Arctic Theatre Royal — Burnside Park

(8.19) The Wonder Show presents an evening of spectacle, The Arctic Theatre Royal, a magic lantern show featuring images and text sourced from the Providence Athenaeum’s Special Collections. Original moving panorama and lantern slides with views of sublime, yet awful grandeur. Don’t miss this special opportunity to venture into that distant and mysterious region: THE FROZEN ZONE.

During the 19th century, Arctic exploration captivated the public imagination. Images of unfamiliar icescapes pictured in panoramas and magic lantern shows dominated visual culture. The Arctic –and specifically finding a northwest passage through it– was a main subject of national interest in England at the time. One of the most successful voyages of this kind was head by Captain William Parry in 1819. This would be the first British naval expedition of the 19th century to winter in arctic conditions, and its activities and precautions became a model for future expeditions. Parry instituted musical and theatrical entertainments, school classes, meteorological and magnetic observations, and even a weekly newspaper, The North Georgia Gazette and Winter Chronicle. Plays were performed every fortnight with written reviews following each act.

Saw this last June and it’s swell. A companion exhibition to The Arctic Theatre Royal, entitled A Peep at the Arctic: Visions of Arctic Exploration, 1818-1909, is on display at the Providence Athenaeum through September 15.

Free, 8:15pm to 9:30pm, Tuesday, August 19, Burnside Park, Facebook Event Page

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