Ingrid Hansen and Rod Peter Jr in Kitt & Jane: An Interactive Survival Guide to the Near-Post-Apocalyptic Future. Photo by Jam Hamidi.
Ingrid Hansen and Rod Peter Jr in Kitt & Jane: An Interactive Survival Guide to the Near-Post-Apocalyptic Future. Photo by Jam Hamidi.

The 2018 edition of the rEvolver Theatre Festival gets underway later this month, as Upintheair presents twelve days of new interdisciplinary works by emerging, to early mid career Canadian artists.

In our special series this week, Vancouver Presents finds out more about some of the shows at this year’s festival.

In the first of our Q&As, we chat with the creators of Kitt & Jane: An Interactive Survival Guide to the Near-Post-Apocalyptic Future.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Tell us about the show.

Everything unfolds in real-time. Two grade-eights step on stage to present at a school assembly. Very soon, the students go off-script, barring the doors and hijacking the presentation to deliver an urgent message: the apocalypse will occur in five years, and they’re here to train you how to survive. 

A stand-alone sequel to SNAFU’s Little Orange Man, at the heart of this play is a poignant exploration of the world today’s youth are inheriting, and what they’re prepared to do about it.

When writing the show, SNAFU artists interviewed real live Victoria BC teenagers who voiced their concerns about the future of the planet in SNAFU’s free podcast series, A Teenagers Guide to Surviving the Apocalypse.

One grade eleven student from the Victoria High remarked, “I think all of the high-technology civilisations are going to be slowly replacing all of their body parts,” while another student theorized that “plants would take over the world, and then plants and humans would live in harmony.”

When asked about their realistic worst-case scenario, one teen ventured that the consumer cycle could over-produce so much that everything “eventually just becomes garbage, and so eventually we have no clean water, and no plants, so nobody has oxygen to breathe or water to drink and everybody just dies.”

How is this production bringing something new to this story?

Seen through the eyes of two imaginative teens characters – the ADHD powerhouse Kitt, and an awkward boy with the unfortunate nickname Jane – apocalypse survival is articulated with David-Bowie-style jams on the glockenspiel and ukulele, giant-scale shadow puppetry, and fast-paced physical humour.

The show is both a hilarious romp and a poignant exploration of the world today’s youth are inheriting and what they’re prepared to do about it.

What has been challenging about bringing this script to life?

Finding enough free pie for the audience for every show.

What sort of person is going to love this show?

If you love David Bowie, Adventure Time, Big Mouth, Gravity Falls, The Walking Dead, and Last Man on Earth, you’ll love this show.

What is going to surprise people about this show?

If I tell you it’s not a surprise. But many things. Likely the giant-scale shadow puppetry.

Why should someone want to come see your show?

FOMO!

Kitt & Jane: An Interactive Survival Guide to the Near-Post-Apocalyptic Future
Vancity Culture Lab at The Cultch (1895 Venables Street, Vancouver)
May 30 7:00pm
May 31 9:30pm
June 1 7:00pm
June 2 3:00pm
June 3 8:00pm