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New play in Edmonton breaks boundaries: Viscosity

By Admin User on November 23, 2018

For most plays, you arrive at showtime and leave at the end. Most shows separate the audience and stage. Not Viscosity. It’s the bandit of all plays.

When you walk into the theatre there will be no audience seating area. It’s the stage, and that’s it. On the stage, there are seven ‘stations’ you can visit, where an actor will be sitting. Across from the actors, there will be another seat, marked with an ‘X,’ where you can sit and hear the story of each character.

The actors in Viscosity are all based on real people and true stories of Alberta oil workers from a variety of ages, cultures, religions and backgrounds, transcribed from real interviews with workers from the patch.

Viscosity runs daily from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Backstage Theatre, but you don’t have to stay for the entire time. “Rather than like a regular play where the play starts at 7:30, the performances run 7:30 to 9:30, and you can come anytime between 7:30 and nine; […] overall the piece will take about 45 minutes for a person to travel through,” said Melissa Thingelstad, an actress in the play.

There’s also no order to where you go first. “[The audience] can decide to go to whichever space they want to go to, so there’s no order. One person may decide to go over to where our trailer is, or somebody may decide to go sit in the bar. […] You go to the space that you feel like going to check out first,” said Thingelstad.

There are only seven spaces and only one or two seats at each station, and so it would seem like a very low capacity play, but that’s not true either. “You don’t have to be the receiver. If that’s too intimate for you, you can stand around the table while somebody else has activated it, and still take in the story.”

The plays runs until November 17.



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