The Abandoned City, produced by the Victoria College Dramatic Society (VCDS) and the Broadleaf Theatre Company and directed by Kevin Wong and Nate Rose, is a play that chooses to highlight environmental awareness. It follows a winding narrative of three cities coexisting in a dystopian world, using a combination of music, movement, and story to communicate its themes.
The play was staged in the Goldring Student Centre’s Cat’s Eye Pub & Student Lounge, a small space that made for an intimate viewing experience. The stage boasted a modest but versatile set that transformed the space from an underground mining tunnel, to a ship deck, and finally to a floating city with nearly seamless transitions. Perhaps most interesting was the use of a blue desk on wheels which, through a series of intricate details, conveyed the transportation of the actors between the three cities.
The cast, clad entirely in black, convincingly used their bodies to relay not only time and place, but situation as well. The actors adequately portrayed life in a mining city through the use of nothing but a few props, body language, and their own vocal sound effects. The musical aspect of the piece featured a violin, guitar, piano, and cello, and was particularly captivating throughout, contributing greatly to the tone of each scene.
It was evident throughout the performance that each of the eight actors were committed to their message. The entire group contributed to the show through its experimental improvisation and brainstorming production process, resulting in an outcome that left the audience both environmentally aware and inspired by the show’s creativity.