When young Amaryllis hears a knock coming from inside a shipping container 30 feet off the ground, she can't help but investigate – but little does she know the move will launch a spectacular journey that sends her falling all the way through the planet.
The scene opens Fall Away Home, an all-ages outdoor theatre piece by Vancouver's Boca del Lupo, a company known for fun and highly inventive site-specific works that is making a long-awaited return to Stanley Park.
Featuring acrobatic contraptions, a set made up of 16 shipping containers, animation by Kunal Sen and a flash-mob-style dance routine that the audience is encouraged to learn online, the work also touches on serious issues, including human trafficking and the value of personal experience.
"This will have all the trimmings of what our summer shows have had in the past – the contraptions and the great music and the high-flying antics," co-creator Jay Dodge says. "But we always try to have a little something happening underneath."
The show is part of the park's 125th anniversary festivities, which include concerts at Second Beach, historical tours, trail walks, traditional sports, an open house at Deadman's Island, children's entertainers and more.
Of course, an outdoor play in Stanley Park comes with unplanned entrances by critters from baby owls to raccoons to rollerbladers.
"You learn very quickly that you can't fight your environment, so you have to find a way to acknowledge it in some way," Mr. Dodge says. "Because you just can't compete with an owl."
Fall Away Home runs Aug. 21-Sept. 1. Free. Advance booking recommended. Dance routine at (bocadellupo.com).