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North Vancouver theatre's new interactive show highlights power of magic hour

Immersive, audience-led experience premieres at Presentation House Theatre Aug. 3
There will soon by a full house at Presentation House Theatre – not in terms of bodies, but in scope.

The Magic Hour, premiering at the North Vancouver theatre on Aug. 3, is poised to be an immersive, audience-led walk-through experience that will take full advantage of the entire venue, not just the main stage.

Either solo or in tandem, audiences can book tickets in 30-minute increments to take part in the production which will take individuals on a room-by-room journey of a transformed PHT, the theatre’s first large-scale in-person production since the pandemic upended live performances last year.

The play – it might be more accurate to call it a “theatrical in-person immersive experience” – arrives on the heels of a most unprecedented year and follows a story of grief and acceptance, with the audience member essentially becoming the main character of their journey of the theatre space, which has been set up to evoke roaming a house room-by-room, explains director Kim Collier.

“You’ll be invited to open the door and step within your home, and then all the rooms become rooms in your house, whether it’s the entryway, the bathroom, the kitchen, the library, the dining room, the laundry room – all those spaces that we’ve inhabited have become transformational spaces,” she says.  

Written by Kendra Fanconi and presented by Electric Company Theatre and Innovation Lighting, as well as PHT, The Magic Hour guides individuals through its 12 rooms of an imagined house, replete with a feast of art, design, music, text, and a narrator that leads participants throughout the evocative, colourful spaces.

While the director was hesitant to dive too much into the production’s loose story, Collier said the most important part was that audience members can make their own experience as they move throughout the venue.

“I think there’s space within it for you to have your own imagination and thoughts. Because this is not prescriptive. It’s not telling you what to think or what to do,” she says. “It’s a journey from absolute loss to the potential and life-force of interconnection of ourselves with the sphere.”

After what’s been a tough year, that might just be the perfect palette cleanser.

The Magic Hour runs Aug. 3-22 at Presentation House Theatre, located at 333 Chesterfield Ave. in North Vancouver.