hold on tightly (July 2014)
Intertwining narrative with elements of scavenger hunt, performance art and visual art installation, Hold On Tightly attempts to re-enchant the everyday world through theatre. Each performance guides one audience member at a time though an East Van neighborhood inviting intimacy, complicity, and active, one-on-one engagement with the piece. Unlike a conventional theatre setting in which the audience is allowed to be passive, Hold On Tightly challenges each audience member to take agency, make choices, and enter the playing arena. At the heart of Hold On Tightly, a human storyline of one woman’s lost memories invites the audience to recognize the complex and individual struggles of all humans, inside and outside the realm of theatre.
Directed by: June Fukumura and Keely O’Brien
Collaborators: Robert Azevedo, Valerie Christiansen, Chu-Lynne Ng, Brian Shannon, and Annie Therrien Boulos.
Audience members responded:
“When I walked away and the music faded into silence, I thought about all the lives that had been lived in all the houses I was walking past, and they all felt real, but also so quiet, like I could only find them if I walked into the houses once they were empty and listened for echoes.
The world had never felt so haunted to me, and the feeling only lasted until the noise of the road came back.”
“It made me aware of an indistinct edge between theatre and life that I am not usually conscious of. I had a realization that with the right lens anything can be seen as theatre playing itself out for our interest and engagement. I became aware of how much of my regular life could be considered as performative. The piece raised questions for me about how we define what’s natural and what’s acting.”