Live, in-person theatre lands in Downtown Windsor on Thursday, August 19. C-O-N-T-A-C-T, the revolutionary and innovative new theatrical experience which was met with huge success in Europe, Toronto and Ottawa, makes its way here at the tail end of summer and into the fall.
“Conceived during COVID-19, C-O-N-T-A-C-T both overcomes the physical restrictions of the pandemic and addresses its emotional themes, such as the challenges of isolation and the human need to connect,” said original U.K. producer Katy Lipson.
Never before experienced by Windsorites, this unique COVID-safe experience combines mobile technology and drama to captivate and thrill audiences. Held entirely outdoors, audiences follow actors on three separate routes downtown; the performers do not speak, as the audio is synced with the live action and played through a mobile app and headphones, enabling the audience to feel like they are reading minds and hearing the actors’ inner thoughts as the story unfolds.
The University of Windsor has come on board as a lead sponsor of the play and Vincent Georgie, Acting Associate Vice-President (External), is eager for Windsorites to experience such an innovative show.
“As such a defining and challenging time continues, we’re thrilled to be able to present something that specifically responds to such moments of change and resilience,” said Georgie. “We’re so proud to be able to create this unique opportunity for audiences in the core to reconnect in such a dynamic and memorable way.”
DWBIA’s Chair, Brian Yeomans, mirrors Georgie’s sentiment. “For a legendary show that has swept two continents to come to Windsor. Live outdoor theatre brings even more life and business to the downtown and is a guaranteed boost, not just for our local economy, but for community spirit,” he says. “It’s about gathering and connectedness.”
The Windsor show is produced by Contact Show Canada and the Downtown Windsor BIA, in association with Aria Entertainment and WEF Productions. It launches on Thursday, August 19 and runs until Sunday, September 19, with performances Thursday to Sunday for five straight weeks. Tickets for this limited five-week run of performances are capped at 20 tickets per show to ensure a fully immersive and intimate experience, and adhere to social distancing protocols.
The three routes are as follows:
- Maiden Lane West (at Whiskeyjack Boutique)
- Riverfront Walk (starting at Bistro at the River)
- WIFF Alley (176 University Avenue West)
Producer Charles Roy said that he’s sure Windsor audiences will be enraptured by the show. “We can think of no better way to elevate the value of theatre, to make it accessible again, than this,” he says. “We’re looking forward to using downtown Windsor’s unique settings to enhance the stories we’re telling.”
Tickets to the 45-minute show are $39.99, subject to ticket fees and HST, with an Early Bird Discount of 20% the first two weekends of performances (August 19 – August 29), and can be purchased online at CONTACT Windsor using code: EBirdWindsor. A 10% discount is also available to seniors and students for the remaining 3-week run. Patrons choose a specific date and time slot, and receive an email containing the tickets and the link to download the app along with instructions on where to go and what to do.
To enhance the experience, the audio story is available simultaneously in English, French, Italian and Greek, providing audiences with a unique opportunity to participate in the same play, at the same time – in their language of choice.
To ensure the safety of performers and audience members as well as following public health guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic, precautions include a maximum number of people at each performance as well guiding staff to keep the audience socially distanced as they follow the performers along the street.