Arts·Video

'We just won't let it die.' Four performers keep theatre alive ... out of the back of a truck

Theatre SKAM's "Pop-Up Theatre Home Delivery" brought their performances to the Greater Victoria Region.

Theatre SKAM's 'Pop-Up Theatre Home Delivery' brought their performances to the Greater Victoria Region

'We just won't let it die.' Four performers keep theatre alive ... out of the back of a truck

2 years ago
Duration 2:46
Theatre SKAM's "Pop-Up Theatre Home Delivery" brought their performances to the Greater Victoria Region.

With traditional venues shuttered, Canada's theatre community has had to adapt. This story is a part of the series finale of CBC Arts: Exhibitionists where we shine a spotlight on the challenge of putting on theatre during the pandemic, and the ways theatre could change when it returns to stages. Stream the full episode now on CBC Gem.

For the four performers from Victoria, B.C.'s Theatre SKAM, surviving the pandemic meant delivering their shows straight to people's homes.

Theatre SKAM's initiative is called "Pop-Up Theatre Home Delivery," where folks in the Greater Victoria Region can book 15-minute socially-distanced outdoor performances delivered to them from the back of a flatbed truck. 

The performers, who created the shows themselves, decided early on to bubble with each other, allowing them to take off their masks when interacting with one another for performances but still remain over six metres from their outdoor audience. 

Theatre fans book shows for their household or neighbourhood to celebrate birthdays or family nights or maybe because they just wanted to watch some theatre. 

Kendra Bidwell, Sarah Hunsberger, Lynnéa Chan, and Hannah Allin. (CBC Arts)

The initiative has been satisfying for audiences who get to watch a bit of live performance, but it's also been deeply meaningful for the performers.

"Every theatre in the country, in the world, is shut down," says performer Sarah Hunsberger. "We get to do this weird little thing where we drive this truck around. And it's amazing that it's bringing joy to other people but like.... wow, is it bringing joy to me that I get to do this."

In this short documentary by filmmaker Kelly Conlin, performers Sarah Hunsberger, Kendra Bidwell, Lynnéa Chan and Hannah Allin from Theatre SKAM share their experience keeping theatre alive this summer via flatbed truck.

Stream CBC Arts: Exhibitionist's season finale focused on the challenge of performing theatre during the pandemic and its path forward now on CBC Gem.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mercedes Grundy has been producing videos for CBC Arts and Exhibitionists since 2015. She is a unabashed Leonardo DiCaprio enthusiast with an educational background in photography, and produces film and theatre when not busy here at the CBC. And while her love for the arts does not discriminate, she openly acknowledges she is a horrible dancer.

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