We sat down with any company/artist presenting at Ottawa Fringe (starting June 19th!) who wanted to chat about their upcoming shows. We gave them three minutes (approximately) to make their best case as to why we should pick them. We called it speed dating. From now through the day before Fringe starts we’re choosing one local, one national, and one international artist from those we talked to and previewing them here. Today’s national pick is Kitt & Jane: An Interactive Survival Guide to the Near Post-Apocalyptic Future.
Two socially-awkward fourteen-year-olds hijack their school assembly: the apocalypse will occur in five years, and they’re here to train you to survive. A poignant exploration of the world today’s youth are inheriting and what they’re prepared to do about it.
Kitt & Jane: An Interactive Survival Guide to the Near Post-Apocalyptic Future was co-created by Ingrid Hansen, Rod Peter Jr., and Kathleen Greenfield, was directed by Kathleen Greenfield, and is performed by Ingrid Hansen and Rod Peter Jr.
The show begins: two grade-eights presenting to the audience, purportedly as part of a school assembly. Very soon, the students go off-script, barring the doors and hijacking the presentation to deliver an important message: They will be dead in an hour, the apocalypse will occur in five years, and they’re here to train you how to survive.
What follows is “a wild, impressively choreographed romp featuring dance numbers and live music that is by turns hilarious, heart-rending and in small glimpses, beautiful. . .You won’t want to leave your seat.” – The Marble. At the heart of this show is a poignant exploration of the world today’s youth are inheriting, and what they’re prepared to do about it.
What I Liked About Kitt & Jane
Kitt & Jane is brought to you by SNAFU Dance and the same creative team responsible for Little Orange Man – which I’ve seen four times in the last two years and to keep from gushing, I’ll just say that it, for many reasons, ranks very near the top of a short list of top theatrical experiences. For more on why, my 2012 Ottawa Fringe review of that is here, and the conversation I had with Ingrid Hansen and Kathleen Greenfield when they were here for Undercurrents 2013 is here (includes a bit of the scoop on Kitt & Jane). So when Ingrid and SNAFU Dance Theatre come back to town, I’m already there.
Ingrid once told me that she doesn’t consider their work, plays, but shows. They strive to create a fully engrossing experience for the audience, including incorporating them into the world of what’s being played out in front of them. With Little Orange Man, the audience were respondents to Kitt’s ad on Craigslist. With Kitt & Jane, the audience is literally held captive as the show is framed by the characters hijacking their school assembly. Once in their world, expect to be taken on a journey. This is no passive experience.
Kitt & Jane is a standalone sequel to Little Orange Man. This means that while the once-eleven, now-fourteen Kitt is back and no doubt as endearing as ever, the story of Kitt & Jane doesn’t require you to have seen or know anything about Little Orange man. These three years later, Kitt has teamed up with another social reject to prepare for the impending apocalypse. Not any of the crazy Hollywood apocalypses, but the ones of our own making. Kitt and Jane looked at the world around them, how we’re handling things like sustainability and climate change, and have concluded that the world (as we know it) will end in five years.
Sounds like, fun? Trust me, yes, it will be. According to Ingrid, Kitt & Jane takes a total downer of a subject and totally turns it on its head. Here, rather than worry about the impending doom, the hyperactive duo are busy getting ready for it. Shit is going down. What are we going to do about it?
For more information about Kitt & Jane, including show time and how to buy tickets, visit their show page on the Ottawa Fringe Festival website: http://ottawafringe.com/tickets/kitt-and-jane-an-interactive-survival-guide-to-the-near-post-apocalyptic-future/
Plus, a whole lot more photos, info, and praise for Kitt and Jane on the SNAFU Dance Theatre website.