For the Caravan Farm Theatre, the show will go on — kind of.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced Caravan Farm Theatre to hold off its full-scale outdoor musical theatre production this summer, but soon guests will be welcome to the idyllic Armstrong property for a different kind of performance.
“Building a cinema on the farm has been a dream of ours for a long time and we’ve decided since we can only have gatherings of 50 people right now, this is a good time to adapt and seize the opportunity,” Caravan’s artistic director Estelle Shook said.
Enter the Canadian Cinema Experience at Caravan Farm Theatre.
The event will run Aug. 25-Sept. 5 beneath the timber barn. A 10-by-20-foot silver screen has been installed with an 8,000-lumen projector. Guests can watch the film in artfully and socially distanced zones under the barn, or on the grass under the stars.
Five national films will be shown and each will begin with a surprise short film.
Attendees are encouraged to make a night of it by coming up to two hours ahead of show time. Creatively shaped spaces on the lawn are perfect for picnicking and guests are encouraged to bring their own food or enjoy treats from the concession and bar during the films.
To round out the unique movie-going experience, a mowed walking path meanders around the grounds filled with surprises, nature and even some music.
“We really do miss our audience,” Shook said. “We miss the sight of folks pulling into the parking lot, unfolding their blankets and the sense of enjoyment people gain when they’re on the farm. The buzz of the contemporary world and all the troubles melt away because it’s so calm and beautiful here, so we’re looking forward to providing our community with a lovely, enjoyable escape.”
The Caravan Farm Theatre Cinema screenings include:
My American Cousin, Aug. 29 & Sept. 2, a coming of age drama about a 12-year-old girl growing up on a ranch near rural Penticton in the late 1950’s and based on the memories of writer-director Sandy Wilson, who may make an appearance at Caravan.
Revisor, Aug. 25 & Sept. 5, a lavishly theatrical and satirical dance work inspired by Nikolai Gogol’s 1836 play The Inspector General created by Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young, whose father, George Young, is a Vernonite.
Red Snow, Aug. 26 & Sept. 4, a dramatic feature debut by acclaimed Métis writer-director Marie Clements, who expertly employs purely cinematic means to transform a familiar story of a soldier held hostage in Afghanistan into an inspiring vision of identity as its own salvation.
Black Cop, Aug. 28 & Sept. 3, in which a black police officer seeks revenge after being egregiously profiled and assaulted by his colleagues, in this searing political satire by actor-director Cory Bowles (Trailer Park Boys).
The Anniversary, Aug. 27 & Sept. 1, about a 20th wedding anniversary in which the husband sets out for a run and keeps on running, the wife carries on with the dinner party festivities, and the teenage son spikes the food with hallucinogens, by writer-director Valerie Buhagiar.
Caravan will be observing rigorous COVID-19 protocols as per our BC Health Regulations: A maximum of 50 patrons; heightened cleaning protocols, social distancing practices; mask wearing in washrooms and at the bar and concession stand.
Contact tracing will be in effect via the box office. Guests should bring their own lawn chairs and blankets.
Tickets, ranging between $5 and $35, can be purchased online at tickets.caravanfarmtheatre.com.