May 8, 2018

Talk Is Free Theatre Announces Most Ambitious Immersive Three-Day Intercontinental Theatrical adventure: The Curious Voyage

Veiled in Secrecy, Massive and Unprecedented Project will Surprise Audiences with Artistic Encounters on Journey from Barrie, Canada to London, England

Barrie, CN & London, UK – Talk Is Free Theatre (TIFT) announces the ultimate, international theatrical adventure with The Curious Voyage, running Oct. 23 to Nov. 10, 2018 in Barrie, Canada and London, England. Taking place over three days to groups of no more than 36 participants, the immersive adventure will provide a unique, personal experience for every audience member, surprising them with curious artistic encounters as they inhabit new worlds in Barrie, Canada and London, England. The experience culminates in a site-specific mystery musical (a well-known Tony Award-winning work), whose dramatic themes will have been woven throughout the previous three-days. Tickets for The Curious Voyage are extremely limited and only available from May 8 to June 27, 2018.

“In 2016, we broke new ground by staging The Music Man as a roving, site-specific work around the streets of Barrie. With The Curious Voyage, however, we’re embarking on TIFT’s most ambitious production ever!” explains Arkady Spivak, TIFT Artistic Producer and originator of the production concept. “I continue to be immensely proud to contribute to Barrie as a progressive and burgeoning cultural centre and honoured by the unwavering support from Barrie’s open-minded and open-hearted community. My vision for this project is supported by none other than some of Canada’s most daring and lauded artists, including two renowned directors: Daniele Bartolini, who will oversee the three days of experiential, audience-specific adventure, and Mitchell Cushman, who will direct the climactic secret musical.”

The audience’s ‘curious voyage’ commences in Barrie, Canada, where audiences will explore sites following a narrative trail of breadcrumbs crafted specifically for them by Bartolini. Run-ins with roving strangers, mysterious assignments, and even participant’s hotel rooms will all play a role in the unraveling tale. The Barrie leg of the voyage will also feature a youth outreach component, which will see 60 local teens engaging in the creation process under the guidance and mentorship of professional artists.

“I describe my practice as ‘Audience Specific Theatre’ – a highly interactive form that shifts the role of the audience from viewer to actor, making them a co-creator of the experience,” offers Bartolini. “It is a form we have shared around the globe – from Canada to Europe to India. However, we have never had the audience travel in this international capacity or be immersed on this grand a scale. These factors, coupled with the culminating musical and other planned elements of surprise, offer new worlds of opportunities and an important platform for human connection – in terms of what we will craft for our voyagers.”

On day two, audiences will shuttle to Pearson Airport, Toronto and fly to Heathrow on a day flight, before settling into the boutique charm of the Morton Hotel. Day three sees audiences continue to pursue their story through off-the-beaten-path London locales, before ultimately arriving at a secret location for a site-specific staging of a renowned musical. The Curious Voyage concludes with a finale ritual and reception with the cast and production team, following which participants will return home.

“In many ways, this experience is a continuation and evolution of the groundbreaking conduct with The Music Man,” explains Cushman. “The opportunity to craft a site-specific staging of this Tony-award winning musical would be exciting enough – but to collaborate with Daniele and extend its themes into this grand adventure is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Not only for us as creators – but for the venturesome audiences who come out to experience it.”

The musical’s cast will feature a mix of luminary Canadian and England-based talents, including Talk Is Free Theatre audience-favourites David Coomber, Izad Etemadi, Craig Lauzon, Mike Nadajewski, Glynis Ranney, and Michael Torontow, among others.

“Part of what I love about musical theatre is the sheer size of emotion and expression,” says Executive Producer Sara Schwartz Geller. “With this wildly ambitious, utterly unprecedented project, we wanted to create an experience that could match the heights of this art form. For three days, we invite audiences to live in a world so magical and so full of possibility that it feels like they are living life as a work of art.”

Daniele Bartolini is an award-winning director, playwright, producer, installation artist and performer born in Florence, Italy and based in Toronto, Canada. He is the Artistic Director of internationally acclaimed DopoLavoro Teatrale (DLT) and a 2015 recipient of the RBC Newcomer Art Access Prize.

Mitchell Cushman is a director, playwright, producer, educator and founding Artistic Director of Outside the March. Mitchell is the Co-Creator of BRANTWOOD (with Julie Tepperman), Canada’s largest immersive musical theatre experience, which received the 2015 Audience Choice Award at the Dora Awards.

The Curious Voyage creative team also includes director of design Joe Pagnan and installation designer Anahita Dehbonehie.

Tickets for The Curious Voyage are extremely limited and only available for a sales window from May 8 to June 27, 2018.

Tickets for the experience are: $1,950 single / $3,600 double plus flights & meals.


Talk Is Free Theatre presents: The Curious Voyage

Date: October 23 to November 10, 2018 Performances begin every second day

Cost: $1,950 single / $3,600 double plus flights & meals


Phone: 1.705.792.1949 ext. 122 or email: