From Regina to Mexico City and back, Secrets from the Borne Settee production delivers

By Brenna Engel Posted: March 22, 2019 4:00 p.m.

Secrets from the Borne Settee makes use of live-to-screen projections and livestreaming from Mexico City to provide a rich, layered theatre experience.
Secrets from the Borne Settee makes use of live-to-screen projections and livestreaming from Mexico City to provide a rich, layered theatre experience. Photos: U of R External Relations

Lights, camera, action, stream. 

Secrets from the Borne Settee delivers a hybrid live theatre/cinematic experience as live-to-screen camera work and live-streamed music from thousands of kilometres away play key roles in the latest student production at the University of Regina’s Shu Box Theatre. The play is a unique collaboration between the University of Regina’s Faculty of Media, Art, and Performance and the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Mexico City. 

Kathryn Bracht, associate professor in the University’s Theatre Department and the play’s director, said the

Thomas Gallagher

Thomas Gallagher, fourth-year
film student, says live-to-
screen camera work enhances
the traditional theatre experience.

Kathryn Bracht

Kathryn Bracht, associate
professor and director of
Secrets from the Borne Settee,
is delighted with the results
of this unique collaboration
between U of R departments,
students, and the Universidad
Autónoma Metropolitana
in Mexico City.

idea for this project began in December and really took off just one month later. Dr. Hugo Solis was an Artist in Residence at the University of Regina when Bracht asked him to come on board. 

“I love to do experimental work and the fact that the show was to be staged in Regina with the music in Mexico made it an attractive challenge,” said Solis. Solis returned to Mexico City, wrote the score, and began rehearsals with his students at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana. 

During the live performance, Solis livestreams the recording of his student’s music while he plays piano and interacts with the actors in real time from his living room in Mexico City. Simultaneously, back in Regina, and under the leadership of fourth-year film student Thomas Gallagher, U of R students are filming the show live to screen. Each night they film the performance and project it onto a screen above the stage, providing the audience with a unique perspective and adding to the live theatre experience, says Gallagher. The final performance on March 23 will be livestreamed on YouTube. 

Gallagher, who has been working with the theatre students throughout the semester, building the visuals and fine-tuning the logistics of filming the performance, knows that given the nature of live theatre, his team will be tweaking the details until show-time on Saturday night.

According to Bracht, the students are more invested in the performance because it’s their own work. The audience at opening night’s show clearly agreed, commenting afterwards on the production’s high level of quality and the instant connection made between audience and actors. 

“It’s more like carving out your own path, rather than learning your lines and wondering if I delivered Shakespeare’s lines the way everyone expects Shakespeare to be delivered,” said Bracht. “This is the voice of the students, their words, their movement…so there’s something really fresh about it.” 

Secrets from the Borne Settee runs Friday and Saturday at the Shu Box Theatre in the Riddell Centre, starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 at the door and free for U of R students.