Every couple of years, a dozen Vancouver theatre companies come together in a large warehouse space to create a fantastic theatrical event called Hive. The site specific pieces are performed in rotation throughout the night around (and outside) the Centre for Digital Media on Great Northern Way. Frequently you have to "vie" for a spot in a performance. Each show lasts for no more than 15 minutes, and has an audience capacity that ranges from 1 to about 24.
You can "collect a key" to see PI Theatre's House/Home. Or "score a red invitation" to see the Tigermilk/Rumble production (and don't be scared when you're asked to wait at the white line and a gloved hand reaches out through the curtains to escort you into a darkened room - I promise you it's worth it.) Or maybe you have to "look for the man" and "ask for a question". Answer the question and then be prepared to take a journey through the eyes of a war photographer compliments of Boca de Lupo. One of my favourite shows requires a record to get you through the door, where you and 11 other people are treated to an intimate and beautiful meditation on the importance of vinyl records as performed by Carmen Aquirre. There is never a dull moment during the 3 hours in which you can linger at the bar or elbow your way to the front of the line to get into another performance.
As I stood there tonight watching audience members mill about and strategize about what they should see next, I got to musing with the event stage manager. We both agreed that Vancouver suddenly felt like a bigger city...... With big smiles on our faces, we sat back and watched folks buzz around us. And then we kept looking for the mysterious woman from the Leaky Heaven Circus who wears a black coat and carries a flashlight... because SHE is the ticket into THAT performance and you have to wait to be "summoned". It's a gift really.
My only regret is that I couldn't take photos of some of the shows, because there is so much photo worthy material there. Oh well. Perhaps I'll be able to sweet talk me and my camera through the door for Hive4??? A gal can dream can't she?
If you haven't seen Hive3, try to score a ticket. The buzz is spot on about this one. It's worth every penny.