Soulpepper Theatre Company and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) will present the Canadian premiere of Draw Me Close, a critically acclaimed immersive experience by award-winning playwright and filmmaker Jordan Tannahill, co-produced by the NFB and the National Theatre (NT) of Great Britain. Draw Me Close is an exciting return to the stage for Soulpepper.

Originally programmed in Artistic Director Weyni Mengesha’s inaugural season of programming, Draw Me Close will be the first opportunity for audiences to return to Soulpepper’s theatre since the industry shut down.

Draw Me Close blurs the worlds of live performance, virtual reality, and animation to create a vivid memoir about the relationship between a mother and her son, charting 25 years of love, learning, and loss. A co-production between the NFB’s Ontario Studio and the NT’s Immersive Storytelling Studio, Draw Me Close features illustrations by Olie Kay as well as the late Teva Harrison, Toronto author of the graphic novel In-Between Days.

This powerful immersive work will be presented at Soulpepper in the Young Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto’s Distillery Historic District.

This Canadian Premiere of Draw Me Close in Toronto follows sold-out previews at London’s Young Vic Theatre. A work-in-progress version of the piece was also showcased at the Tribeca Film Festival and Venice Film Festival in 2017.

This production integrates live performance and VR into a seamless narrative, weaving theatrical storytelling with cutting-edge immersive technology. Draw Me Close allows audience members to take the part of the protagonist, Jordan, inside a live, animated world.

This experience is brought to life through live performance combined with a real-time motion-capture system transforming the environment into a captivating 3D interactive virtual world. The audience member enters the performance space and puts on a VR headset. They enter Jordan’s childhood home and move from room to room, navigating seamlessly through a world that is both physical and virtual. They are guided by Jordan’s mother, played by an actress. Her movements are translated by motion capture into the virtual world. What results is a disarmingly intimate and enthrallingly one-on-one performance that charts the lifelong relationship between a mother and her son.

Draw Me Close runs from November 2 to December 12, 2021.  For ticket information visit www.soulpepper.ca

 

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