The whole basis for theatre is the live experience—that minimal barrier between audience and performer; the relationship between the forms on stage and the instantaneous audience reactions driving them and the thrill that the performer has to deliver it all in that moment.
But how do you bring that live experience in the time of COVID-19?
Theatre SKAM has moved theatre to the streets in a new physically distanced way—on the back of a pickup truck.
Pop-Up Theatre Home Delivery, launched June 17th, allows people to order theatre to their home or location of their choosing. They currently serve Victoria, Oak Bay, Esquimalt, Saanich, and View Royal.
SKAM’s Pop-Up theatre has been around for a few years, mostly parking at festivals, but this summer it was transformed into an open-air stage and goes directly to people’s homes.
Created and performed by four young artists, Pop-Up shows are 15 minutes of fun, family-friendly content—with four programs available.
Suitable spaces for home delivery must offer a 10 meter, relatively flat space for the flatbed and a safe six meters from performers to audience.
After weeks of quarantining, the reaction from audiences has been very positive. “We’ve done wedding parties, to youth centres, to birthday parties,” says SKAM’s Communications Coordinator, Samantha Duerksen. “People have been having a lot of fun with it, some saying it was the highlight of their summer. Our performers are feeling really excited to be doing live theatre right now too.”
Shows are pay-by-donation. A sense of generosity has permeated the project with some people even paying beyond the suggested donation to help buy others a free show.
Shows are available from 3pm to 8pm with a maximum of eight shows per day, running until September 6th, and booked on SKAM’s website, skam.ca/pop-up.
Theatre SKAM also recently wrapped up their physically distanced SKAMpede Festival, which had 300 patrons who preregistered for small walking or biking Galloping Goose Trail tours to see performances. They are also planning for safe and fun fall drama school classes and an upcoming August SKAMpede Young Company Show called Backliners!