Caravan Stage sets sail for Sooke

Nomadic outdoor theatre company founded 1970 in Kemp Lake

Caravan Stage Nomadic Tempest 2017 from Caravan Stage Company on Vimeo.

After nearly five decades, the Caravan Stage Company is sailing its way back into Sooke.

Caravan Stage is self-described as “a non-profit company with a diverse cast of actors, aerial artists and technicians that creates an original experimental theatre and opera dedicated to the themes of environmental justice and civil rights.”

This year’s show, which is performed entirely on a ship, is called Climatopian, and is filled with interesting visuals to shows a world devastated by climate change. The performance is intended to deliver impactful wake-up-calls about the planet and modern culture.

Transition Sooke and the Sooke Harbour Authority are hosting the event.

The company was founded at Kemp Lake Road farmstead in 1970 by Paul Kirby and Adriana Kelder as a horse-drawn theatre troupe that initially performed in communities around Vancouver Island, and then eventually all over North America.

Caravan Stage relocated to Armstrong, B.C., where the company grew to feature six wagons drawn by teams of Clydesdales, and by 1993, they had travelled more than 20,000 horse-drawn miles across North America.

“After a two-year hiatus, the Caravan reinvented itself by switching from dry land to open water aboard the custom-built Amara Zee, a 30-meter long ship modeled after a traditional Thames River sailing barge,” said a spokesperson for Caravan Stage in a press release. “A shallow draft of 1.2 meters has allowed it to access hundreds of waterfront communities large and small around the world over the last 20 years.”

Today, the company still performs on the ship, but it is transported around on wheels instead.

“Audiences gather on the shore and experience original music, soaring vocals, aerial artistry and large scenic elements backed by spectacular lighting and sound effects. The production is a continuous cinematic panorama of originally designed video graphics, animations and images,” said a spokesperson for Caravan Stage.

“Within the upper trusses and the lower decks, lists cavort, a palette of surprises, colors, and mechanical transformations unfold.”

The performance takes place July 12, 13 and 14 at Government Warf, 1800 Maple Ave. in Sooke, beginning at 10 p.m. each night.

“Dress warmly for this outdoor show, and please bring your own low-slung chair or blanket,” said Transition Sooke in a press release. “The site will open each night at 9 pm and it’s recommended you arrive no later than 9:30 to ensure a prime view.”

Admission is by donation, and tickets can be reserved in advance online at eventbrite.ca. It is recommended that people reserve their spot ahead of time, as there is limited access to the event.

If you’d like to volunteer for one of a variety of positions on one or more of the three nights, contact tour coordinator Miranda Feldtman at amarazee@gmail.com with the subject line “Sooke volunteer.”

For more information on the Caravan Stage Company, please visit their website at caravanstage.org.



dawn.gibson@sookenewsmirror.com

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