Once again Reuben was asked to bring a theatrical element to the Gentlemen of the Road Stopovers, sending the spirit of Mumford and Sons and GOTR into the crowds. Our challenge was to create theatre for 4 Stopovers in as many weeks. Casting, rehearsing and performing with locally sourced actors across Canada and North America.
We developed three pieces of theatre which formed the backbone of our work at each Stopover. The pieces were inspired by the ethos of Gentleman of the Road, the culture and history of each town, as well as some of the realities of festival life (how do you put up a tent?). Our challenge was to engage 25,000 festival goers with a 10 strong ensemble. Our pieces were all devised to create a spectacle for the crowds while rewarding individuals with highly engaged experiences.
Ultimately, as is our way, each Stopover was totally unique. We reached out to local colleges, theatre companies, puppet makers, musicians, and artists; our doors were open to any creative, generous spirits. Once the casting process was complete, our week was spent developing the pieces in collaboration with the different theatre companies and performers we met. It was an exhilarating, seat of our pants, process.
The casts were fantastic, in most cases this was their first experience of immersive theatre, the learning curve was steep. The vulnerability of all parties made for some exciting and raw creating.