Township of Spallumcheen’s Caravan Farm Theatre, now in its 43rd season, has a bold new season full of meaningful, varied content ahead. (Photo by Jamie King)

Township of Spallumcheen’s Caravan Farm Theatre, now in its 43rd season, has a bold new season full of meaningful, varied content ahead. (Photo by Jamie King)

North Okanagan outdoor theatre plans vibrant, varied season

Caravan Farm Theatre in Spallumcheen to deliver meaningful content in 43rd year of operation

Caravan Farm Theatre is ready to welcome audiences back to the land this year.

Fuelled by a year of experimentation in 2020, Estelle Shook, Caravan Farm Theatre artistic and managing director, says the 2021 season lineup celebrates immersive theatrical storytelling.

“The arts play such an important part in times of transition. Music and stories and images truly help us to process complex emotion and navigate change in healthy ways. Caravan Farm Theatre is here to provide this service to our community,” says Shook.

Caravan launches its 2021 season with rolling premiers through July and August of The Audio Land Walks, a new theatrical format that takes visitors on a storytelling journey through the fields and forests. Artists Kenthen Thomas, Christine Quintana, and rice & beans Theatre have each developed a 30-minute audio story layered over a 2.5-kilometre walk done either alone or in a group of up to six.

Says Shook: “Usually, when people come to our theatre events, it’s a prescribed experience. With the Land Walks, you can book a time that suits you and experience one of three walks which take you on different journeys across the landscape, for an intimate, personalized experience.”

The much-anticipated summer show Blackhorse, a new Horse Opera by celebrated poet Linz Kenyon, has been postponed to the summer of 2022. Instead, summer theatregoers will have the chance to experience Blackhorse in Process: a digital, behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to create a large-scale musical with horses and dancers, which will unfold over a two-week workshop in August.

During last year’s shutdown, Caravan Farm Theatre worked with filmmaker and playwright Niall McNeil to produce The Originals. Premiering at Caravan on Aug. 20 and 21, McNeil’s documentary is a meditation on artistic inspiration and his history with the farm.

“The Originals is McNeil’s remarkable perspective on art, art production, and the artistic community,” says Shook.

The Originals kicks off Caravan’s Second Annual Film Festival that runs from Aug. 24 to Sept. 5. International female filmmakers are in the spotlight this year with five films featuring celebratory and inspirational stories. And, new to the festival this year, each feature film’s screening will follow a jury-selected short as part of the Indigenous Short-Film Showcase.

Inspired by last year’s hit immersive audio walk Sparagmos, the Walk of Terror is making an ambitious return with a month-long run from Sept. 30 to Oct. 31. The new piece, System Failure, will transform the landscape into an apocalyptic alternate reality. Immersive, 4D spatial sound and spectacular set design blend with the daring performance of Kelowna’s KINSHARA circus troupe.

“We’re building on the soundwalk of last year with sight-specific designs and performances to create a truly terrifying immersive experience,” says Shook. “The response was so enthusiastic last year that we are thrilled to continue to develop this extraordinary event.”

Rounding out the year is the beloved winter tradition: the Winter Sleigh Ride Show. Dubbed JoyRide, the winter 2021 production is a theatrical tour de force, featuring song, dance, image, and story, to mark a joyful return to family traditions.

Caravan’s 2021 programming has been designed for gatherings of 50 and can be scaled up or down in response to the PHO guidelines. Each event highlights the beauty of the landscape and provides guests with the opportunity to relax in nature. Caravan Farm Theatre adheres to rigorous COVID-19 protocols as per BC Health Regulations.

Says Shook: “We are so looking forward to welcoming the community back to this beautiful space.”

For more information about Caravan Farm Theatre’s 2021 season and upcoming shows, visit the farm online at caravanfarmtheatre.com.

READ MORE: Caravan Farm Theatre ups the ante with Walk of Terror

READ MORE: A familiar face is back to drive shows at Caravan Farm Theatre

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