The illuminating magic of It’s Dark Outside—A curatorial statement by Katharine Carol
January 20, 2018
The opportunity to bring outstanding theatre to Vancouver is a privilege I have in my role at the Vancouver International Children’s Festival. As I explore the world for some of the finest artists who create extraordinary theatre for young audiences it was a delight to encounter the work of Australian, Tim Watts.
Tim and I first met in Montreal where we talked about his passion for devising extraordinary theatre that speaks to various age groups, and how important it is for all of us to experience theatre that engages us on all levels. We talked about theatre needing to be smart, creative, challenging and engaging. Exactly the kind of theatre I was looking to present to my young audience. Tim was not making theatre specifically for children, but discovered that those of us who present for children loved his work and felt some of his shows were perfect for both our younger and older audience. After spending time with Tim I knew l needed to follow his work as his joy and energy for creation is infectious and his commitment to working collaboratively results in incredible productions.
Tim and his co-creators Arielle Gray and Chris Issacs are the force behind the international multi award-winning production The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer, a sold out hit at the 2015 PuSh Festival. These amazing artists now bring us It’s Dark Outside. A surreal epic Western, telling us the story of an old man who goes wandering into the wild on the run from a mysterious tracker who is bent on hunting him down. Integrating puppetry, mask and animation with live performance in a smooth and cohesive manner, this team have created another exceptional adventure with this show. The performance is outstanding and raises the bar on what theatre for young audiences looks like. The production is profound, clever, engaging, delightful and a must-see.
“A rare triumph of theatrical ingenuity and human compassion.” –The West Australian
These artists are gifted in bringing to life serious subjects through extraordinary performances. They are masters of combining various mediums to address interesting and challenging subjects through their theatrical lens. This was a performance that touched me deeply and left me wanting more!
Artistic & Executive Director
Vancouver International Children’s Festival