CHEK Upside: Caravan Stage Coach preparing for Rock Bay performances

The Amara Zee ship. Supplied by Caravan Stage Company

Caravan Stage Company is preparing a tall ship with a stage for performances in Rock Bay.

Caravan got its start travelling Western Canada and the United States in the 1970’s utilizing wagons pulled by Clydesdales.

Then in 1993 Caravan set about creating a 30 metre long theatre ship called the Amara Zee.

“When they traded for a ship and built this tall ship entirely through donations, first they toured the Atlantic seaboard and then they shipped the ship to Europe where they spent 10 years,” said Caravan Stage Company production coordinator Doria Bramante.

“She’s been serving audiences the world over.”

The performers sail from port to port, living in close quarters and helping to set up the vessel at each performance location.

“It is an all hands on deck affair and when we’re underway we all take turns doing anything that’s necessary for an active vessel,” said Bramante.

“We sail, we navigate, it’s part of the magic and the incredible uniqueness.”

For the first time since COVID-19 the Amara Zee will once again turn into a floating stage for the premiere of Virtual Rogues, a futuristic production set in 2055.

“The show addresses our digital future and the ethics and the ethos around what are we willing to sacrifice for a digital reality,” said Bramante.

“You’re going to see aerial acrobats swinging from an old growth cedar tree [prop], along with four singers who travel on what one could call a bit of a roller coaster built on the ship.”

The show is a unique experience for the audience members and performers alike.

“I’ve never done a show with this much tech before and I find it so interesting to see how it all comes together,” said Caravan Stage Company singer and actor Marlee Griffiths.

“Even though we do completely different things it just all comes together in such a beautiful way.”

Virtual Rogues runs from June 28th to July 10th in Rock Bay. For more information regarding the upcoming performances, visit the Caravan Stage Company website.

Cole Sorenson

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