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Preview: Audience Participation Key for Final High Performance Rodeo Show

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If you see David Gagneon Walker’s name in the theater’s Playbill, expect it to be unexpected.

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Walker is an Edmonton playwright who wrote premium content for the 2020 high-performance rodeo blockbuster. Produced by Calgary’s major Matt Mason Collective, the premium content featured five actors who learned all the roles of theater and were able to play different characters in each performance. The plots remained the same, but the dynamics of the relationship changed depending on the gender of the actors who played them.

Walker is back with his latest play. This is the story of a child dominated by fear. This concludes the spring edition of the 2022 High Performance Rodeo One Yellow Rabbit, which will be staged at the Big Secret Theater on May 26-28.

For a horrified child, Walker is the only actor to appear in the play. All other roles are played by the audience. He calls it an audience show for those who don’t like audience participation.

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“No one is forced to participate. It’s purely voluntary, but you can’t play without the involvement of the audience,” Walker says.

For each of the three performances, the Big Secret Theater has regular staircase seats, but there is a cabaret table on the theater floor.

“Anyone who chooses to sit at a cabaret table does so because they want to read their role in the play. Anyone who doesn’t want to attend at that level can sit in a regular seat, but an opportunity to attend. There is also, “explains Walker, who calls the audience the Greek Choir.

“At certain points in the show, lines of text are projected onto the screen and the chorus is invited to read them aloud together.”

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The horrified kid premiered last summer at the Edmonton Found Festival. “I felt the whole experience was fun, not a threat, but really relaxing,” Walker said. Last summer there were still restrictions, so I had to play with a small group. I’m excited to be able to play in Calgary. This is because you can play when the spectators who have reached the capacity come. “

Walker calls a horrified child a magical parable.

“It’s about the characters who see the rise and fall of civilization and the feelings of loneliness and anxiety that balance mystery and awe. Our heroes meet the gods who run this magical kingdom. Characters are gods and creatures. So it doesn’t matter what gender the person is when the character is assigned. “

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Providing an artistic experience to the audience is the most exciting thing for Walker.

“My favorite part of the theatrical experience is the first table reading of a new play. It’s pure magic because the participants are discovering new stories. It’s most relevant to my work. I wanted to find a way to share that experience with people I had never experienced before. “

Walker hopes that there will be Calgary actors who are eager to attend the show, but there are also regulars who want to discover the process themselves.

The horrified kid will run at the Arts Commons Big Secret Theater on May 26th, 27th and 28th at 7pm. Tickets are sold at the door or at hprodeo.ca.

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Preview: Audience Participation Key for Final High Performance Rodeo Show

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