Aerialist Hannah Anderson rehearses for the upcoming production of the Caravan Stage Company’s Nomadic Tempest. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

Seafaring Caravan Stage Company performs at Nanaimo Waterfront Suites and Marina

Post-apocalyptic rock opera Nomadic Tempest is staged on a docked boat

For the past eight months there has been an unusual vessel docked at Nanaimo’s Waterfront Suites and Marina.

The Amara Zee is a seafaring stage. The 90-foot-tall Thames sailing barge is the home of the Caravan Stage Company. Founded in Sooke in 1970, the mobile theatre group left the Island 30 years ago by horse-drawn carriage and returned last year by boat.

Caravan co-founder and producer Adriana Kelder said it’s good to be back in B.C.

“Over the years we’ve worked with thousands of theatre people and so it’s nice to meet old friends and people that we’ve worked with in the past,” she said.

“A lot of them are still in theatre and doing very interesting things on the West Coast.”

Caravan is back on the West Coast to present its latest production, the acrobatic, high-tech, post-apocalyptic rock opera Nomadic Tempest. Caravan debuted the show last year along North America’s Atlantic coast, but Kelder said its characters and audio-visual elements have since been changed to be more relevant to the Pacific Northwest.

Nomadic Tempest tells the story of four monarch butterflies, representing climate refugees, seeking sanctuary on a world rendered uninhabitable by rising sea levels.

“All our shows have a political or environmental theme to them because we believe theatre is a venue for change. We believe that people can be invigorated by seeing art that makes them think and makes them want to make change,” Kelder said.

The tour kicks off at Nanaimo’s Waterfront Suites and Marina on Thursday, June 14 and continues nightly until June 16. It is Caravan’s first run of shows in Nanaimo since the late-80s. Viewers will be seated on the shore looking towards the water.

Performing theatre outdoors and on the deck of a ship has its challenges, Kelder said, as every site is different. There are also safety and environmental concerns.

“We have to make sure when we are doing the shows the tides are high or else the audience can’t see half the show,” she explained.

“And then there’s also the light. We can’t turn the lights off and we’re doing the shows in the middle of the summer so we have to wait until it’s dark because there’s so much video.”

After Nanaimo, the production has more Island dates in Courtenay and Sooke before sailing to Washington State for shows in Port Townsend, Bellingham, Seattle and Everett, where Nomadic Tempest is performed for the last time on Sept. 3.

“The premiere of a show and a premiere of a season, there’s an excitement that you don’t get at any other time when you’re putting a tour together,” Kelder said.

“Because everybody, cast and crew, is new to the show and it’s also the first time we put it in front of an audience. So it’s always exciting to get the feedback that they give us.”

WHAT’S ON … The Caravan Stage Company presents Nomadic Tempest at Waterfront Suites and Marina (1000 Stewart Ave.) from June 14 to 16. Doors at 9 p.m. show starts 10 p.m. nightly. Admission by donation, tickets available at www.caravanstage.org.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Chicken and Broadway on the menu at Bite of Nanaimo

Food, music and roving broadway characters a recipe for TheatreOne fundraiser Friday, Oct. 19

Candidate want to help people have a say in their city’s leadership

Lloyd MacIlquham one of 40 candidates running for Nanaimo city council

UPDATE: Shots fired at house during fight in Nanaimo

Shots were fired at about 2:30 p.m. Thursday in 500 block of Kennedy Street, say RCMP

Nanaimo police warn public after nine-year-old girl approached by pickup truck driver

Incident happened Wednesday morning near Park Avenue School

UPDATE: Shots fired at house during fight in Nanaimo

Shots were fired at about 2:30 p.m. Thursday in 500 block of Kennedy Street, say RCMP

Candidate lists finalized for Nanaimo, Lantzville, RDN, school district

Nomination deadline passes in advance of Oct. 20 local government elections

Election 2018: candidate questionnaires

News Bulletin’s questionnaire responses for Nanaimo, Lantzville, school board, regional district

When to vote, where to vote, how to vote

Voting day is Oct. 20, with polls open 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Beefs & Bouquets, Oct. 18

To submit a beef or bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Nanaimo heritage building damaged by early morning fire

Franklyn Street Gym in Nanaimo’s Old City Quarter suffers extensive fire, smoke and water damage

Jets score 3 late goals to beat Canucks 4-1

Winnipeg ends three-game Vancouver win streak

San Group announces plans to build new sawmill in Port Alberni

San Group has purchased 25 acres of Catalyst Paper land for expansion

Two B.C. cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

Port Alberni dispensaries ticketed for “unlawful sale” of cannabis

Most Read