The Caravan Stage Company, created in Victoria, BC in 1970, by Paul Kirby and Adriana Kelder, is a professional non-profit theatre company, which performs and tours with a most unique theatre venue— a 90 ft. Tall Ship, the Amara Zee, modeled after a traditional Thames River Barge. The Caravan, made up of a diverse company, creates original experimental theatre & opera, encompassing the themes of civil rights and environmental justice. The mandate of the Caravan is to bring original theatrical productions directly into the lives of people who seldom had the opportunity to experience the performing arts.
The Caravan Stage Company began as the world’s only Horse Drawn Theatre Company- the one wagon puppet show traveling throughout Vancouver Island grew to become a major theatrical organization with a 25 person company of actors, musicians, artists and technicians touring in six large wagons pulled by a team of Clydesdale horses.
In 1990, after 20 years of touring as a contemporary professional theatre, the Caravan took four years, hundreds of volunteers, in-kind & fiscal donations and built the Caravan version of a Thames River Sailing Barge, the Amara Zee: 30 meter in length, 7.2 meter beam, and a 1.3 meter draft, built to stage the shows on the entire deck, masts and rigging of the vessel, as well as, on the surrounding water and land. The Caravan was created to tour in any waterway and performs in any location, regardless of logistics and services. From 2005-2013, the Amara Zee toured throughout Europe. In 2013, the ship returned to the North American waterways.