Occupy Me at Edmonton Fringe Festival

Occupy Me
Roots on Whyte (8135 102 street) August 14 – 24, every day except August 19
More information: counterpointplayers.com

An interview with Bronwyn Steinberg.

Occupy Me. Photo credit: Andrew Alexander.

Occupy Me. Photo credit: Andrew Alexander.

Describe your show in five words. 

Immersive Site-specific Yoga Comedy

Okay, now that we’re intrigued… what’s the longer description?

As a theatre artist and yoga teacher, this play gives me the chance to combine my two passions. I play Sarah Lotus Blossom, a quirky and naive yoga teacher, and the audience has come to a “demonstration class” that I am teaching. So audience members can choose if they want to participate as demonstrators and be on a mat doing yoga along with me, or they can sit in a chair to “evaluate” the demonstration. Either way, everyone is involved and we all get to breathe (and laugh) together, all while going on a journey that’s been described as “Eat. Pray. Love. meets the Occupy Movement, in a yoga class.”

You’re both a theatre artist and yoga instructor. What draws you to both of these disciplines and how does one complement the other?

I’ve been in love with theatre since I was 6 years old, when my mom took me along with her to rehearsals for a high school production of Grease she was directing in Lethbridge. My love affair with yoga is a bit more recent — I’ve been practicing for about 8 or 9 years and did my teacher training 3 years ago. I find that yoga keeps me grounded and balanced through the ups and downs of a life in theatre, and at the same time, theatre helps me keep a sense of adventure and fun in my own yoga practice and my teaching.

How did the idea to create Occupy Me come about? What inspired the fusion of yoga and theatre?

In all my theatre work, I am interested in creating an experience, something that engages the audience in a direct and visceral way. I want the story to affect you in a way that just isn’t possible when you stay at home looking at a screen. So I figured, what better way to get the audience to actually feel my character’s journey than to get them to physically breathe and move along with me?

Anything else you want audiences to know about the show? Should audience members bring their own yoga mat?

You don’t need to be an expert yogi to participate, Sarah Lotus Blossom’s class is definitely appropriate for all levels. I do have mats available, but you can certainly bring your own mat if you prefer.

Bonus question: Any names you want to drop who have been involved in your show (Edmonton arts people or otherwise)?

For sure – I don’t know how people create solo plays by themselves! My co-playwright Sarah Waisvisz was totally instrumental in the creation of the piece, as was my director Laura Astwood.

The 33rd Edmonton International Fringe is August 14 – 24. Get your tickets at tickets.fringetheatre.ca.

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