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Vertical City is an interdisciplinary performance hub consisting of an evolving group of artists exploring the relationship between traditional theatrical performance and guided audience interaction. Drawing on a spectrum of approaches, including installation, spatial engineering, aerial movement, soundscape design, and intermediality, Vertical City works on a wide scale of proportions, from large architectural landscapes through participatory 1-2-1 encounters. All our work begins with a preoccupation with “navigation” and explores both the function of gravity and the possibilities for balance in the performance of urban life. Our projects emerge out of a desire for intimacy – within the performance context and between the performance and its audience.

Founding Members

Bruce Barton (Director, Writer)
Pil Hansen (Dramaturg)

Associate Artists:

Allen Kaeja: The Rogue Show

Anne Powell (puppetry): YouTopia
David Powell (puppetry): YouTopia
Jess Lewis (light): All Good Things
April Vickzo (light): All Good Things
Jim Ruxton (interactive media): YouTopia
Laird MacDonald (lighting/media): YouTopia, 2YouTopia, All Good Things
Marcus Jamin (puppetry/engineering): YouTopia, 2YouTopia
Sherri Hay (architecture/engineering): YouTopia, 2YouTopia, Close Relations
Alex May (projection mapping): Did you mean rocket?

Alex McLean: tiny
Eric Rose: Taste

Michael Caldwell (dance/devising): Close Relations
Denise Clarke (dance/performance/devising): Rube
Frank Cox-O’Connell (performance/devising): Vertical City Project
Kiran Friesen (aerial performance/pole-dancing/devising): YouTopia
Sherri Hay (performance/devising): Close Relations
Martin Julien (performance/devising): All Good Things, Trace
Lori Le Mare (aerial performance/devising): Vertical City Project, YouTopia
Stewart Legere (performance/devising): tiny
Diane McGrath (aerial performance/devising): Vertical City Project
Adam Paolozza (performance/devising): YouTopia
Michelle Polak (performance/devising): Trace
Emily Promise Allison (performance/devising): Did you mean rocket?
Ben Stone (performance/devising): All Good Things, tiny
Marc Tellez (performance/devising): Vertical City Project
Stephanie Tremblay (perforance/devising): Did you mean rocket?

Ann Stadlmair (performance/composition): Vertical City Project
Cary Dodge (soundscape): All Good Things
Eric Bumstead (soundscape): All Good Things
Eve Egoyan (performance/composition): Close Relations
Laurie Radford (soundscape/performance/composition): Did you mean rocket?
Richard Windeyer (soundscape/performance/composition): YouTopia, 2YouTopiaTrace, Did you mean rocket?
Lyon Smith (soundscape/performance/composition): Trace
Steph Bernston (soundscape): All Good Things

Email (main): verticalcity@brucewbarton.com
Email (media): verticalcity.media@brucewbarton.com

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All Good Things
The Rogue Show (co-created with Kaeja d’Dance)
Taste (co-created with Ghost River Theatre)
tiny (co-created with Zuppa Theatre)
Trace (co-produced by Theatre Gargantua)
Vertical City Project
Close Relations
Did you mean rocket?


Phone/Text: 403-991-6094

1628 13th Avenue SW
Calgary, AB