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Fowl Play – Interview and Review

Culture, Events, Interviews, Performance, Performance, Reviews, Showcase, Tech

September 20, 2017

Interactive theatre pieces are amazing. It gives people the chance to be creative and think outside of themselves to get to the final goal. Entertaining others while entertaining yourselves.

Interactive theatre is also hard to do. You have to account for a bunch of variables, those variables have a name, and that name is audiences.

Telling is a story that is compelling enough to entice your audience enough to participate but having a narrative that doesn’t NEED them to do the most important tasks is important. Making sure that what your actors do makes sense in the context of the narrative is paramount. Matchstick Productions did the important things and left room for you to play with the characters in their production of Fowl Play.

Photo Credit – Luke Redmond – Fowl Play

“Fowl Play: a Search for Odd Behaviour and Even Odder People,” is an interactive theatre performance that will be presented at the Anvil centre as a response to the New Westminster New Media Gallery’s current exhibition “Dominion.” Come join us with your smartphones and be on the lookout for some pesky birds in this one-of-a-kind scavenger hunt!

I was invited to participate on an audience level with this production by Judy Hamilton from TerraTap who we spoke to on the Living Myth Magazine Podcast about their app neartuit which was used as a method of quest messaging throughout the interactive art piece. Your quests are to help “The Birds” do things and interact with them on a personal level. The birds you will encounter are actors stylized to look like the birds they are imitating with anthropomorphized behaviours and styling.

All in all, I enjoyed myself, I appreciated the tandem play aspect of some of the tasks and authentic interactions with the rest of the tasks. I appreciated the improv aspect of the interactions too.

Photo Credit – Luke Redmond – Fowl Play – Flirting Peacock

If you are in New Westminster on September 20th and 21st and are near the Anvil Centre at 6:30PM stop by Fowl Play and play! The show is an hour long and definitely a joyful experience and best of all FREE! FREE PUBLIC INTERACTIVE THEATRE! SERIOUSLY! HOW CAN YOU NOT!

Photo Credit – Luke Redmond – Fowl Play – Graceful Swan

Below we have an interview with Matchstick Productions about the show and we will also include a link to our podcast where we talk about neartuit.

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LM: Can you give a history of the project?
MP: The show started out as a response to the current exhibit at the New Media Gallery. This exhibit, titled Dominion, explores themes of human domination over nature. It also heavily incorporates birds, with its mainstay piece showing birds of paradise and hummingbirds in a dazzling zoetrope. We have integrated these themes into a game style show.

LM: How long did it take to have the performers ready? 
MP: We started seriously workshopping about 2 months ago, but only took its final form about a week and a half ago. A piece like this evolves constantly and we hope it can adapt to audience needs.
 
LM: Who did the costuming and the writing? 
 
MP: Costuming was a collaboration between Jess Redmond, Emily Matchette, and Zakk Harris. They included birdlike elements and colours into each costume. The writing was a team collaboration mostly but was headed by Isaac Caverzan.
 
LM: Can you tell us on how iBeacon/neartuit was integrated into the piece? 
 
MP: We used the iBeacon technology to help augment the information given to the audience. As they go through the show the neartuit app will help locate and also give additional information on the various birds. It is, however, not mandatory, and the show can be completely navigated using pen and paper!

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