Stan Douglas and Kim Collier are exploring the boundaries of live theatre this week at The Banff Centre. They are here with a crew of 13 actors, designers, and technicians to workshop Helen Lawrence, a new Canadian Stage multimedia theatre work. Set in 1948 Vancouver, Helen Lawrence intertwines theatre, visual art, live-action filming, and CG to tell a post-war story of murder, hidden identity, and reinvention.
Douglas, an award-winning visual artist, is the creative force behind Helen Lawrence. Collier, winner of the 2010 Siminovitch Prize, will co-direct. Despite their hectic schedules, and the temptation posed by 15 cm of fresh snow, they graciously agreed to discuss the project over lunch.
This work has been described as groundbreaking. How so?
Kim Collier: One of the extraordinary goals of Helen Lawrence is to incorporate continuous live filming into a work of theatre. Stan and I are going to attempt to construct a film, continuously, shot by shot, during the live production. So instead of doing a month-long film shoot before the production, carefully setting up each scene; we will be filming live with four cameras, and choosing the shots as we go. That live film will materialize in front of the audience, allowing them to choose between watching the constructed (film) world or the constructing (live) work. Continue Reading →