A few years ago, editor and award-winning prolific poet and educator Bruce Meyer saw something in a short story of mine. He published “Animate” in CliFi: Canadian Tales of Climate Change (Exile Editions). A couple of years later, out of the blue, a person named Chris Salter contacted me:
“My name is Chris Salter. I work on large scale technology-based installations involving the senses and have training in theater directing/dramatic criticism and computer music.I discovered your wonderful short story Animate this past weekend (I especially like the Tarkovsky-esque quality of it) and would be interested to know if you might be interested in turning it into a theatrical script. The reason is that I’m working with the Kunstfest in Weimar Germany. This would be a rather unusual theater performance – it would be done using mixed reality (MR) techniques. I would like to commission you to write a short, paired down script adapted from Animate that we could then record with actors (in both English and German) and then use like a radio play for the live performance. The audience, two at a time, would move from one space to the next, simulating the journey that the two characters of Daniel and Laurie undertake. These technologies are all extremely new but we have development partners who are working on AR in Germany and Montreal and have the experience to do something with these new devices.”
Friends, it’s happening! In a few days I go to Germany to experience this short story as a radio play in three languages (and more to come, apparently); and as an ambitious immersive mixed-reality performance. I am beyond excited. The process of adaptation has been fascinating. I am very grateful to have a theatre background! Huge thank yous to director Ryan Kerr, theatre workshop actors Daniel Smith, Lindsay Unterlander, and Joe Davies, to my brother Simon Story and Mark O’Neill for capturing footage of the stunning landscape of Newfoundland’s Tablelands in Gros Morne Park, and of course, to Chris and the Animate team.
See you in Germany at the Kiunstfest Weimar! https://www.kunstfest-weimar.de/en/program?full=0&tx_jokunstfest_pi5%5Bcontroller%5D=Elements&tx_jokunstfest_pi5%5BjoDetailUid%5D=653&tx_jokunstfest_pi5%5BjoDetailView%5D=1&tx_jokunstfest_pi5%5BjoModeOverride%5D=1&cHash=048aa9694510295fbdfafd36eb338eba