Ghost River Theatre, Beakerhead and Aveda Institute Calgary are exploring touch.
They are putting on a show that gives the audience a very unique experience. “The piece is site specific in that we are putting it on at the Aveda Academy Institute, right in the hustle and bustle of Stephen Ave,” Louise Casemore, Artistic Associate, playwright and actress of Touch explains. “[The audience] can expect a storytelling experience that really serves to tighten the sensory experience as much as humanly possible. So transporting people from where they may be sitting in an obvious way and trying to emphasize the sensation of touch to its highest point and bringing people connection to the feeling of touch and how that experience can relate to memories or locations or things kind of beyond day to day experience.”
Ghost River Theatre is taking ten people per a performance on a theatrical journey and are taking the opportunity to create some interesting theatre magic.
“In a traditional show, you get to use light and staging and these sorts of things to bring the audience to a new place. We will be using almost entirely sensation,” Casemore says.
But don’t worry, Casemore and Emily Promise Allison will be there to guide audience members through the experience. “We really are host to the experience. It doesn’t really involve acting in a traditional sense. We are there to guide the guest on a journey and along with the amazing talents of the students at the Aveda Academy, who will be serving as our hands so to speak we get to use some of the Aveda experiences and their practices which are just fantastic to help tell our story
As Touch is a part of Beakerhead, Ghost River Theatre has put a lot of research behind this production. They have looked at “the science of touch [and] how the body processes it, what kind of things are happening in the body and in the brain when we experience touch.” Casemore explains that “through different practices of performance research as well, [they] have been able to find some really interesting things that have crafted a lot of [their] stories.” Ghost River Theatre found out that how “people receive touch within four avenues: fine texture, temperature, location and pressure. How much pressure and where, the texture of it, and all of these things informs for the brain.”
Touch will be a personal experience for each guest, according to Casemore. “Rather than standing on the outside and saying here a story, here are a whole bunch of details that you need to process, you need to understand, keep up, follow along, it’s almost unfair to do that. We’ve taken away their sense of sight and we’re giving them an experience that involves their senses, we want to allow them to enjoy their experience as well.”
Intrigued? Ghost River Theatre’s Touch will only be experienced by 100 people, and some shows are selling out. More information and tickets are available here.