Toronto’s TranscenDance Project unique performances are unforgettable. The audience is not only watching and listening as a story unfolds but they are boldly surrounded by it. Immersive experiences we all have become accustomed to in this city, but this is different. Truly different. Their moving production Eve of St. George will take over the historic space of The Great Hall once again but for a very limited engagement.

This New York-inspired theatre experience that invites audience members into the dark and seductive world of Dracula, one of literature’s most iconic figures. Within this Gothic Victorian style building the audience will be able to explore the setting that takes over multiple floors and various spaces as 16 characters play out the storyline all around them. It’s a mesmerizing theatrical piece that is complex, layered, yet flows seamlessly. And if you have a chance to explore the immersive performance more than once, there will always be something slightly different.

I had a chance to chat with Julia Cratchely, Artistic Director of TranscenDance Project to learn more…

Firstly, can you tell us about your company?

Julia: TranscenDance Project was founded in 2015 with the goal to stretch the boundaries of live performance and especially contemporary dance in Toronto. We found Immersive work like ours could be enjoyed by everyone, not just your typical artgoers. .Our goal is to create unforgettable experiences for everyone to enjoy. This year is our 6th season, and we have had two different productions in that time.

This is truly a unique experience where the theatre and dance evolve literally with the audience in motion. What are some unique challenges your performers have to navigate?

Julia: Definitely working with a moving audience. It’s the one thing that is so different from traditional stage shows, and audience traffic really changes every show! People may be sitting in the chair you need, or the open space might be half the size it usually is because of the crowd. It’s constantly changing, but the audience is also what makes the show so special for the performers.

How many different scenes are there and how do follow along without missing anything?

Julia: There are about 80 scenes in this show- so A LOT! With 16 full characters, there are many storylines to unfold. Some scenes have up to 6 characters in them, but some are solo moments. There are anywhere from about six scenes happening simultaneously in the building at the same time- so there is no way to catch it all unless you come back!

TranscenDance Project - Eve of St. George - Toronto

One of the best ways to watch the show is to follow one character to understand their personal storyline.

The Great Hall is a unique and historical venue that is very fitting to TranscenDance’s performances, what drew you to this venue?

Julia: The first time I went to The Great Hall, I knew it was absolutely perfect for these types of shows. The big spaces, multiple levels and the fact there are separate rooms all make it great for immersive work. It allows for audience to truly travel through the space and get to experience different things from the people around them.

We’ve experienced another one of your unforgettable production, “A Grimm Night,” What should we know about the Eve of St. George before going?

Julia: Eve of St George is based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which is such a fun piece of literature to work with for this type of show. It’s a dark, seductive world and has a bit more of a spooky vibe than Grimm Night had- not that we are trying to scare anyone – but the theme alone makes it a bit more thrilling. Right now I enjoy working with stories that are well known. Just like in Grimm, even if you didn’t know these storylines, you knew who Cinderella was- even if you don’t know the story of Dracula, everyone knows who Dracula is. To me, this has all the perfect ingredients for an immersive show.

We don’t want to give much away because this truly is a breathtaking experience, but what should we look out for that might be easily missed?

Julia: This is such a hard question! I think I would say the one-on-ones. One-on-ones are moments where a performer will take an audience member and create a mini scene just with them. It may be text that you hear, something you receive, or somewhere you get taken. There are many of these in this show. The performers always look for people who have open energy, and make eye contact with them, then they will always offer a hand to allow the audience to either join or decide not to. These experiences are so special if you are open to them, and so incredibly memorable.

What do you hope audiences will take away from experiencing the Eve of St. George?

Julia: I hope they walk away energized and amazed and want to spend the whole night talking to the people they came with about their experiences. If you haven’t experienced an immersive show before, I really suggest you give it a shot. It’s guaranteed to be something you don’t forget.

TranscenDance Project’s Eve of St. George at The Great Hall (1087 Queen Street West, Toronto) takes place February 21st to Saturday, February 24. This For more information and tickets visit here.