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BWW Review: Arts Club's NIGHT PASSING Opens our Ears and our Mind!

This audio play is available from March 17th to October 27th

BWW Review: Arts Club's NIGHT PASSING Opens our Ears and our Mind!

This year, Arts Club Vancouver will offer four audio plays in a series called: Listen to This. Highlighting the works of Canadian playwrights from the "Emerging Playwrights Unit" or the "Silver Commissions Project," these audio plays will allow the exploration of theatre in a different and engaging way. From March 17th to October 27th, NIGHT PASSING written by Scott Button will be available for listening. NIGHT PASSING brings forth the stories of the folks of the LGBTQ+ community during the period between the late 1950s to early 1990s. It is within this period that they experienced mistreatment specifically from the Canadian government. NIGHT PASSING follows main character Elliot as he travels to Ottawa in the 1950s during this hard time. Being a part of the queer community, Elliot is targeted, seduced, and blackmailed. Not only does NIGHT PASSING capture your attention, it sheds light on a part of Canadian history that many are unaware of.

With this being the first audio play I have listened to, I was a bit skeptical of if it would be able to grab my attention as well as traditional live theatre. Overall, it was definitely a different but positive experience as it evoked some nostalgia to when people read stories to me as a child. What I really found interesting was the fact that the play was not like an audiobook with someone just reading the script. NIGHT PASSING made use of a cast of talented voices to bring the story to life. The play starred Chris Lam (Elliot), Andrew McIlroy (Dad), Jennifer Copping (Josephine), Jason Sakaki (Alessandro), Sharon Crandall (Gladys, and others), and Marco Soriano (Jim). The variety of voice acting and audio effects made the play feel multidimensional despite it being audio only. I really enjoyed it because the experience allowed for more creative freedom. Unlike in-person theatre, my auditory sense was predominately activated and my mind was picturing how the characters in the play looked, acted, etc. As audio plays lack the ability to express small details about the characters such as body language and facial expressions, it was up to me to fill in the gaps with my own interpretation. One of the beauties of this is that each person's view of this play will be different beyond the baseline of the plot.

NIGHT PASSING was a powerful and important audio play that addressed the mistreatment that those of the LGBTQ+ community faced in the past. As this issue from Canadian history is not as well known as it should be, I believe that this play is important for people to listen to. NIGHT PASSING is available for listen from March 17th to October 27th from Arts Club. The audio play is $10 to listen to or $30 if you would like to purchase it as part of the "Listen To This" series. For more information please visit: https://artsclub.com/shows/2020-2021/audio-series/.


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