Shadowlands at the Edmonton Fringe Festival

Savanna Harvey performing Shadowlands. Photo credit: Savanna Harvey

Savanna Harvey performing Shadowlands. Photo credit: Savanna Harvey

Shadowlands by Savanna Harvey
August 18, 20, 22, 23, 26 and 27 at King Edward Elementary School


An interview with Savanna Harvey.

Describe your show in one sentence.

A philosophical journey through literal and figurative darkness.

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

Cells in a petri dish. A scientist. A ghost. A laboratory mouse. We are on a journey to see what can’t be seen. We are on a quest to find truth in the dark.

The Scientist works in her lab. She experiments with microscopic organisms and gathers scientific observations leading her to the truth. Then one day, her studies are interrupted by a ghost. In a reality determined by evidence, how can The Scientist deny the proof before her very eyes?

Encounter an expedition down the twilight pathways of darkness and shadow, consciousness and existence, truth and perception. There may be light at the end of the tunnel, but how do we figure out what the light is?

Staged in total darkness, Shadowlands is a unique visual experience. This striking aesthetic plays on what you can see, what you can’t see…and what you think you can see…

Shadowlands examines the connection and contrast between science and fiction. Why was this something that intrigued you, and what do you hope your show leaves audiences thinking about?

There has been a lot of push-back against science lately. We can see this in anti-vaccination and anti-pesticide movements, and in the distrust of big pharma. Scientific facts are being countered with fiction and narrative: specifically, as told by trusted and triumphant protagonists. Who you are getting your information from determines your information. And your information determines your perception of reality. The instability of knowledge – something that should be firm and immutable by nature – is what I find fascinating. I hope audiences leave the play wrapped in a fabric of reality that is a little stretchier… a little thinner…then what they wore before.

Shadowlands is staged in darkness. Why did you want to stage the show this way and what does it add for the audience?

Shadowlands is going to be the first play of an experimental trilogy inspired by content and medium. Each play will have unique staging that is in dialogue with its subject matter. Shadowlands does this by hiding what would otherwise be seen and by only revealing knowledge in scattered fragments. The text of the play discusses a lot of big questions, but the experience of the audience participates in that conversation, as well.

Anything else you want audiences to know about the show?

Shadowlands is part of #FringeFemmeYEG, which means seeing this show supports women in the arts (and women in the sciences, too, because of the storyline)!

The 36th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival is August 17 – 27. Get your tickets at tickets.fringetheatre.ca starting August 9.

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