Like humans, porcupines long to be close to each other, especially for heat in the winter. Sometimes, like humans, if they get too close, they hurt each other.
How to Hug a Porcupine is a currently-running Adam Francis Proulx play that acts as a metaphor for human interactions
Set in the 1950s, it takes on the setting of an old government educational video.
"Our lead operates puppets while narrating via an old record player. It's not a movie. It's theater that has been filmed". said Proulx. "It's not just set up a camera, it's this weird hybrid."
It's also a timely production.
The themes of safe space and keeping people at a safe distance emotionally only become more relevant as the pandemic continues.
Born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Proulx created the performance with the help of a largely local crew. He choose his old high school, St. Mary's, as a backdrop.
"Certainly when you work with people you don't know, there's a certain amount of caution" says Proulx. "You have to build that trust. With this crew I've had that trust since I was six-years-old."
Initially developed as a workshop, the performance now exists online where viewers can enjoy it from the comfort of their own home with the option to donate if they liked what they saw.
How to Hug a Porcupine
Writen and performed by Sault born Adam Francis Proulx. Directed by Byron Laviolette, known for the Canadian Comedy Award-winning clown duo Morro and Jasp. Director of Photography By Neal Buconjc
Tickets: Free or by Pay-What-You-Can donation
Accessibility: The show is fully closed captioned and interpreted into ASL for the Deaf and hard of hearing community.
Age: The show is intended for adults but is family friendly.
Length: The screening event will last about an hour, with the show's running time sitting at about 35 minutes.