“Mind is deeper than matter!” screams the pastor (Nic Turcotte) in the Temple of the Singularity, where for one evening the audience gathers to worship at the cult of Ray. His sermon is part of the new show #ThanksBeToRay, staged by the Montreal-based multi-disciplinary arts Studio Porte Bleue. #ThanksBeToRay is a fully immersive performance that places the audience inside a church dedicated to Ray Kurzweil — author, inventor, futurist, and the director of engineering at Google, Inc.
Written and directed by Colin Lalonde, this immersive show perfectly parodies the over-the-top evangelicalism found in small-time ministers and Apple Store employees. Instead of salvation, you pray for Singularity, which is when all of humanity will upload our consciousness into the cloud. The Singulatarian’s Creed demands that you collapse the distinction between your private and public self. Singularity is calculated to arrive at 2045, and we must prepare. Just like in church, you’re seated on a wooden pew-like bench. Hymns are sung praising the glory of Twitter. Prayers are made ending not with ‘amen,’ but #ThanksBeToRay. Sins are confessed by tweeting them out for consumption.
Watch it for the surprise in the middle. Halfway through, what begins as a satire about our obsession with technology becomes something more uncomfortable — a sharp look at the timeless issues of love and grief.
You’re encouraged to BYOW and be prepared to stay after the show for a discussion. Dark, funny, and original, the show promises to spark “post-show conversations on robots, iPads, and the meaning of life”.