Imagine finding yourself with twenty-seven other audience members below ground, in the midst of the Afghanistan War. Then, after a space of time, you find yourself in a basement suite, trapped in the emotional intensity of what you experienced in battle.
This theatrical immersion is part of ITSAZOO Productions’ upcoming mounting of the Western Canadian premiere of David James Brock’s play Wet. The production is a thoughtful and raw look at a subject that is often not spoken of openly: the traumatic effects of returning from military service for both those who were in combat, as well as their loved ones back home.
From May 8-27, 2018, Wet will run in the basement of The Russian Hall (600 Campbell Avenue).
ITSAZOO, who specialize in productions of a daring and dynamic nature, wanted to take on a play that used the limitations of space in order to mirror the tensions and restrictions within the characters themselves. Directed by Chelsea Haberlin (co-artistic producer), Wet involves the return of a Canadian soldier (Genevieve Fleming) to her unemployed and lonely husband (Matthew MacDonald-Bain), and daughter after a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Injured both physically and mentally, she finds herself ill equipped to make the transition back to regular, civilian life and the challenges of poverty, psychological trauma, and severed intimacy.
The arrival of a war friend (Praneet Akilla) further complicates the charged dynamics within this shattered family. The small group of audience members will be in very close proximity to the unfolding drama, experiencing first hand the prison-like entrapment of the characters within the basement they share. The audience will emerge from below ground with a more profound understanding of the complexities and hardships of the conflicts, away and at home, faced by those who engage in military service.
Note: Due to the mature subject matter, the play is not recommended for those under 18. Guests will issues with claustrophobia are also not suggested to attend.
Further info and tickets ($29 for adults; $25 for students/seniors) are available on-line. Previews and the May 15th performance are $10 at the door.