The Riot Ballet

  • Co-Creator and Performer: Shannon Holmes
  • Location: Concordia University, Montreal, QC
  • Date: August 21-25, 2019
  • Coverage: Montreal Gazette


Welcome to The Riot Ballet – an immersive, interactive theatre/game event. The experience begins online, then becomes live in a cluster of immersive performance spaces, where you encounter characters, scenes, instructions, puzzles, technologically-responsive environments… and other audience members. Don’t worry – you may choose to participate to whatever extent you’re comfortable, or to remain a passive observer. Your task is to avert a potential riot before it explodes. As The Riot Ballet progresses, a narrative emerges in fragments: the government works hard to make citizens feel heard and represented… but do their polished messages mask corruption and authoritarian motives? Protestors emerge to challenge the government. Are these protestors’ actions as selfless as they seem? How far are they willing to go to make their point? Journalists report the action as it unfolds. Are they unbiased or are they twisting facts to support a hidden agenda? The show culminates in a (safe but spectacular) burgeoning riot, where your actions in the moment determine just how intense the riot will become.

The Riot Ballet is co-created by researcher/artists Noah Drew, Emer O’Toole, Catalina Medina, Martin Andrews and Shawn Ketchum Johnson, and co-produced by Jump Current Performance (Canada), Working Group Theatre (USA), and La Barracuda Carmela (Colombia).