Later this month, the Department of Creative Studies at UBC Okanagan will present Just Looking, a one-of-a-kind performance that plays with ideas of commodification, material culture and the origins of urban myth.
Created by Neil Cadger, associate professor with UBC Okanagan’s Performance program, in collaboration with 23 of his students, Just Looking was developed entirely from the ground up, based on research done in several Okanagan malls.
“It’s a physical theatre performance exploring the individual and the group, as well as public and private space,” says Cadger. “Simply, it’s a story about a boy who disappears in the mall – we allow the audience to imagine all the possible places people go when they disappear. It’s dark, but also really fun.”
Featuring a blend of live and recorded imagery and sound, Just Looking is somewhere between a dance performance and a play, Cadger says. Although never trying to deliver a specific message or conclusion, the production raises questions about how people gather and how they relate to each other in public. It is a reflection on human behaviour and the complexity of our relationships within a perceived public realm, the mall.
“We don’t conclude the story of the disappeared boy – it’s a mixture of gossip and hearsay, and you learn about the characters through what they say about other people and what other people say about them,” explains Cadger. “It gets more inter-related and complicated as the play goes along.”
The production is the result of months of work by students enrolled in Theatre 280 and 480 at UBC Okanagan.
Just Looking takes place March 26, 27 and 28 at 8 p.m. in the UBC Okanagan Student Services Centre theatre (SSC 026). Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for non-students and can be purchased at the door. There will be an opening night reception. Just Looking contains some mature content but is without nudity or explicit violence.
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