A decade ago, we used emerging digital technologies to explore and transcend the confines of typical theatrical performances to create PodPlays. These intimate, site specific audio plays for solo participants, use story, music and directional cues to transform the experience of moving through city landscapes. Now, ten years on and amid a pandemic filled with much online (dis)connection, isolation and loneliness, we are relaunching these works and considering the power of active aloneness and quiet contemplation at the heart of PodPlays. How will our experiences of these stories through familiar urban spaces be transformed yet again by time, memory and this unprecedented historical event we are living through? The following six podplays will be co-presented with the Festival of Live Digital Art (FOLDA), June 10-20, 2020.
Two men–one from Vancouver, the other from New York–meet for a casual hook-up that evolves into a passionate, unconventional relationship that unfolds in two different cities over the course of eleven years. An evening stroll in starting near Richards and Robson and ending at Emery Barnes Park on Davie. Written by C.E. Gatchalian / Sound design by Paolo Pietropaolo / Featuring Bob Frazer and Marco Soriano. Original presented August 8, 2011 as part of Neworld’s PodPlay 125 streaming series.
DOG OF YOUR UNDERSTANDING (West End)
Harvey has been waiting more than 140 dog years since he was told to ‘wait here’; his master is calling but why should he come running now? Set in Vancouver’s West End starting at Burrard and Nelson and ending in Nelson Park, this podplay remembers Dr. Peter Jepson-Young through the eyes of his guide dog, Harvey. Produced in association with Screaming Weenie Productions (now the Frank Theatre Company) / Written by Jan Derbyshire / Sound design and composition by Yawen Wang / Featuring Peter Anderson and James Fagan Tait. Originally presented July 28-30, 2011 at the Queer Arts Festival.
ASHES ON THE WATER (Gastown)
The story of two women divided by cultures and how the devastation of Vancouver’s Great Fire of 1886 brought them together – and gave voice to a song. This podplay travels from the North End of Main Street to the beach in Crab Park. Co-produced with Raven Spirit Dance / Written by Quelemia Sparrow / Sound design and composition by Noah Drew / Featuring Margo Kane, Elizabeth McLaughlin and Quelemia Sparrow. Originally presented July 14-16, 2011 at the Dancing on the Edge Festival.
PORTSIDE WALK (Gastown)
A long, steady walk along the industrial waterfront by the Helijet and Seabus terminals, this podplay takes you into the underbelly of the new convention centre. A reminder that the world is at our feet. Written and performed by David McIntosh. Originally presented January 21 – February 6, 2011 at the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival.
FIVE MEDITATIONS ON THE FUTURE CITY (Gastown)
Set in the downtown eastside, this podplay begins at Metro Vancouver Pump Station on Carrall and Alexander and guides the listener on a walkthrough Crab Park and on a search for the edge of time. By Proximity Arts / Written by Christine Stoddard and Tanya Marquardt / Sound design and composition by Joel de Stefano / Direction and dramaturgy by Heidi Taylor / Performed by Karin Konoval. Originally presented January 21 – February 6, 2011 at the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival.
G… CORDOVA (Downtown)
A mother struggles to orient herself in the city’s changing landscape. A son struggles to orient himself in his mother’s changing memories. A walk along Hornby Street: from the new developments at the foot of Burrard to the old courthouse, now the Vancouver Art Gallery. Things are always changing. Written by Martin Kinch / Sound design and composition by Noah Drew / Performed by Patrick Keating and Gina Stockdale. Originally presented January 21 – February 6, 2011 at the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival.
G… CORDOVA, FIVE MEDITATIONS ON THE FUTURE CITY, PORTSIDE WALK were originally commissioned by Neworld Theatre, PTC (Playwrights Theatre Centre) and the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival. Produced in partnership with CBC Radio One. Special thanks to the Vancouver Art Gallery, Westbank Developments and Easy Park.
ASHES ON THE WATER, DOG OF YOUR UNDERSTANDING, AUTHENTIC were developed and produced with support from the City of Vancouver’s 125th Anniversary Grants Program and the participation of the Government of Canada.
PodPlays was conceived by Adrienne Wong with Martin Kinch, and produced by Adrienne Wong and Kirsty Munro.
PodPlays 2020: Theatre to the Power of One is co-presented by Neworld Theatre and SpiderWebShow Performance/FOLDA with support from Playwright Theatre Centre (PTC)
- PodPlays: Powell Street Edition, July 31 – August 1, 2010, Powell Street Festival, Vancouver, BC
- PodPlays: The Quartet, January 21 – February 6, 2011, PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, Vancouver BC
- PodPlays 125, July 11 – September 12, 2011, various festivals (Summer Live, Dancing on the Edge, Queer Arts Festival, Powell Street Festival) & limited online release, Vancouver, BC
- PodPlays 2020: Theatre to the Power of One, June 10 – 20, 2020, FOLDA, Vancouver BC/Kingston ON