The purpose of this section is to explain the motivations which pushed us to produce C-Ω-N-T-α-C-T.
Driven by the necessity of doing our job, we wanted to find a way to gather together, all while respecting the health protocols in place. The goal was to express the current situation without speaking on it directly, to try and give new perspective.s (and breaths), to find new ways, and freedom, to lift the weight of the current times.
Even though theatre requires the physical presence of audience members, it was – and still is – unthinkable for us to put our actors, crew, and audience members at risk.
All of these concepts, necessities, and requirements combined explain how this idea sprouted in Gabrielle Jourdain’s mind, before being developed, staged and directed by Samuel Sené.
Contact introduces two characters in a world where physical distancing in the public space has become the norm : we can no longer shake hands, kiss, bump into, hug, or even hit each other.
But how can the emotions resulting from such physical actions still be expressed?
Our creative team uses the current legislations and restrictions, as well as our daily social reality to enter this new “contactless” post confined world. Our staging is directly dictated to us by public health recommendations : our daily lives and our public spaces become therefore even more significant. Is this reality or is it fiction?
This blurred territory is a central aspect to the show : who is this masculine character? A garden angel, a father gone too soon, an inner voice? As audience members we will answer these questions in our own time, alone.
Sarah, our female character, just needs a “setter”, someone to guide her towards understanding the fear behind her angst. Why is she so scared of contact, how can she find internal well-being? Death struck and things that needed to be said were not communicated. But now is time for mourning. And above all, it is time for accepting, letting go, and taking the next step.
Thanks to a specifically soundscaped audio track which aligns itself with what the audience sees (therefore augmenting immediate reality), we dive into this internal cry for help. Each voice and each sound are a sensation bringing us into the characters minds. We are brought into their thoughts, their intimate internal monologues. When they scratch their head, we also feel as though someone is scratching ours, we hear 3D sounds like those the characters are hearing, and when when they close their ears, our entire being closes into their Intimacy.
Individual or collective experience? In each audience member’s headphones an audio flux is played : sound design, text, acoustic experiences, and binaural sounds which create an inextricable and poetic conversation between sound and the actors and bodies in space. The sound design and it’s music allow us to have unexpected encounter with the characters, by allowing us to physically perceive their thoughts.
C-Ω-N-T-α-C-T is a safe theatrical immersion, poetic and cathartic, specially created to adapt to today’s world and new regulations. The concept and its realization intersect by bringing us on a sensitive and reflective journey. A journey through forgiveness, family relationships, and intimacy as the joyous and bright expression of our humanity.
The show constantly explores the endless possibilities of this original, trying, and ever-changing apparatus, which creates an outcome both ironic and dramatic, where the spoken and the unspoken change the natural order of the relationship between abstract and expressed thought, therefore blurring the concepts of fiction and immersion and exploring the intimate thresholds of transgression.
There is no answer, there is no moral, just a question : Can we be at peace with ourselves and our emotions when there is no contact?
Director's note • Staging • Context • Raphael the archangel • Binaural beats • Body/Emotions • Intermediality in theatre