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The City and The City

Upintheair Theatre and The Only Animal Present The City and The City
Adapted by Jason Patrick Rothery from the novel by China Miéville
Presented with PuSh International Performing Arts Festival
January 24 - February 5, 2017

 

What does it mean to “unsee” another person, an incident…an entire city?

Adapted from author China Miéville’s multi-award winning novel, The City and The City is a highly participatory theatrical experience; equal parts dystopic science fiction, film noir, and murder mystery. Using emergent audio technology, the audience receives clues for actions, text and characterization to bring the story to life in real time.

The City and The City unfurls across Ul Qoma and Besźel, two "split" cities which occupy the same geographical space, but operate as distinct social, cultural, and political entities. Conditioned from birth, the citizens in these overlapping cities must unsee one another, and transgressors are disappeared by an invisible police force known only as Breach.

When a young woman is murdered, Inspector Tyador Borlú of the Besźel Extreme Crime Squad is plunged into a perilous investigation that risks kindling long-simmering tensions between the two cities, and provoking the panoptic agents that oversee their now corroding boundaries.

The City and The City demands a deep contemplation of the undergirding of communal reality. How do communities construct myths of belonging and exclusion? How do disparate cultures establish independence/interdependence? Who and what do we choose to see and unsee in our day to day lives, and how does that affect our conception of our world?

A new co-production from two Jessie award-winning companies, Upintheair Theatre (Inside the SeedThe North Plan) and The Only Animal (the makers of the living comic book, Nothing But Sky), The City and The City is an immersive, interactive theatrical experience. Like a matrushka doll, the mystery hides another mystery of who you really are, and the city in which you live.

The City and The City is presented as part of the Mainstage Program in the 2017 PuSh International Performing Arts Festival as a Partnered Presentation. For more information go to pushfestival.ca

Directed by Kendra Fanconi

Core Creative Team Daniel Martin, Dave Mott, Jason Patrick Rothery & Kendra Fanconi

Movement Direction by Nita Bowerman

Stage Management by Stephanie Elgersma

Sound Design by Nancy Tam

Lighting Design by Jonathan Kim

Costume and Props Design by Natalie Purschwitz

Production Management by Colin Cooper

Technical Direction by Pedro Chamale

Volunteer Coordination by Lisa Goebel

Performed by – YOU THE AUDIENCE

Featuring:

David Mott..............................................Borlu

Conor Wylie............................................Dhatt

Daniel Martin.........................................Gadlem

Darren Boquist......................................Ashil

Lisa Goebel.............................................Yolanda

Heidi Taylor............................................Nancy/Ashelle

Tricia Collins...........................................Corwi

Stephen Atkins......................................Bowden

Photography by Natalie Purschwitz and Jonathan Kim.

Inspired by the conceptual seed of Darren Boquist’s How to Love

Additional design contributors Florence Barrett, Emma Hendrix, and Jerguš Opršal

Developed with creative and dramaturgical support by Brian Quirt in the role of Director of the Banff Playwrights Colony and with the support of Playwrights Colony at Banff Centre for the Arts

Supported by City of Vancouver, BC Arts Council, BC Direct Access Gaming, Canada Council for the Arts, The Hamber Foundation, The Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation

The Only Animal creates cultivates and inspires theatre work that arises from a deep engagement with place.