A Saint John arts collective is going to present the play Taking Liberties in a unique way by taking the audience scene to scene through the uptown.
Stumble Upon A Story will perform the series of five monologues that looks at issues of civil liberties and freedoms going back in time, starting in the 1990s and ending up in the 1950s, said director Jo Dixon.
Dixon said the play was written for a small to mid-sized Canadian city.
"I just thought there's so many wonderful settings in the city that it would almost be cheesy to put it on the stage in some ways when we could just do it outside in the actual environment."
The audience will leave from the Saint John Theatre Company and BMO Studio on Princess Street and walk down Germain Street.
"The first scene takes place at Mahogany Manor," said Dixon. "The actors will come out of the house and do the scene there, and then we'll kind of go around the corner to Queens Square and the next scene will be there."
Dixon said then the audience will walk to St. Malachy's Memorial High School for another scene and then to a couple of other local businesses in the uptown area. The show is about 90 minutes long.
The director describes this as promenade theatre, which takes the audience from scene to scene. Dixon said it was created in the Middle Ages when the Church tried to take control of the theatre. To avoid that, audiences were taken from scene to scene instead.
Dixon added it was also done during the Black Plague, when people couldn't go inside other's homes. .
"I was like, 'Well… we're in a pandemic and we can't gather audiences inside necessarily. So let's go outside.' And, you know, people can feel safe and socially distance and we can keep doing theatre."
The tour can accommodate 20 to 25 people and it will be performed from Thursday to Saturday at 7 p.m. and will go ahead even if there is light rain.
"I would say bring an umbrella and dress for the weather."
If there's a downpour, Dixon said Sunday will be used as a rain date. Tickets for the show are available at the Saint John Theatre Company.