Nadeem Phillip and UWindsor drama professor Meaghen QuinnNadeem Phillip and UWindsor drama professor Meaghen Quinn star in “Contact,” beginning a five-week run on the streets of downtown Windsor Aug. 19. Photo by Alyssa Horrobin.

University bringing an extraordinary moment of Contact to downtown Windsor

A host of faculty, alumni, students, and staff are among the cast and crew of a unique theatre experience coming to downtown Windsor.

The University of Windsor is the lead sponsor of Contact, an immersive “musidrama” originally created by Parisian musical director Samuel Sené and his team. The local show is produced by Contact Show Canada and the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association, with Aria Entertainment and WEF Productions.

Born out of the COVID period, Contact is an innovative piece that marries mobile technology with live theatre. Audiences listen to a beautifully orchestrated track that shares the thoughts of the characters, played by live actors, as they walk the streets of downtown Windsor.

Drama professor Meaghen Quinn (BFA 2001) is one of the lead actors. She calls herself privileged to perform in this professional production of “a show that was able to bring light to multiple countries during these dark days.”

Not only will it bring theatre to the streets of Windsor, it encourages audiences to engage with their surroundings and support local businesses, she says. The project will also enhance Quinn’s work in the classroom and as an artist.

“I am currently teaching a series of movement for the actor classes, and through this gig I am looking at how the body can support the story and the pre-recorded track,” she says. “As my mentors taught me, the body is an amazing communicator and experimenting with gesture, eye behaviour, shape, tempo, and architecture can help the actor surrender to the work while also engage the audience as they are transported into the story.”

Besides Quinn in the lead role of Sarah, the show has employed the talents of staffers Kristen Siapas (BFA 2005) as publicist and Valerie Bonasso (BA 1996, MBA 2019) as stage manager, and drama student Melody Pigeon, business major Alexandria MacLellan, and music alumnus Austin DiPietro (BMus 2018).

Performances begin Thursday, Aug. 19, and run each weekend until Sunday, Sept. 19. Admission for this limited five-week run is capped at 20 tickets per show to ensure a fully immersive and intimate experience and adhere to social distancing protocols.

Tickets to the 45-minute show are $39.99, with an early bird discount of 20 per cent for the first two weekends of performances. They can be purchased online at CONTACT Windsor using the code: EBirdWindsor. A 10 per cent discount is also available to seniors and students for the remaining three-week run.