The performance venue of Two Planks and a Passion Theatre is 178 acres of varied farmland that surrounds the Ross Creek Centre for the Arts, near Canning, Nova Scotia. Forest, fields, and ponds provide creative contexts that influence the selection of works for development and production. After working as Artistic Director in this place for the last eleven years, I have a new perspective on theatre and its possibilities for immersion. Much of the work we create in Canadian theatre depends on the infrastructure we have built in order to deliver it. The theatre spaces built since 1950 have as much influence on our programming choice as personal taste, appetite for risk, or the over-arching social trends. In this paper I explore the notion that if the theatre is to be capable of bringing new perspectives and experiences to our audiences, we must attempt to strip it of the distractions and gimmicks that make the theatre a cardboard cut-out that resembles our contemporary world. When we consider immersion as our theatrical goal, we must ask ourselves: immersed into what? My central argument will be that surrounding audience members is not the same as engaging them.


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pp. 71-74
Launched on MUSE
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