A different kind of play asks Kelowna to ‘Swipe Right’

The play explores the trials and tribulations of dating with technology

A play unlike the rest is quietly taking over in Kelowna, breaking traditional theatre rules and encouraging the audience to use their phones during the show.

In Swipe Right, playwright C.J. Wilkins invites the audience to eavesdrop on first dates and listen to the normally private conversations.

Through screen-casting, the audience can follow the play without downloading anything onto their phones, something that was important to Wilkins when designing the technical companion to the play.

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“We went down a number of different avenues to find tech that would be suitable (for the play). It would be easy to download an app, but I didn’t want to put any apps on the audience’s phones. It puts us in a more challenging position because we wanted to be honest with the audience that we are not doing anything with their phones and to make it really simple to log into the performance,” said Wilkins.

“This is not technology that actors normally use… It’s difficult to deliver the play with something that is almost like having an extra actor on stage,” said Wilkins.

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The play was inspired by Wilkins own dating trials and tribulations.

“The idea started with me thinking about doing a show about my dating life. What I realized is that it would be pretty one-sided and I am probably just as difficult to date as the women I have dated,” said Wilkins. “I wanted to present a more balanced story about the fun and the frustrations about dating in the digital age.”

Following the lives of six singles, Swipe Right takes the audience down a path of first and second dates as the characters try to navigate the opportunities and pitfalls of finding love online.

Tickets are still available for the Nov. 1 show. The Nov. 2 and Nov. 3 performances are sold out.

Swipe Right is produced by Kendra Hesketh and stars theatre veterans Bonnie Esson, Joelle Neufeld, Zoe Sommerfeld, Dana Murphy, Adam Weaver, John Van Dyk, and Scott Kirk. The play is presented by New Vintage Theatre, which this week won the 2018 Business Excellence Award for Arts and Entertainment Achievement from the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce.

Tickets are $20 plus fees. To purchase tickets, or for more information, visit swiperightplay.com

The 19+ comedy is presented at the Kelowna Forum.

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