Upper Canada Village in Morrisburg, ON. Such an interesting place with delightful unexpected entertainment to be found. We always knew of Upper Canada Village, where you could wander around the 1860’s village visiting homes and businesses. Learn how to bake bread, watch cows being milked or news papers being made. You could even wander through a working lumber mill.
We have always enjoyed our times visiting this wonderful trip back into history. Recently, as we were driving by, we saw on their front sign an advertisement about plays. THESE we never knew about!
Wow, we hurried home and looked this new adventure up on the internet. Upper Canada Village was presenting LIVE*IMMERSIVE*THEATRE. How very cool was that??
The current play was Eve of Confederation in honor of Canada’s 150th Birthday. Well we just had to go and see this.
We immediately went back to the village and picked up our tickets. The tickets were not too bad in price, $19.95 plus HST and fee for an hour and half live theatre.
“Upper Canada Village becomes a grand stage for an all-NEW Live Immersive Theatre experience, Eve of Confederation. Be one of a select audience to move among the scenes and players of this unique production. Witness love and politics of the 1860s in a beautiful, historic setting as you see the Village as you never have before.”
In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, audiences are ” “dropped-in” to the year before Canada’s birth in the Eve of Confederation, a full-length immersive theatre experience within the beautiful setting of Upper Canada Village.”
As we waited for the play to begin, we were grouped into several different “Families”. Joy was picked to be Mrs. Pinkest much to her embarrassment. lol. Joy was given a pink sash to be worn for the evening. “Family members” would know to follow the Pink sash around the village as we were directed where to go.
Next, we were directed to follow the horse drawn hearse of the recently departed Mr. Patrick O’Brien to the church. The play took off from there.
And it begins
Inside the church for Mr. O’Brien’s funeral, we had the great pleasure of hearing a young actress who played Elizabeth Robertson (Susan Del Mei) Sing. Oh my, she had such a powerful, amazing voice all Joy could think of was Why, wasn’t she famous? Elizabeth (Susan) had wonderful stage presence and we were all lost to her after the first few notes.
From that point, we were broken up into family groups and taken to various locations as we were rotated through out the play. No one group saw all of the play. This was an incredible concept of how the play was presented.
The actors would at certain points bring a few family groups together (the audience) and reiterate what just transpired to keep us all on track of what was going on. The audience would be asked what they heard or saw or thought was happening. Some of the answers would make the actors pause, no doubt to stop from laughing in response. lol.
We all learned how to do the 9 pin dance lol much to our embarrassment and amusement. In Cook’s Tavern and Livery we learned a song to sing as we waited out the rain.
Eve Of Confederation
The planning and work that went into this whole production was impressive. The actors were believable, making the audience root for poor Edward O’Brien (Michael Taggart) and boo, the rich Captain Johnson (Erik Hutten). We all fell in love with the lovely Elizabeth Robertson. Young Rosie O’Brien (Emily Flake) ran among the walking audience asking questions which was great fun and embarrassing if you didn’t know the answers lol. Like who just died??? (Answer: her Pa, Patrick O’Brien)
This whole ensemble is a truly talented group of people who impressed us. They worked very hard to preform a very complicated performance. We are actually considering going again to try and see the play from a different angle.:)).
We would be truly remiss not to mention, Eve of Confederation was Written and Directed by Charles Robertson, Designed by Anne Marie Mortensen.
*Pictures borrowed from the Upper Canada Village Program for the Play.