At the Citadel Theatre‘s 2017/2018 season launch announcement, new Artistic Director Daryl Cloran revealed his vision for the Citadel as a theatre that is edgy, closely connected to the community, and inclusive and hinted at partnerships to be announced in the future.
One such partnership is with Theatre Yes, whose recent projects like Anxiety and the National Elevator Project have shone a light on the nimble imagination of small theatres. Theatre Yes will start a residency with the Citadel this season, creating a site-specific, immersive work to be performed in and around the Citadel in the 2018/2019 season.
While few details are ready to be released at this stage, Theatre Yes’ Artistic Producer, Heather Inglis says, “It’s going to be a made-in-Edmonton piece. We’ll be using a variety of non-theatre venues in the Citadel that would include streetscapes, but also secret rooms that nobody has gone to before. We’re looking at exploring the fluidity of what truth is, especially in a post-truth world. We’re looking at how what we understand to be true is modified by our personalities, our biases, our hopes, our fears, and trying to look at what I think is the fluid line between what we wish to be true and what might actually be true.”
From the Citadel’s perspective, Daryl says, “This residency is part of our commitment to build meaningful artistic partnerships with other performing arts companies in Edmonton. What we have at the Citadel is space – lots of different theatres, rehearsal halls, classrooms, etc. We’re able to provide a place for innovative Edmonton artists and companies to come experiment and create. We’re also able to give smaller companies access to our larger audience base and marketing resources, so more people can get to know the company and experience their work. In return, we get our building filled with exciting artists creating innovative new productions! The partnership will ignite the creative connections between our companies and create a one-of-kind theatre experience for Edmonton audiences.”
On why partnerships between small and larger theatre companies are important to the artistic community and audiences, Heather says, “Small companies have the ability to take risks that larger companies have to be more cautious of. By creating a partnership, we can bring the risk-taking that Theatre Yes embraces and offer it to the Citadel’s audiences… I think this is an opportunity to introduce audiences at the Citadel that there’s work happening on a smaller scale that may be of interest to them. I think audiences are quite dedicated to where they go to see theatre so the idea that the Citadel could offer opportunities for everyone underneath the canvas of their tent will be good for the ecology of theatre in general.”
Daryl agrees, “The Citadel is at its best when it is full of diverse programming – different shows happening in every corner of the building. Theatre Yes will create a production inspired by our building, which will take place throughout the building in unconventional spaces. It will allow our audiences to explore and experience the Citadel in an incredibly unique way. It will also challenge our traditional actor-audience relationship, putting the audience right in the middle of the action. It’s an exciting opportunity for our audiences to engage with our building in a new way, and to experience Theatre Yes’ unique style of immersive storytelling. I can’t wait!”
During this theatre season, Theatre Yes will be working on a performance installation of Viscosity, about Canada’s oil industry, for the 2017/2018 season.