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Photo by Aidan Searle


Interdisciplinary / Participatory / Theatre

Dustin Harvey / Secret Theatre

Theatre Centre, Franco Boni Theatre

August 10, 10:45am - 4:00pm

August 11, 9:45am - 2:00pm

Presented in partnership with The Kick & Push Festival

45 Minutes

Ticket Price
$15 / $30

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Photo by Aidan Searle

AWAKE & STILL DROWNING is a 30-minute shared experience in VR and unsuspecting performance.  It is a cautionary fable about the day Nova Scotia becomes an island, told through a combination of virtual reality and group choreography in which watching and performing signify the high cost of human migration when the exploited ocean takes back what is hers. 

The experience splits the audience into two groups. The first group transforms into the protagonists, a flock of little white seabirds, performing a guided walk along a narrow landscape as directed by the VR headset, which depicts the rising ocean and disappearing shoreline. The second group waits in line, witnessing the flock without fully grasping the crisis unfolding inside the headset. Then, they join the dance, becoming part of the flock. The cycle continues until no one is left, or we must leave the venue.

Audience Experience:

Audience members will be invited into The Theatre Centre Gallery where they will be greeted by SummerWorks staff and volunteers and given instructions. Once ready, the group will enter the Franco Boni Theatre to learn how to use the VR headsets and how to calibrate the headset before the experience begins. The VR experience is approximately 15 minutes. Afterward, the audience members are invited to stay in the theatre for as long as they would like to witness the experience from the outside, sitting in the Franco Boni Theatre audience seating. Individuals can stay as long as they would like, watching multiple cycles.

Dustin Harvey: Creative Director
Dana Dansereau: Producer
Arcade XR: Digital Production
Sue Goyette: Poetry
Rich Aucoin: Music
Graeme Campbell: Audio Engineering
Millefiore Clarkes: Film Production
Aidan Searle: Graphic Design
Gus and Lia Harvey: Narration

AWAKE AND STILL DROWNING is supported by Arts Nova Scotia, Province of Nova Scotia, Canada Council For The Arts, and The National Film Board of Canada


Content Advisories for AWAKE AND STILL DROWNING:

Environmental Disaster: The narrative centers around a future where Nova Scotia is nearly submerged by rising sea levels, which may evoke feelings of anxiety or distress related to climate change and environmental destruction.

Human Migration: Themes of human displacement and migration due to environmental factors are explored, which may be triggering for individuals with experiences related to migration or displacement.

Potentially Intense Emotional Content: The project includes poetic narratives and reflective content that delve into the impact of human actions on the environment, which may be emotionally intense for some participants.

Please be advised that these themes are explored thoughtfully to raise awareness and encourage reflection on these crucial issues.

Sensory Advisories for AWAKE AND STILL DROWNING:

Virtual Reality: The experience entails wearing a VR headset, which can lead to disorientation or dizziness in some individuals.

Visual Effects: Use of immersive visual effects to simulate rising water levels and environmental changes.

Spatial Audio: The experience includes spatial audio with ocean sounds, bird chirps, and a narrative voice that can be immersive and intense.

Movement: Participants must move and follow choreographed sequences, which might be disorienting for some.

Potentially Intense Themes: The narrative explores themes of environmental disaster and human migration, which may be emotionally intense for some participants.

SummerWorks Lab programming – a place for exploration, experimentation, and process, with diverse performance works shared at crucial stages of creative development, forging connections between artists and audiences.