A lot can happen in 15 minutes, especially when Theatre SKAM is performing live in your neighbourhood.
The local company’s revamped Pop-Up Theatre initiative is offering social distancing-friendly theatre in 15-minute bursts for up to 50 people, in a variety of formats — all from the rear of a flatbed truck that doubles as a stage.
Prospective hosts can visit the company’s website and choose from one of four roughly 15-minute performances. All the shows are family-friendly.
Theatre SKAM presented similar versions of Pop-Up Theatre in the past, but the current version has a different feel in the COVID-19 era. Hosts wanting to book a performance by the foursome of Sarah Hunsberger, Kendra Bidwell, Hannah Allin and Lynnéa Chan are asked to provide a 10-metre space to accommodate the Pop-Up flatbed, as per physical-distancing requirements; the space must also be relatively flat and allow for a six-metre distance between the audience and performers.
With the majority of amateur and professional theatre companies in the city shuttered since March, the reaction from audiences across Greater Victoria has been strong since Theatre SKAM launched the by-donation program in late June.
“They’ve been having a lot of fun with it,” Samantha Duerksen, Theatre SKAM’s communications co-ordinator, said of the young actors handling the performances. “Audiences are always really engaged and happy with the show. [The actors] are happy to be able to do live theatre right now, because it’s a pretty rare thing.”
The cast is available from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. for a maximum of eight 15-minute shows per day. Birthday parties and block parties have been a popular setting for Pop-Up Theatre thus far, but Duerksen is expecting requests from some unlikely places through the summer.
Pop-Up Theatre will run through Aug. 15. “We thought we would try it out for July and August,” Duerksen said. “If it proves successful we’ll look into possible doing more shows in the fall.”
For more information, visit skam.ca/pop-up.