered by our company of fairies,” he stated in a release. “Aside from that, we’ve been waiting since high school to see Oberon get his comeuppance, and we finally get to make that happen – with the audience’s help.”
Geekenders is B.C.’s “pre-eminent geeky theatrical and event troupe.” The performers strive to make sure everyone who attends a Geekenders event “feels heard, accepted, comfortable, and safe.” Instant Theatre Company, meanwhile, is the home of alternative theatrical improv in Vancouver. “The performers believe that improv celebrates the joy of exploring the moment with a group of people you trust alongside the rush of making people laugh,” says the Surrey Civic Theatres release.
Ticket information is posted at tickets.surrey.ca, or call 604-501-5566. Performances are at 7 and 8 p.m. nightly during the show’s run. Running time for the 7 p.m. performances is approximately 45 minutes, and approximately 75 minutes for the 8 p.m. shows.
The play is designed to “encourage one-on-one connections between performers and audience, which may include offers of food, drink, or friendly touch,” says an event post at surrey.ca. “As soon as you enter the garden area, you’ll be asked whether or not you consent to be touched during the performance. You can change your consent at any time.”
Also, the actors will speak in a style of language called “iambic pentameter,” a favourite of Shakespeare himself. “Rest assured that the actors are skilled at bringing the words to life so they’re easy to understand.”