Jupitor Theatre’s (exp)lore is a great auditory experience, but lacks site specific intrigue

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Jupiter Theatre is putting on socially distant theatre. They are releasing audio plays that are based on secret inner-city Calgary locations. You can sign up to go to the premiere where you can discover with a handful of other people the site that inspires the story. All the sites are outside, so it’s quite easy to maintain distance. It’s intriguing and something that is theatre based that is still quite a low risk.

The first episode in the series is called The Folly by Madeline Hunter Smith. It’s a horror and mystery story that immerses you while you walk along the Elbow River. There were a couple other people in my time slot when I showed up to the theatre location. The Folly tells of Winslow (Kiana Woo) who has moved to Calgary to find herself and a new life. She felt like moving to this neighbourhood would change her somehow. She finds that it’s not as she expected and she’s more lonely than she anticipated. She meets a neighbour Ms. Chiang (Kiki Young) and walks her dog Lulu for company.

Winslow takes on a little more than she can handle when Lulu takes off after something that Winslow isn’t sure she can see. She’s not sure if it’s a ghost or her imagination, but she can’t lose the dog that isn’t even hers.

For someone who is waiting for her life to begin, Winslow certainly runs head first into trouble, even thought Ms Chiang did warn her that those who seek trouble, often find it. She meets a man (Kyle Gould) who we find out built a castle and still lives in it, after he died.

The Folly is a rich auditory experience and tells a compelling story of horror. Smith creates a world of mystery, filled with ghosts and cold. It is worth subscribing to.

I was very disappointed in the physical location as I was expecting more of a direct link to the story. It was nice to go for a walk and listen to the theatre piece, but there wasn’t a direct link to the location and no added value. The experience would held so much potential for visual connection to make the podcast more theatre based, but it was very lacking. The first episode didn’t really have any aspect of being site specific.

I’m hoping that future episodes will carry more theatrical flare.

Jupiter Theatre’s (exp)lore is a digital audio theatre experience. More information is available online. The next premiere is September 18th.

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