As part of this year’s Mayworks Kjipuktuk/Halifax, The Unnatural Disaster Theatre Company brings theatre to your doorstep with Primal.
Exploring labour injustice and the human cost of convenience from purchasing from corporations like Amazon.
The original new devised theatre piece can be ordered for delivery to your home on May 13-15, or you can watch the entire show at The Bus Stop Theatre on May 14. Visit getprimal.ca for tickets and information.
In this Q&A, we learn more from creative collaborator, director and producer Logan Robins.
This interview has been edited.
Take us beyond the press release and tell us about Primal. What can audiences expect?
Audiences should expect to be blown away by the flexibility, creativity, and talent that our creative team has brought to this show. Primal is a boldly original devised theatre piece that audiences can experience in two vastly different ways: in the theatre or delivered right to their front door. There are puppets and pirates, androids and allyship, factory towns, tornados, musical numbers, and everything in between.
By bringing short performances to people’s front doors, backyards, lawns, porches, or stoops we are able to share the magic of theatre in a place where the audience hopefully feels comfortable enough to enjoy and open enough to be moved by the show. – Logan Robins
Primal is a powerfully tragicomic show that will leave audiences to consider the human cost of convenience when ordering online.
What was the inspiration for the show?
I was shocked upon hearing the news in December of 2021 that a tornado had torn through an Amazon factory in Illinois and killed six of the workers inside. This horrific event prompted me to more deeply explore the chain of events that could have led to it, how it could have been prevented, and how much of society’s addiction to online shopping is fuelling so many shapes of worker suffering. I began to think about necessity, convenience, and the value of human life.
From this spark, the concept of Primal was ignited as a way to explore some of these ideas through a performance that could be delivered just as quickly as the company we are holding in question.
Why this particular show now?
It has never been easier to choose ignorance than it is today. We are constantly bombarded by messages, sound, and colour and have been forced to choose what we tune out for our wellbeing, even if it is important. Primal is incredibly relevant today because society has become increasingly comfortable turning a blind eye to the cost of our lifestyle.
You are taking the piece to audiences at their home. Why present the show in this manner?
The decision behind bringing this show to people’s homes is twofold.
On the one hand, we are always seeking ways to make theatre more accessible and help those less familiar with theatre feel more comfortable in a live performance setting. By bringing short performances to people’s front doors, backyards, lawns, porches, or stoops, we can share the magic of theatre in a place where the audience hopefully feels comfortable enough to enjoy and open enough to be moved by the show.
On the other hand, we were interested in examining the very system we are exploring, that of instant delivery. By ordering online and having us arrive at their homes, we have made this a theatrical experience that can be taken in exactly as one would a parcel from Amazon.
Are there geographic restrictions for those who can order a performance?
Because we are a small indie theatre team, and this is the first version of Primal, we have a delivery zone in and around the Halifax peninsula. We hope that if this rendition of the show is successful, we may be able to venture further with future productions and visit audiences in Bedford, Dartmouth, and beyond.
We encourage audience members who live near the boundary limits to reach out as we may be able to accommodate them. People are also welcome to meet us within the boundary at a public park.
Why should someone order Primal?
Theatre has felt like a distant memory for a very long time, and we are excited to be a part of bringing it back. The creative team of this production has given an incredible amount of their talent and passion for making an unforgettable theatrical experience. Primal provides audiences with a chance to choose their own adventure that suits their needs and comfort level, and we can’t wait to see them at the Bus Stop Theatre on May 14 or at their doorstep on May 13-15.