Terra Nova

A live art performance that combines theatre and immersive experience
Terra Nova takes us back to R. F. Scott's fatal expedition to the South Pole, in 1911. Beaten by only a month by the Norwegian Roald Amundsen, the English explorer and his team perish dramatically on their way back. Unfolding the steps and thoughts of the commander, Peter Verhelst's text plunges the audience into the debacle of the expedition. But the adventure does not end there. During the performance, each spectator is immersed in other bewildering realities. His senses are stretched beyond limits, his emotions and concentration challenged. Scott's solitary disarray is echoed by the immersive and transitional experience of the audience, leaving them, in turn, in doubt. And so, the spectator's own remarkable voyage unveils a universe of the ‘self', previously unknown to him: his own interior Terra Nova...

Terra Nova is the result of years of artistic research and accumulated know-how. In CREW's immersive performances a new approach to theatre writing emerges, in which narration is transmitted as much by sound, image and tactile sensations as it is by words. Using state-of-the art technology, perception is incorporated into the actual body of the audience. The spectator, finding himself to be at the centre of the device, becomes the protagonist of the performance. If theatre is the art of awareness, - no other art focalises with the same intensity on the here and now - then the immersive theatre of CREW is the art of immediacy, of extreme vigilance. The audience's uncanny experiences in Terra Nova conjure up questions that are also raised by neuroscience: What is the ‘self'? What is reality if it is so simply manipulated? What is this reality of seeing, hearing, moving in space, if my body allows itself to be diverted so easily? CREW does not solve these enigmas, but invites us to explore them by confronting us with real and disturbing sensations.

Directors are Eric Joris and Stef De Paepe; actors (alternating) Robby Cleiren and Jorre Vandenbussche. Other artistic collaborators are Vincent Jacobs, Kreng and Chantalla Pleiter.

Terra Nova is part of a European collaboration project on the role of the spectator in contemporary performing arts. First presented in La Chartreuse in Villeneuve-les-Avignon (Avignon Festival) in July 2011, Terra Nova also travels to European cities such as Budapest, Graz, Kortrijk, Brussels, Rotterdam, Ghent, Zagreb, Hasselt, Prato and Basel.


Concept & direction :Eric Joris & Stef De Paepe
Text: Peter Verhelst
French translation: Monique Nagielkopf
Software design: Philippe Bekaert, EDM, University Hasselt and Vincent Jacobs
Actors: Stef De Paepe / Robby Cleiren / Jorre VandenbusscheTechnology: Vincent Jacobs Assistance technology: Koen Goossens
Artistic Assistance: Chantalla Pleiter2e Assistent: Jakub RehakSet: Leo Verlinden
Coordination film production: Dieter Lapauw
Lights: Kim Rens and Laurens Le Grand
Sound : Kreng
Costumes: Olivia Mortier en Marije de Wit
Trainee dramaturgy: Imre Spoor
Production co-ordination and administration: Vicky Vermoezen
General director CREW : Hilde Teuchies

Terra Nova is created with the support of:- EDM (Expertise Centre for Digitial Media), University Hasselt, (B)- Art centre Vooruit, Ghent (B)- NEXT Festival, Eurometropole Lille-Kortrijk-Tournai + Valenciennes (B)- TAKT, Dommelhof, Neerpelt (B)- La Chartreuse, Villeneuve-les-Avignon (Fr)- La Gaîté Lyrique, Paris (Fr)- Les Colis-Bruits, Paris (Fr)- Woudi Tat

Thanks to TRANSFO Zwevegem, België (filmlocatie)Bisdom Gent, Demaco, Ugent Departement Anatomie, UZ Gent B3, Kopergietery, Boomfanfarestoelen, Kris Vandernberghe, Cinematic vzw, fam. Ewout Vansteenkiste & Mieke Wallays, Dienst Cultuur Zwevegem, Roger Dejonhe en Huguette Langedock, Paul Lapauw & Noëlla Seynhaeve, PassaDia B&B, RITS Brussel, Renée Goethijn, Aurelie Di Marino, Dries Gijsels, Sarah van der Vlerk, Cathie Merchel en Toneelacademie Maastricht

Extra's: Delabie Eugene, Bouko Catherine, Duchi Cecile, Duchi Lena, Goossens Robbe, Hostyn Joke, Joris KatriSchaessens Björn, Scholoers Wouter, Snauwaert Jozef, Spiessens Romain, Tytgat Veerle, Vanbeylen Simon, Verschatse Rafael, Eric Coeman, Roger Compagnie, Kun Fang, Ortwin Malfait, Rik Lazou, Myriam Vancraeynest, Ester Joris, Renée Goethijn, Aurelie Di Marino, Dries Gijsels, Sarah van der Vlerk, Cathie Merchel

Terra Nova is part of the European project New Media, Performing Arts and Spectatorship (2011-2012) supported by the Culture 2007-2013 Program of the European Commission. On top of the presentation of the performance in 9 European cities, the project includes a series of workshops, debates and seminars on the question of new media and the role of the spectator in contemporary performing arts.

Project partners are: - Villeneuve-les-Avignon (Fr), La Chartreuse, - Graz (Au), Steierischer Herbst Festival- Budapest (Hu), PLACCC Festival- Kortrijk (B), art centre Buda- Brussels (B), Kaaitheater- Rotterdam (Nl), V2 - Zagreb (Hr), Eurokaz Festival- Ghent (B), art centre Vooruit- Prato (It), Fabbrica Europa, Museo Pecci, & Contemporanea Colline Festival
Terra Nova received financial support from - DICREAM (Ministry of culture, Fr) - the Limburg Province(B).