"It's your first time here, isn't it?"
About the Production:
Welcome to ASMRland! You’re about to be transported into your own head. Don’t worry, you’ll have Tingle Bell and Trigger Bell to guide your journey, they’ll keep you safe – or will they?
Bell Angele has a simple quest: to fall asleep peacefully. But before she can, two fairies from ASMRland are here to reveal and repair the dark corners of her brain. ASMRtist uses Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response to bring audiences together to explore the stimuli that make our skin tingle and our minds race.
Alma Matters Productions was the 2017 University of Toronto’s recipient for the Drama Alumni Show Project. ASMRtist (based on Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, or ASMR) combines performance, sound, and video to explore the theatre as a space for sensory transformation. The show premiered in September 2017 at the Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse and was featured on CBC’s Here and Now.
Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) is a pleasant tingling sensation felt within the body that is evoked through soothing sound and touch. It has gained popularity on YouTube where video artists (called ASMRtists) amass large followings by using their videos to ease anxiety and insomnia. Due to its subversive nature, ASMR videos are often labelled as bizarre, suspicious, and uncomfortable by those who have not fully experienced it. This production explores ASMR in a public setting to present the sensation as an accessible means of calming our constantly overworked brains.
“The acting is very strong, certainly beyond U of T standards & most Fringe & SummerWorks productions. I enjoyed every aspect of how the characters were portrayed. The unifying idea of the production—ASMR—makes the piece original & memorable, a worthy evening of theatre. Great use of the space!”
-Dr Josh McEvilla, U of T Professor
"By far the best thing about this production is the cast. Sarah Marchand, Amanda Cordner and En Lai Mah had great chemistry and energy as a trio, keeping up the pace and maintaining my attention the entire time."
-My Entertainment World
"As someone who experiences night terrors almost nightly and has mild insomnia, I'd like to say: YOU NAILED IT. this show ruled."
-Melissa Williams, Artist
Performers: Sarah Marchand, Amanda Cordner, En Lai Mah
Writers: Sarah Marchand & Matt Jones
Dramaturges: Matt Jones & Sanja Vodovnik
Director: Chelsea Dab Hilke
Stage Manager: Eunji Lee
Associate Producer: Laura Philipps
Production Manager: Micah Champagne
Set Designer: Rion Chow
Projection Designer: Rion Chow
Lighting Designer: Chin Palipane
Costume & Props Designer: Sara Vargas Nessi
Sound Designer: Loji (Sam Earle & Marko Cindric)
Videographer: Taras Lavren
Producers: Chelsea Dab Hilke & Sarah Marchand
Rehearsal/Media Photographer: Paul Salvatori
Poster Image: Andrew Johnson
Poster Design: CL Designs