Tomorrow’s Child sees audience members blindfolded in the Belfry Theatre SPARK Festival performance of a play based on the work of Ray Bradbury. Photo courtesy Belfry Theatre

Chaos reigns supreme at Belfry Theatre’s 2018 SPARK Festival

Exciting and unique, Victoria’s annual live performance extravaganza is sure to entertain

The Belfry Theatre has unveiled its offerings for the 2018 SPARK Festival, and the range of productions is as diverse and unique as the theatre company itself.

This year’s festival begins with a three-night production (March 8 to 10) of True Crime, an examination of what happens when an artist takes on the persona of a real life con-man of the highest order. It explores the question of whether an actor is truly no more than a con, and asks why we find the experience of watching an intricate con so fascinating.

Between March 13 and 17, Who Killed Spalding Gray? takes on the story of the celebrated monologue specialist who took his own life in 2004 by plunging into the water from the Staten Island Ferry. That story is linked to the contemporaneous experience of playwright Daniel MacIvor, who had met and admired Gray and at the time of his death was struggling through a three-day session in California designed to save his own life.

The juxtaposition of the two stories result in a darkly funny and candid theatrical experience.

In a period where the voices of women is being heard like never before, Mouthpiece (March 13 to 17) follows one woman’s quest to find her own voice while experiencing the push and pull of today’s world.

Between March 20 and 24, Canadian Inuit actor and storyteller Tiffany Ayalik stars in Café Daughter, a play based upon the true story of Sen. Lillian Eva Quan Dyck. The story explores the life of a girl of mixed heritage growing up in Saskatchewan in the 1950s. With a Chinese father and a Cree mother, she is forced to promise never to reveal her Cree heritage, until the day that she finds that she must.

In a truly unique bending of sound, art, theatre and science fiction, Tomorrow’s Child (March 20 to 24) invites audiences into the realm of internal spectacle.

“The audience is blindfolded in the lobby and individually guided into the theatre, where the story will unfold into the surrounding sonic landscape,” said Mark Dusseault, communications director for the Belfry. “It’s unlike anything you’ll have experienced.”

Two other unique SPARK performances are similarly designed to capture the interest of Victoria’s theatre going public.

On March 12 at an undisclosed location, the audience will be invited to an exhilarating choral adventure. Why We Are Here!, created by Brian Quirt and Martin Julien, is a unique and stand-alone experience that invites audience members to become a choir.

SPARK closes March 25 with Belfry 101 Live – a show created by the students of Belfry 101 in response to the performances they’ve seen at the Belfry over the past seven months.

Scattered throughout SPARK, audiences will see a host of free events, including concerts, an all-ages dance party (Hootenanny on March 11), and the perennially popular mini plays – 10-minute performances staged throughout the building.

“The one thing that stays constant with the SPARK Festival is that chaos reigns supreme. If you come to see a show there is a good chance you’ll catch a mini-play, or something else you’d never expect,” Dusseault said.

Tickets for all performances are available at sparkfestival.ca.

editor@vicnews.com

ms (adapted from his book). Based on the true story of Senator Lillian Eva Quan Dyck. Café Daughter is the powerful, funny and touching tale of one woman’s journey to reclaim her heritage.

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