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The road between viewers and stage has by no means been so malleable.
That was my pondering after I was sitting—and dancing, and ingesting, and Hustle-ing—on the Russian Corridor this previous April whereas experiencing (as a result of merely “watching” is certainly not the correct phrase) Kat Single-Dain’s Disco Inferno.
For individuals who didn’t occur to catch one of many performances final month, Disco Inferno is a musical manufacturing depicting the rivalry between a cool discotheque and its neighbouring sports activities bar, with a property line dispute setting the scene for a dance-off/sports-off to determine the rightful proprietor of… 4 inches of property.
However what’s most particular concerning the present—and for a present with a sentient robotic, a light-up dance ground, and a few severely catchy tunes courtesy of Shirley Gnome, that’s saying one thing—is the way it incorporates the viewers into the disco-infused world of the Seventies.
“In a egocentric manner, I simply wish to produce stuff in order that I can have a very good, bizarre time,” Single-Dain says. We’re chatting on the stage of the Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret, the non-profit society that Single-Dain is the creative government director of. Disco Inferno’s prolonged sequence of reveals has simply wrapped.
“I like bizarre, actually expressive dancing. And I discover it’s onerous to do this within the typical golf equipment. , it’s extra of simply common, regular dancing. So you need to form of create a theatrical vibe for folks to really feel welcome.”
Disco Inferno’s viewers was not solely inspired to be taught the Hustle within the lead as much as the present’s opening quantity, however VIP seats had been dance-floor-side two-tops, the disco’s bar was serving to viewers and forged members alike, and your entire play culminated in a dodgeball sport that noticed some severe viewers participation.
However the immersive expertise wasn’t a one-off in Single-Dain’s guide. It began again when she determined to show a characteristic movie she’d written, Laborious Instances Hit Parade, right into a theatrical manufacturing.
“I believed to myself, ‘What makes it completely different when it’s theatre?’ ” she says. “And what makes it completely different is immersion—that the people who find themselves coming usually are not watching a display screen, they’re coming into right into a room, they’re smelling smells, they’re interacting with different folks, they’re carrying completely different garments.”
Because the creative government director of the Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret Society, Single-Dain seemingly has no restrict in terms of creating enjoyable experiences, and he or she’s acquired the proper setting for it.
Kat Single-Dain on the stage of the Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret Michael Ianni
Positioned within the studio area of a Mount Nice condominium constructing referred to as The Artiste, the Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret is hard to find at first. You should navigate round to the constructing’s again alley, after which it’s only a single sandwich board that heralds your arrival at one thing apart from an condominium’s backdoor.
However strolling into the area is something however peculiar.
The Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret incorporates a stage with an assortment of devices, a tiered dance ground, a bar, and a seating space. Numerous doodads and knick-knacks occupy the partitions and shadowed corners, from big paper mache heads to a pace courting spin wheel to the robotic that was rolling round throughout Disco Inferno.
That spin courting wheel is a part of a month-to-month occasion held on the Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret, Gloria’s Completely happy Hour, during which Single-Dain takes on the persona of her long-time character Gloria to deliver some much-needed comedic levity to the customarily anxiety-inducing artwork of pace courting.
‘[Gloria’s] mainly an over-the-hill refrain lady, who now does stand-up comedy, however with out calling it comedy, as a result of it is simply her,” describes Single-Dain.
“She’s tremendous into love, and hooking folks up with one another. She’s very promiscuous, and intercourse optimistic. And so the Gloria’s pace courting occasion that I do has developed through the years simply from folks saying that I ought to host an actual pace courting occasion, however as Gloria, so that is what I do. And it is mainly immersive theater, however the place you are actually truly talking with folks.”
The area additionally performs host to weekly swing dance nights (and a sequence of dance courses provided by none apart from Single-Dain herself), clown exercise courses, and the occasional personal perform.
And generally the expertise is just too large to be held inside 4 partitions—as is the case with the annual Parade of Misplaced Souls, one other challenge from Single-Dain that has been bringing revelers out to Vancouver’s streets on the Saturday closest to Halloween for a decade now.
For a metropolis that’s notorious for its obvious lack of enjoyable, Single-Dain is one thing of bastion towards that long-held stereotype.
“I see that there’s plenty of folks in Vancouver which are sport for having enjoyable, they wish to have enjoyable,” she says. “And I additionally see the opposite facet of it, which is that among the bylaws of the town do make it onerous for productions to occur. It’s more difficult, I believe, right here than in Berlin, say, or Montreal, to only make one thing enjoyable occur… The folks in Vancouver are also different. So that you get individuals who don’t need any noise of their neighborhood.
Single-Dain continues with, “I believe that the extra enjoyable occasions that occur in Vancouver, the extra will occur. It’s a sequence response. And the extra folks expertise one thing that they really see the worth of, the extra they’ll be keen to listen to sounds and never complain about noise.”
So what’s upcoming for Single-Dain and the Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret? She isn’t taking a lot time to bask within the afterglow of Disco Inferno’s success; the artist’s subsequent manufacturing, a comedy starring local weather change titled Name Me CC, premieres on Could 12.
Name Me CC Poster dustyflowerpotcabaret.com
“It’s a musical comedy about local weather change, the place you get to satisfy local weather change himself,” Single-Dain says, noting that each Name Me CC and Disco Inferno had been written because of her needing a inventive outlet in the course of the pandemic.
“I believe that it being a comedy reminds us of why we’d wish to save ourselves, or save humanity. Proper? Since you’re having fun with your self. You have already got the explanations for why you would possibly wish to take motion. However it’s positively a comedy.”
Tickets to Name Me CC, Gloria’s Completely happy Hour, and no matter else the Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret would possibly dream up sooner or later, might be discovered at dustyflowerpotcabaret.com.