A good theatre gathers. It gathers light, ideas, dreams, energy and inspiration into which it draws the audience and disappears into itself, as the magic unfolds.

An embrace is mutual. The theatre where the moment happens should offer itself with tenderness. Preparing a disparate group of individuals to convert themselves willingly into an audience is an essential requirement of good theatre. But good theatre moves beyond this to breach our defenses and capture our senses in the thrall and beauty of the moment.

A good theatre first gathers, and then tends. It tends to our dreams and weaknesses, and permits us to move from earthly deceits to gossamer truths. As shepherds tend their flocks so too our souls are fed and nurtured. It is the way of those that gather and tend. Nothing less is possible. As we tend our audience so we tend the earth. We need a theatre which is alive: a theatre which pays due to the fabric which it celebrates… It is a building which is theatre in itself, and of our time, but resonant with the history of its place, its sphere and origins. For ours is not a theatre of the present and past, ours is a theatre of the continuum of life.

When you work in a theatre you tend to think of it as a house.

The house is empty,

The house is open,

The house is dark,

The house is full.

The best homes are those that fit their occupants. In our Animatheatre, this distinction goes beyond actor and audience, to human and animal. Real homes are happy homes when filled with happy people and animals, cheering, trumpeting, clapping, roaring, and howling. The Animatheatre is a happy home.

The Animatheatre of Bowmanville Zoo is one of two animal specific indoor theatre venues in the world. Every component of its design has been maximized to ensure the most complete and compelling of animal experiences for the audience. With the changing mediums available to live production we are researching novel and unique pathways to integrate emerging theatrical affects with our animal performers.

Equally important within the Animatheatre is the emphasis on animal and human comfort and safety. From rubber performing surfaces to stainless steel safety mesh, technological innovation provides for comfort and safety to both audience and performers.