The Wake

June 2-13, 1999
Granville Island – Vancouver, BC

The Wake begins with the experiment of drawing narrative directly out of landscape. As a truly site-specific play, the audience follows the story through eleven outdoor venues on Vancouver’s historic Granville Island. Fusing fact and fiction in the creation of an original mythology for the city, The Wake chronicles three generations of a fictitious family living on ‘Industrial Island’ as it evolves from a native fishing camp into the factory hub that was the centre of the Canadian shipbuilding industry during World War II.

In this allegorical tale, the island becomes a metaphor for the burying of history and the ensuing loss of identity in a city obsessed with progress, commerce, and its place in contemporary culture. Audiences are enraptured by the sweeping vistas and unusual use of functional spaces including a tennis court, a harbour, a boardwalk, a dock, and a factory. Characters emerge from boats, beaches, and bushes. The play brims over with arresting images: a sex scene as a tennis match, choreographed rowboats, and a conclusion that literally burns the house down.

The Georgia Straight

“Endlessly innovative, the play contains more searing visuals than the rest of this season combined.”

The Georgia Straight