Views / Edmonton / Backstage Pass Edmonton

National Elevator Project performs on lifts around town

Heather Inglis likes to push the envelope. As artistic director for the independent, project-based company Theatre Yes, she is tasked with finding new ways to keep Edmontonians entertained.

Her latest innovation, National Elevator Project, builds on the success she experienced during the 2012 Fringe Festival, where Theatre Yes introduced intimate and exclusive plays, all of which took place inside a hotel room.

With that in the back of her mind, Inglis got to thinking about what else she could do.

“I have been interested in doing plays in small spaces. Being a smaller company, we started out not having a lot of cash, as tends to be the case for the arts, so I was thinking which spaces we could access for free,” explains Inglis.

“The notion of elevators came up, but what could we do? Certainly not Macbeth. So, I started putting the feelers out and the response was amazing. Playwrights from across the country,

representing every province, wanted to be part of this. It’s been really interesting how fascinated people are by the concept and what could happen theatrically in an elevator.”

With that, the National Elevator Project, which runs Wednesday through to Sunday, Oct. 27, was born. Throughout elevators in Edmonton’s downtown core, audiences will be able to experience mini-plays that are up to five minutes in length.

“Intimate performance spaces create intense, arousing, and personal experiences with a high degree of interactivity,” says Inglis enthusiastically.

“I found this type of play builds on the online entertainment we’ve become used to, where you are up close to a screen. It feels so personal and it’s because of those experiences, I think it’s changed the way people expect to experience theatre today. So, we’ve changed the way we present our plays by pitting people inside an environment with a structured story but the live acting is what makes it special.”

Storylines and locations for National Theatre Project remain a mystery until guests meet at Tix on the Square and receive a map directing them to nearby elevators within the downtown core.


•    Tickets are $25 for adults or $17 for seniors and students.

•    Plays run on demand from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. daily.

•   For more information, visit

More on