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A live action Shakespearean video game in a park

Surrey Civic Theatres presents Geekenders and Instant Theatre Company’s production of Slumber Here – an outdoor theatre experience that lets the audience in on the action – in Bear Creek Gardens. Performances at 7pm and 8pm from June 20 to 23. Running time for the 7pm performances is approximately 45 minutes, and approximately 1 hour 15 minutes for the 8pm performances. Suitable for ages 10 and up. Tickets $5, including all fees. Maximum of 25 people per performance – advance purchase is recommended. Box Office: 604-501-5566 | 13750–88 Avenue. Tickets Online: tickets.surrey.ca.

The gardens at Bear Creek Park will be the setting for an outdoor theatre experience, a first for Surrey Civic Theatres. Slumber Here is a fully immersive, multi-sensory show in which audience members can move alongside the actors and become part of the story-almost like a live-action video game, complete with fetch quests, challenges, unusual characters, and a different ending at each performance.

The actors will create a dreamlike fairy world-with fairy drinks, treats, and flower crowns for the audience-as they act out Shakespeare’s comedic play A Midsummer Night’s Dream, skillfully bringing the poetic language to life. The show is designed so that audience members can follow different storylines, and it’s even possible for them to change the outcome of the play. The format of Slumber Here means that the usual theatre etiquette is more relaxed, which can make this show enjoyable for people who might not be at ease at a regular theatre show.

Slumber Here producer Ryan Caron offers some insights as to what draws people into this show. “Anyone seeing the show should come out feeling that they are special, they have been seen, and they will be remembered by our company of fairies. Aside from that, we’ve been waiting since high school to see Oberon get his comeuppance, and we finally get to make that happen-with the audience’s help.”

There are several ways to experience a performance depending on a person’s mobility, from walking on grass and over uneven terrain to walking along flat paved pathways to watching from a seated location. Transportation by golf cart is available for one audience member per performance (the spot on the cart must be reserved in advance through the Box Office). Performances will happen rain or shine, so audience members are encouraged to dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes.

Geekenders, called a “cult sensation” by Vancity Buzz, is BC’s pre-eminent geeky theatrical and event troupe. The performers strive to make sure everyone who attends a Geekenders event feels heard, accepted, comfortable, and safe. Instant Theatre Company is the home of alternative theatrical improv in Vancouver. The performers believe that improv celebrates the joy of exploring the moment with a group of people you trust alongside the rush of making people laugh. More information is on the Slumber Here page at surrey.ca/theatre.

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