This Year’s rEvolver Festival Brings Together Virtual Reality and Too-real Reality
Collider VR Game

This Year’s rEvolver Festival Brings Together Virtual Reality and Too-real Reality

The Frontliners by Zahida Rahemtulla will be showcased at the rEvolver Festival 2021 amongst 12 other presentations that include digital and audio experiences, conversations, and workshops. The Frontliners takes inspiration from Zahida’s work helping place Syrian refugees in the Lower Mainland.

“I wanted to tell a story about people we usually don’t think about,” said the Burnaby-born-and-raised playwright. “The resettlement of families in 2016 was highly publicized. But there were a lot of people behind the scenes, who were often very hardworking and special kinds of characters.”

The rEvolver Festival is an annual event that showcases new work from emerging companies and playwrights. The event’s co-curator Kayleigh Sandomirsky remarked that this year the emphasis is on work that is in development.

“We realized everyone is tired, everyone’s struggling in the arts community, and we didn’t want to put pressure on people to create something polished. We wanted to give them space to explore and continue to work on these projects without feeling the need to come out with this full presentation. Working online is not what they’ve been trained to do.”

The three-week event brings in 12 presentations that include digital and audio experiences, conversations, and workshops. Everything will be live-streamed during this year’s event, apart from Stéphanie Cyr’s messier objects EP, a video series, and Veronique West’s Szepty/Whispers: Dialogue an audio walk.

“Some are via Zoom, some are coming from Twitch, some are being projected live from the Cultch, and some are coming from the performer’s home,” said Sandomirsky.

Another feature to be a part of the event is Collider, a VR game from Single Thread Theatre Company.

“It’s about presenting their work but also getting feedback from the audience so they can continue the exploration into the show,” Sandomirsky added. “To me, it’s super-exciting doing live theatre, in quotation marks, in VR.”

Other attractions include Necessary Dream, another interactive game; Anna Saves the Marsh, with an autistic main character; and Catfish, about a hearing-impaired girl’s search for love.

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