Image caption: Dramatic Arts Mainstage actor Yasmine Agocs rehearses a scene from the upcoming production of Red Bike by Caridad Svich, opening Friday, March 4 at the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre.
Originally published MONDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2022 in The Brock News | by Gillian Minaker
Through an epic journey on a beloved red bicycle, an 11-year-old girl reflects on the small town she sees before her, taking audiences along for the ride. Venturing to the outer edges of town and encountering challenges unlike any she has ever experienced, she must face her fears to see the world in a new way.
The Brock University spring 2022 Mainstage production of Red Bike brings the poetic words of celebrated playwright Caridad Svich to life with an exhilarating performance exploring movement, physical theatre and puppetry.
The show runs March 4, 5, 11 and 12 at 7:30 p.m. and March 6 and 12 at 2 p.m. at the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre at Brock’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA).
The production’s unique style of fractured storytelling explores diverse themes as seen through the eyes of a child, including capitalism, consumerism, gentrification, globalization, immigration and isolation. Director and Dramatic Arts Instructor Mike Griffin was drawn to the play because of its whimsical nature.
“While reading the play, I became a kid again; running out of the house to go on adventures down the street. Red Bike is the perfect balance of getting lost in imagination while reflecting on society,” he said.
One of six actors in the all-female cast, fourth-year Dramatic Arts student Asenia Lyall said the unique script and dialogue provided her with a valuable opportunity to explore her creativity.
“Being a part of Red Bike meant working with a small cast to tell a complicated and wonderful story in an unconventional way,” she said. “Learning how to perform this kind of script is a great opportunity for me as an actor. Embracing the abstraction and surrealism of the piece is something I’ve learned from.” While the cast and crew faced various challenges mounting the show during a pandemic, both the director and actors feel there was a silver lining.
“We have bonded together as a community to create something fantastic,” Griffin said. “For me, the community that emerges out of the creative process is the reason that I keep doing theatre.”
Lyall agreed, adding that creating theatre during the pandemic has taught her how to be flexible as an artist.
“There is a real sense of humanity in this play, with a lot of exciting moments and big reveals that I think audiences will enjoy,” she said.
The MIWSFPA will welcome a live audience for the production to the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre at the downtown arts campus in St. Catharines. In the interest of student and audience member safety, the theatre is operating at a reduced capacity with 120 seats available for each performance.
Tickets are $20 for the public, $16 for youth and seniors and $15 for Brock students. Tickets may be purchased through Brock University Tickets. All provincial and Brock University COVID-19 protocols are in effect for the performances, including mandatory vaccination and masks for all audience members visiting the MIWSFPA.
All visitors to Brock University and MIWSFPA must complete the Brock University Self-Screening Tool.