Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A Vomitorium

The Theatre is another one of the performance spaces in the National Arts Centre. With a seating capacity for nearly nine hundred people, it is mostly used for theatre and dance performances, both put on by the NAC and as co-productions with other arts companies. On this day it was filled with kids being led in some very active dancing by a member of the staff.

You might be wondering what a vomitorium is. I saw the word on a doorway out in the corridor near the Theatre- it's defined as a passage beneath an ampitheatre allowing for audience exits, but also allowing for actors to move back and forth. Such is the case here- this passageway is beneath the curve of the seats within the Theatre. Definitely one of those things we don't usually see.

The third of the halls here is called The Studio. It's a versatile space, seating from 250-305 people, and can be easily adapted- this hexagonal space has no permanent stage or seating- the seats are on removable scaffolding that can be shifted to another section of the room, depending on the needs of performance. On this day, children were being entertained by a marionette specialist in the stage area.


  1. The 'Vomitorium' well that made me smile William. I enjoyed the look around the National Arts Centre today and on yesterday's post. Fascinating places theatres .

  2. I am still reeling from vomitorium - the word not the idea. I have never seen a passageway like this in a theatre. Interesting.

  3. It is nice for kids to perform on a real stage and feel like a star.

  4. I had no idea about so many of these things you've shown us the past few days. Like some of the other commenters, I think another word needs to be invented for what the "vomitorium" represents. :) Enjoy the new day in Canada. I'm so happy for you all!

  5. By seeing your title "vomitorium," I first imagined a very different pictures :-)
    It is a new word for me!

  6. Looks like a beautiful theatre !

  7. Nice tour, the 'vomitorium' thing made me smile...

  8. Well, I had never heard of a vomitorium before! Thanks for explaining what that is.

  9. Vomitorium? You had me wondering. Theater is a completely different world. When I was teaching middle school made sure that every grade went to see a professional performance each year.

  10. @Whisk: they were!

    @Linda: thanks.

    @Grace: it's a strange word. I'll be doing something else tomorrow, but I still have a couple of posts left in this series.

    @Gemma: it seems to be a word that goes back very far in time.

    @Marianne: it certainly is!

    @Lowell: it was the first time I'd ever seen the word- I thought the same thing: vomit?

    @Tamago: me too!

    @Karl: both of them are, I think.

    @VP: it seemed ideal for a title!

    @EG: you're welcome.

    @Janis: I figured I'd have to explain!

    @Red: it is a good idea to get kids engaged with culture.

  11. Something entirely different came to mind when I saw that word. I thought you were going to have a post about a certain retiring politician.

  12. Vomitorium is a first time for me. Thank you for showing us around the place.

  13. It sounded more like something from an old Roman banquet hall to me! ;-)

  14. It's great to see the kids having fun on stage!

  15. What a great capture. It's fun to think if you were one of the characters in a play, moving from one place to another, changing costumes, etc.

  16. I've learned a new word today. Not what I would spontaneously have defined it as though!

  17. Well that something new I've learned today, as Ciel says not the most obvious meaning that springs to mind, lovely pictures William so full of atmosphere...

  18. @Sharon: not in this case!

    @Nancy: you're welcome.

    @RedPat: It probably goes back to Roman days.

    @Marleen: it is, yes.

    @Linda: that's true!

    @Revrunner: Indeed.

    @Ciel: me neither!

    @Geoff: thank you!

  19. You were really in the 'bowels' of the place!



  20. ok, i'm with ya now. figured it was going 2 b a not nice word, or suchness?!!?? ( ;

  21. Fascinating, never heard of that before.

  22. "Vomitorium?" Really?? I would have thought it was the name for something screening a horror film! But that certainly is interesting and something I've never seen before.

  23. The photos of the blocks of red seats are wonderful.

  24. Ah, yes. We had a tour here, too. I asked my actor-son about the vomitorium. And we think these times are gross. He's in a show right now.

  25. @Cloudia: an apt term!

    @Mari: I do think so.

    @Norma: very odd!

    @Beth: not in this case.

    @Denise: it was certainly new to me!

    @Jack: I like the adaptability of both performance halls- even the Theatre's stage can be changed.

    @Kay: it's definitely a behind the scenes sort of thing... the public wouldn't see that!

    @Orvokki: thanks!

    @Jennifer: it was fun getting behind the scenes.