10/16/2013 09:49 EDT | Updated 10/16/2013 10:21 EDT

Edmonton's National Elevator Project First Of Its Kind In Canada

facing twin elevators on first...

An Edmonton arts initiative is looking to give audiences an intimate theatre experience in an unconventional venue, an elevator.

The first of its kind in Canada, the National Elevator project will feature eight short plays written by notable Canadian playwrights specifically for the project. They will be performed in various elevators in downtown Edmonton.

Audiences will experience "intimate, interactive experiences," promised Theatre Yes artistic director Heather Inglis, the group leading the project.

As Canadians spend more and more time behind screens, people are used to highly interactive experiences, she said.

"As we spend more time behind screens, traditional theatre experiences perhaps seem less intimate... We're interested to see how theatre can replicate a similar experience," she added.

The close proximity of actors with the audience makes the project stand out from traditional theatre.

"Our curiosity is how do we keep theatre alive in the modern world," Inglis said.

No matter how interactive the digital world is, a live performance in an elevator "creates an excitement that isn't actually possible in the other modes of communications."

Interested audience members are asked to show up at Tix on the Square in Edmonton's Churchill Square, where they will be given a map and directions to each elevator.

People can then watch the performances in no particular order within a two hour time period.

All performances will be under five minutes and run from Oct. 16 to 27. The stage will come alive at elevators located in Commerce Place, the CN Tower, Tix on the Square, Chancery Hall, Edmonton Public Library and Epcor Tower.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $17 for students, seniors and artists, and can be purchased at

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