Way back in 2020 when the arrival of the pandemic changed everything in our lives, we felt compelled as artists to respond to the impacts it was having – on ourselves, our kids, our colleagues, friends and neighbours. Over the course of a year we held a series of hybrid workshops – some folks participating only on Zoom – bringing together professional theatre artists and members of the community to explore and create the play that became Then & Now, Pandemic Life Stories. 

For theatre artists who are used to creating with the idea that you’re always moving towards a live performance with a live audience, the pandemic’s public health restrictions set up a whole new set of “what ifs” for the show we were building. Early on, for instance, we recognized that the show would have a digital component – reflecting our lived experiences. So by the fall of 2021 we had arrived at a show that was part film, part live performance and also envisioned as an online video stream that people would be able to watch from home. 

That was THEN.

Fast forward to the fall of 2022 and the company is back together – nous revenons – we return. We’re returning to ask some of the investigative questions we feel resonate with the state of our lives now. And we’re re-interviewing people we spoke with about their experiences. How have all our lives changed; for bad or for good? What kind of grip does the pandemic have on our lives now?

This is NOW.

We launched this new phase with an extraordinary meeting of company members and members of the community this week – some who had actually never met in-person. This was just amazing to witness. We talked about how the experiences we lived through in 2021 are still rocking our worlds: the loss of connection in our community, the loss of trust in the systems we used to take for granted, but also about some positive changes in a world forever changed, some signs for hope…

Is there a new stage show coming out this work? No, but we will come back to our audiences with a revised video stream you can see online in 2023. 

We thank the Canada Council for the Arts for the support for this project through the Digital Now Strategy Fund. We thank the Tsawwassen First Nation for welcoming us to their Community Rec. Centre to hold our meeting.

Follow us on FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM to find out more about the development of Then & Now, Pandemic Life Stories

TFN meet2