TJ Dawe, arguably the best-known name on the Fringe Festival circuit, is bringing his show Roller Coaster back to Vancouver for three nights only, November 13-15. He put together these images and told us a little bit about why they’re so important.
When I’m doing Roller Coaster in a venue with a projector, I like to show images in preshow of malls and theme parks that have been abandoned.
I’ve got a monologue in the show about how fascinated I am by these images. I like people to see them before the show starts, to really take them in.
Nature reclaims abandoned malls and theme parks pretty quickly. We’ve only been the dominant species on this planet for 11,000 years—the blink of an eye, in terms of nature.
I found these images online. They’re easy to find. Many others are similarly drawn to these things. And someone’s going to these places and taking these pictures.
I find them to be a grotesque preview of how things very well might go if we don’t get our shit together.
I grew up in the ‘80s. Malls were good, fun, and exciting. Same with theme parks. There was nowhere better to be.
Malls and theme parks are a sign of our decadence. There’s so many resources needed to build them, much less maintain them. And so much land. If they’re not profitable, they get closed up, and the price tag is huge, and the fact that they failed doesn’t exactly make them desirable. So many of them just sit there and decay.
Do I want us to collapse as a civilization? No. But do I think about it? A lot? You bet.
Roller Coaster runs November 13-15 at Performance Works, located at 1218 Cartwright Street on Granville Island. Buy tickets now, or purchase tickets to this show and two more Theatre Wire Package shows and save 20% on your tickets. Choose tickets to 6 or more shows and save 30%. Tickets are automatically discounted when added to your cart. Check out all the shows that are part of the Theatre Wire Package and read up on how the Package works here.