Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Theater Games

Lots of love and well wishes to my friends and family along the North-East and East coast of the US today.

Onto business; a theatrical business!

A new set-up for theaters in New York is starting to take off, and it’s considered to be more of a “video game-like” experience. Actors are strewn about and allow the audience to walk around, watch different scenes, and interact with them. It sounds like an elevated haunted house. The difference is that instead of zombies walking around aimlessly for a night, the actors are all acting out pre-determined scripts for 2 hours. The design of the area is also taken into consideration, as well as how many audience members are allowed to attend. There isn’t a set path, either. Attendees can walk about virtually anywhere.

As one of the directors put it, they wanted to build an experience that allowed the audience to create their own narrative. In the play for the article “Then She Fell” is a turn on the “Alice in Wonderland” story. Audience members are both onlookers and take on the roll of Alice, given a set of keys that open a myriad of doors and drawers (each set is different for each person), and off they go to embark on their journey!

I’d be curious to see this, but I wouldn’t necessarily call this a video game experience. Choose your own adventure, sure, but those have been around forever in comparison to a video game, and even those typically don’t allow you to create your own story. ‘Immersive theater’ would be a more appropriate view.


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