The Stranger is virtual reality for theatre folks. Photo by Daniele Bartolini.
The Stranger is virtual reality for theatre folks. Photo by Daniele Bartolini.

Your phone rings. You answer it. You were told this would happen. A man tells you to start walking south along the busy street. As you dodge other pedestrians he asks you about your life. His voice is warm, if a little sad, and you learn he’s experienced something profound through his encounters with “the stranger”. When he hangs up, you turn a corner as a man brushes past you. Was it the man on the phone? Who is a stranger? And who is THE stranger? DLT Teatro’s The Stranger turns the city into virtual reality for the price of a paperback.

The Stranger is an immersive roving site piece that takes an audience of one on a journey across the Commercial Drive neighbourhood. Staged as a series of connected encounters, each stranger guides you to your next destination as they share a a quiet moment of connection. From holding hands in the street to writing a story, singing a song, or dancing in a park, each stranger encourages you to connect with them in simple, seemingly innocent ways. The Stranger is a series of experiences like no other.

The show’s message is, at times, unclear. Is it a mystery? Is it an exploration of connection? Is it a journey of self-discovery? At points, you almost can’t help think that the show would be more interesting from the other side. To see the range of reactions to each stranger would make an interesting piece of theatre in and of itself. But I’m not complaining. The Stranger turns your neighbourhood into a playground again. It is a joyously intriguing way to spend an afternoon.

The Stranger, written and directed by Daniele Bartolini. Co-created with Danya Buonastella, Rory de Brouwer and Chiara Fontanella. Produced by DLT Teatro as part of the 2015 rEvolver Theatre Festival. No more performances. Visit https://thecultch.com/events/the-stranger/ for tickets and information.

Vancouver Presents!

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