Thursday, Friday, Saturday – July 12, 13, 14
Government Wharf, 1800 Maple Ave. South in Sooke
Admission FREE or by donation
Nearly five decades after its birth at a Kemp Lake Road farmstead, the Caravan Stage Company is returning to Sooke’s Government Wharf in mid-July aboard a tall ship to present its spectacular “climatopian” rock opera Nomadic Tempest.
Moored at the foot of Maple Ave. South, the Amara Zee’s deck, mast and riggings will be the stage for this internationally renowned troupe of actors, musicians, aerial artists and technicians. They’ll mount one visually spectacular show per night at 10 p.m. on July 12, 13 and 14.
Thanks to a community grant from the District of Sooke, these homecoming shows are free of charge. Donations are welcome, however, in supporting the work of this unique non-profit troupe dedicated to creating accessible, pay-what-you-can theatre that addresses urgent social and environmental issues.
Nightly attendance is limited. Reserve your tickets online via Eventbrite (Eventbrite policy requires a minimum $1 donation plus .65 cent service charge before it will issue tickets.) Some tickets may be available on event nights. Typically, Caravan productions are offered by donation at a recommended $20 per adult, $15 for students and seniors, and children 14 and under $5.
Dress warmly for this outdoor show. Please bring your own low-slung chair or blanket. The site will open each night at 9 pm and it’s recommended you arrive no later than 9:30 to ensure a prime view.
Written and directed by Caravan co-founder Paul Kirby, Nomadic Tempest envisions a world devastated by climate change. The Vancouver Sun described it as “an outdoor Cirque du Soleil and IMAX hybrid with a smattering of J.R.R. Tolkien and David Suzuki.” The production continues a long Caravan tradition of presenting accessible agitprop theatre that delivers impactful wake-up-calls about the planet and modern culture.
Kirby and his partner Adriana Kelder rolled out of Sooke in 1970 with their one-wagon, horse-drawn puppet show to entertain Vancouver Island audiences. After relocating to Armstrong, BC, the company grew to feature six wagons drawn by teams of Clydesdales that, by 1993, had travelled more than 20,000 horse-drawn miles across North America.
After a two-year hiatus, the Caravan reinvented itself by switching from dry land to open water aboard the custom-built Amara Zee, a 30-meter long ship modelled after a traditional Thames River sailing barge. A shallow draft of 1.2 meters has allowed it to access hundreds of waterfront communities large and small around the world over the last 20 years.
After performing Nomadic Tempest at various stops along America’s gulf coastline last summer, the ship was transported through the Panama Canal to a BC moorage over the winter. Performances in Nanaimo and Courtenay will have preceded the Sooke dates, following which the tour will sail to Port Townsend, Bellingham and Seattle.
Audiences gather on the shore and experience original music, soaring vocals, aerial artistry and large scenic elements backed by spectacular lighting and sound effects. The production is a continuous cinematic panorama of originally designed video graphics, animations and images. Within the upper trusses and the lower decks, as the Aerialists cavort, a palette of surprises, colors, and mechanical transformations unfold.
The event’s site sponsor is the Sooke Harbour Authority. If you’d like to volunteer for one of a variety of positions on one or more of the three nights, contact tour coordinator Miranda Feldtman at email@example.com with the subject line “Sooke volunteer.”
- District of Sooke awards over $45,000 in grants
- A free Cirque-de-Soleil styled nighttime performance may come to Sooke this summer