About This Blog

I really like theatre, and I like writing and talking about it.

This blog is mostly about my relationship with theatre, the moments that make me fall in love with this art form, and the times when we don't always get along.

I'll be writing about things that I like, that I think are good and interesting and want to share. I will probably also write about things that I don't quite get, or think are wierd. I may also write about things that aren't theatre, strictly speaking, because it's my blog and I can.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Haunted House As Theatre

Happy Halloween, everyone!

I don't think you'll be surprised to hear that I love Halloween. It's one of the few days a year where us designers actually get to wear the costumes ourselves. Although I do act as well I tend to do more contemporary shows, because on the fancy, high-concept shows, I'm of more use to my company behind the scenes (we have tons of talented actors to pick from).

I'm about to run off to the West Hollywood Parade, but I've spent the last two evenings working on an interactive Pirate Adventure for kids. It's pretty cool; it's a safe, fun thing they can do with their parents that isn't too scary. We have a guide that walks them through the various stations, at which they either complete a challenge, puzzle, or have to defeat the pirates. We're really happy with how it went, and will definitely be doing it again next year.

I mention this because I read the New York Times theatre pages every day to get the latest news, and it's always interesting to see how things are trending, and I'm seeing a lot of interactive walk-through theatre experiences lately.

Here's an articles from the Times on Hotel Savoy, which was a guided Hitchcockian theatre event: http://theater.nytimes.com/2010/10/07/theater/reviews/07hotel.html?scp=1&sq=hotel%20savoy&st=cse

The Times then posted a more comprehensive article on the haunted house/theatre crossover (this one has some darker imagery, and may not be good for young readers: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/22/arts/22haunt.html?ref=theater

These both reminded me of an article I saw in the Boston Globe about an event put on by the Punchdrunk Theater company and produced the the excellent American Repertory Company of Cambridge, MA. They used an abandoned school in Brookline, MA, gave the audience members masks, and let them loose on a production of Macbeth. Rather than being a linear walk-through, the audience could move from room to room at their leisure. I can't imagine the planning and timing involved to make sure that everyone was in the right place at the right time, so that there was no lag, and everyone saw the whole show.
Here's the Globe's review: http://www.boston.com/ae/theater_arts/articles/2009/10/04/sleep_no_more_allows_audience_members_to_pick_their_own_show/

Well it's getting late here, so I'd better run out (otherwise this would be a more comprehensive post, but hopefully the links will make up for my lack of commentary). But I'm going to leave you with this rad video clip I found on another site of the Steampunk Haunted House. Enjoy!

Steampunk Haunted House 2010 from Third Rail Projects on Vimeo.

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