Underneath the stars on your ceiling? I’ll always be there. But out in the day I’ll stay away.
– Hide and Seek by Dark Day Theatre Collective
Creative exploration runs deep in good company. But what happens when good company has the pressure of a ticking clock and massive competition? Then you have Smackdown: The 24 Hour Musical Theatre Competition.
This unreal even was created by Awkward Stage Productions and hosted by the Arts Umbrella on Granville Island in early April. Six creative teams were given just twenty-four hours to create a musical from scratch. Each company was challenged to write, stage and perform an original musical with only some instruments, a rehearsal room and inspiration to help them. Surprise elements were routinely thrown at the teams to keep them on their feet.
CJ McGillivray had the pleasure of taking on this challenge with her team, Dark Day Theatre. The ensemble describe themselves as a local theatre collective with the shared mindset of hungry aspirations and fearless self expression. The company for Dark Day Theatre was comprised of award winning playwrights Avery Burrow and CJ McGillivray, artistic visionaries Pedro Chamale and Aleida Sekulich, talented instrumentalists Benjamin Pilger and Dominic Edward Duff, and the stage was owned by provincially acclaimed performers Jessica Hood, Hayley Goldin, Grace Newson and Riley Qualtieri. Their shared insight and creative knowledge made them a force to be reckoned with during Smackdown.
Final performances took place on the evening of Sunday, April 5th at the gorgeous Orpheum Annex in downtown Vancouver. The night was filled with plenty of comedy, tragedy, harmony and dissonance. CJ McGillivray and her ensemble earned strong praise from a panel of acclaimed judges including Peter Jorgensen, Rachel Peake, David Jones, Chris King and Sarah Wolfman-Robichaud. Dark Day Theatre took home awards for Most Original Story and Best Costumes. The ensemble extends their gratitude to Awkward Stage Productions for supporting and inspiring them all to take on this wild challenge and create something memorable.