You're invited to Party This Weekend, Vancouver's latest site-specific play
At first glance, it seems like your typical Friday night party: rowdy drinking games, a fist fight, a girl sobbing in the bathroom—but the difference here is the party is staged and half of the attendees are actually actors.
Therein lies the concept—brilliant in its simplicity—for Party This Weekend, a new interactive site-specific play held in a bungalow near Renfrew and Hastings.
Party This Weekend
518 Kaslo St.
July 15 - August 23
8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Tickets: $15 or $40 for 4-show pass
Party This Weekend is essentially four different stories merged into one. There is Lara, the recently-dumped, type-A personality party host; Cameron, the smooth-talking manipulator; Vivian, the wild-child party girl who doesn’t quite fit in and Derek, the hipster musician who’d rather be anywhere else.
Be a fly on the wall and watch the drama unfold
Audience members choose one of the four characters to follow and then watch the night's events unfold from their perspective. The end result is a unique blend of actors and audience interacting, ad-libbing and weaving through the different rooms of the house.
“You get a chance to live vicariously through these characters, to be a voyeur or to interact as much as you want,” says Michael Coen Chase who plays Brig, the ladies-man.
UBC grad Laura McLean directed the play and a different writer penned each of the four storylines. Diana Squires, producer and writer of the Lara storyline, says the diverse writing team allowed for more creative collaboration.
“It was a challenge, as a writer, to write in a different way than you normally do,” says Squires. “You’re sharing these characters between four different storylines and sometimes the character you need in your next scene is busy. You have to find a creative way of giving your story something else to do without it seeming like you’re killing time.”
Vivian, the wild child party girl, (Image: Party This Weekend)
The main issue for the actors, however, seems to be keeping their audience focused on the scene at hand. With sights and sounds everywhere, the show really does feel like a house party, and occasionally you might find your attention drifting towards the wretched karaoke rendition going on in the next room.
A unique take on theatre you've never seen before
Still, despite the noise levels, there is no denying this is a tremendous show that pushes the boundaries of what one can expect from local theatre.
“It’s a wonderful challenge. Every show is going to have its hiccups, but you just have to be ready for it and that’s what makes it so fun," says Coen Chase.
Party This Weekend runs every Friday and Saturday night until August 27. Tickets are $15 per show, or for $40 you can see the show four times from each of the character’s perspectives.