Halloween is over, but don’t stop dressing up .
On Saturday November 8, Open Pit theatre is giving you another chance; it’s hosting a 1920s-themed silent film night, and the directors of the company want guests sporting their Sunday best.
It’s an art night true to the theatre company’s multidisciplinary mandate — to create space for collaboration between artists who work in different genres.
Three short silent films will be shown on Saturday, while a handful of the city’s most talented improv actors ( Brian Fidler, Erica Bigland, Anthony Trombetta , and Martin Nishikawa) will adlib voiceovers in true Whose Line is it Anyway style. Musicians Andrea McColeman and Olivier de Colombel will improv a live soundtrack on piano and saxophone.
“ They will practice — once,” says Open Pit’s co-director , Geneviève Doyon. “It will be a somewhat structured improvisation. We’re interested in getting a bunch of artists in a room and seeing what happens. We’re a process-focused theatre company, not just about the polished product.”
The entertainment will be just one element of the evening, the whole event is meant to feel like a night taken out of the ‘20s. Between each of the short films old-time music will play and people can dance. Alistair Maitland will also be operating a photo booth with a tickle trunk, in case you don’t have a costume. There will also be popcorn and a bar.
While it isn’t advertised as such, the night is actually a fundraiser for Open Pit’s in-progress Yukon Verbatim Project, a piece of documentary theatre to be constructed from the precise words spoken by people interviewed about life in the Yukon.
“ We’re a non-profit with no generating funding,” says Doyon. “Which means each project seeks funding individually , and that the company is run by volunteers. “No one’s paid, we’re all doing it because we believe in it.”
The verbatim project is being funded by Canada Council for the Arts and Arts Fund, but only for phase one — the collection of interviews.
“ It’s a little scary,” says Doyon, not knowing if funding for the rest of the project will come. “Right now there’s no guarantee we’ll be able to put on the play. That’s what makes it so crucial to have support from the community.”
But the directors of Open Pit are conscious about the ways they ask for support.
“ It’s important to us to FUNdraise,” Doyon says. “We’re a young company, it’s important not to just take but to give back. It’s great to give the community an event that shows what we’re about.”
And for an event that was created to support another event, it’s been getting a lot of interest in it’s own right.
“ It’s different,” says Doyon, of the idea to host a 20s-themed silent film night. “People are pretty pumped about it. We’ve already been approached by artists who want to participate if it happens next year.”
1920s Silent Film Night is Saturday November 8 at Centre de la Francophone in Whitehorse; doors open at 7:30 , and the show starts at 8:00. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the door , or from an Open Pit board member.
“ This is what Open Pit is all about,” says Doyon. “Mixing different artists and mediums and seeing how they can coexist. The Yukon is very generous in giving you space to try new things.”