Naked Tourist, Sacred Mountain: Successful Saskatoon play based on true events is going on tour

The play will tour to six Sask. communities this month.

Play just finished sold-out run in Saskatoon

Anna Mazurik, Earl Pereira and Nathan Coppens in Naked Tourist, Sacred Mountain. (Johanna Arnott)

After a sold-out run at Saskatoon's Live Five Theatre, Naked Tourist, Sacred Mountain is going on tour.

The play is based on actual events. In 2015, a group of tourists climbed a sacred Bornean mountain, stripped, took photos and posted them on the internet. Days later, a huge earthquake shook the mountain and killed 18 people.

Some local authorities blamed the group for the earthquake, saying their actions disrespected local customs.

The events sparked the imagination of playwright Rod Macpherson.

He wanted to explore the question of "why" in this context.

"Why do we in the West feel this is ultimate statement of our freedom and we can do what we want? What provokes that?" Macpherson said, speaking to CBC Radio's Saskatchewan Weekend.

The characters in Naked Tourist, Sacred Mountain are Masood, a Muslim deputy for Tourism on the island of Borneo, Natalie, a Canadian woman who grew up Catholic, and Owen, an Australian vlogger and climber.

Macpherson said he wanted to incorporate multiple faiths into his play.

Nathan Coppens and Anna Mazurik in Naked Tourist, Sacred Mountain. (Johanna Arnott)

"The thing I like about religions, generally, is that they make the individual take some time out to examine their own behaviour to ask how I can be a better person toward my fellow human being and generally to make atonement for what we've done wrong," he said.

"I think all the great religions of the world ask their adherents to do those things that I just talked about."

Macpherson also said he hopes rural viewers will take something from the play.

"I hope that they'll take the different points of view that a play like this brings, but also see their own point of view reflected in some of the characters."

Tour dates

Tisdale - March 10, Maurice Taylor Theatre

Melfort - March 11, CJVR Theatre

Humboldt - March 13, Comprehensive High School Theatre

Rosetown - March 15, Rosetown United Church

Battleford - March 16, Battleford Community Players Clubhouse

Saskatoon - March 17, St. Martin's United Church