St. Ann’s Warehouse has partnered with Complicité to host a free stream of the company’s production of The Encounter, a solo play and sonic theatrical experience created and performed by Simon McBurney. Seen on Broadway in 2016, The Encounter features 3D sound design and is performed to audiences listening through individual sets of headphones.
The Encounter will be available to stream at StAnnsWarehouse.org, from May 15 at 2 PM ET through May 22 at 5 PM. The webcast features a new introduction by McBurney, situating the work in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Written, directed by, and starring McBurney, The Encounter is based on the true story of National Geographic photographer Loren McIntyre who, in 1969, found himself lost in the remote Javari Valley in Brazil. Also inspired by the book Amazon Beaming, by Petru Popescu, McBurney uses the various microphones on stage to not only re-create the sounds of the Amazon rain forest—complete with the buzzing of insects, bird calls, and the roaring of unknown beasts—but to embody McIntyre’s deep, captivating voice.
The Encounter features sound design by Gareth Fry with Pete Malkin.
St. Ann's Warehouse Artistic Director Susan Feldman first saw The Encounter at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2015 and had planned to bring the show Off-Broadway. "However, Broadway came calling," shares Feldman, "and there it went.
"We were thrilled when Simon invited us to partner with Complicité to offer a stream of the show while our building is closed and our audiences are stuck at home," says Feldman. "The Encounter is a glorious reminder of the power of theatre to connect us—an audience of sentient beings—even as we live temporarily in isolation. The Encounter is an empowering journey through the scary and unknown to a safe arrival.”
A live discussion event and public Q&A featuring McBurney and guests, including filmmaker Takumã Kuikuro, who hails from the Xingu region of the Amazon, will take place on Zoom May 20 at 2:30 PM ET. Audiences can register for the event here.