Technology takes viewer into character’s imagination

NANAIMO – In Other Words theatre company utilizes video in production of Muse.

A new theatre experience is transforming Nanaimo’s Centre Stage.

With innovative new video mapping, an interactive performance and social media, Barbra French, artistic director of In Other Words Theatre, takes the audience inside a character’s imagination.

She said the debut production of Muse, the story of Grace, an institutionalized and musically gifted young woman, is a visually stunning and rich experience.

With video displayed across three different surfaces on Nanaimo’s Centre Stage, projection technology creates a multidimensional set with several layers of storytelling possibilities.

“The technology allows the audience to become a witness and participant,” French said. “While the character, Grace, is being visited by doctors, nurses and friends, the audience sees inside her mind through memory and dream sequences playing on the different screens. It’s a visually rich experience.”

Pushing the boundaries of conventional theatre, French asks the audience to become intimately involved in the performance, helping to create parts of the play and co-write a song.

“It’s mesmerizing,” she said. “And tells a beautiful story of how we define a fulfilled life.”

Finding new ways of telling stories is what the theatre company prides itself for and what better way of adding to the story then through social media. There’ll be no more nosebleed seats in French’s production; instead she’s offering four cheap Tweet seats.

“Tweeters can sit in the back, with phones muted and tweet what’s happening,” French said, adding that involving social media builds another layer to the performance experience.

An alumnus of Vancouver Island University, French has founded two other theatre companies and after 10 years teaching theatre at universities in Alberta, has seen dramatic changes in stage performances and audiences.

She said people today are looking for a multi-sensory stimulating experience. They still want a good story, but they want it delivered in unique ways using different forms of language.  With Muse, French has created several.

Ladysmith actor Natalia Hautala, as Grace, performs beside Maureen Molyneaux with Kevin Jesuino as the new media designer.

Performances run Thursday through Saturday (Oct. 24-26), with the show starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are available at the door or in advance at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo cat with a disability can still teach foster kittens ‘how to cat’

Life goes from sour to sweet for Lemon, an adopted cat from B.C. SPCA Nanaimo

Protesters in Nanaimo call for greater protection of old-growth forests

Extinction Rebellion organized rally at Maffeo Sutton Park on Saturday afternoon

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Nanaimo River Road ‘hotspot’ for theft from vehicles, says RCMP

Over dozen reports of theft in past month, say Nanaimo RCMP, many victims were headed to backcountry

Process begins to try to get Lantzville lookout trail authorized

Regional District of Nanaimo staff will report back to parks and trails committee

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Island Health warning of spike in overdoses in Nanaimo area

Substance users advised to visit overdose prevention site on Wesley Street in Nanaimo

Do-over vote has similar result, 280-unit development in Lantzville going to public hearing

Mayor’s motion to rescind Clark/Medd application’s second reading fails 3-2

B.C. wildfire crews have battled 111 blazes in the last seven days

Twenty-nine fires remain active, as of Friday (Aug 7)

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Cowichan RCMP use spike belts to end car chase — man in custody

The driver was arrested at the scene a short distance from his vehicle

Most Read