Eric Striffler of “Nyctophobia”

Synthetic NYC presents NyctophobiaIf you head to their website, Synthetic NYC has an F.A.Q. section with the question, “What is Nyctophobia?”

Their answer? “Correct.”

That’s about all you need to know about this immersive performance experience, currently running at an undisclosed location in Manhattan. I won’t disclose any more…but in this episode, you’ll get a bit more of an idea of just what’s going on here…

Listen in as the experience’s director/creator Eric Striffler discusses defying expectations, how to prepare your actors for performing in immersive shows, safe-words, how to create and manage multiple storyline threads through your performance, and how the best part of something like this can be the ride home with your friends.

“…if you know any aspect of it going in, it’s going to take away from it a little bit…it’s whatever, I don’t want to ruin it! […] There’s all kinds of different types of immersive experiences, and this is not one of those ones that’s hardcore, super-scary…this is definitely more fun.”

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Adam Scott Mazer and Philip Gates of “The Tower”

AntiMatter Collective presents The Tower, written by Adam Scott Mazer, directed by Philip GatesWhat does it take to survive?

In AntiMatter Collective‘s show The Tower, that question, in the context of the winter in the mountains for the Donner Party in 1846-47, becomes an allegory for American individualism & imperialism. And it’s done through an immersive staging, complete with a guide, edibles, gore, and dance numbers.

It’s quite a trip, if you’ll pardon the pun.

Listen in as producer/playwright Adam Scott Mazer and producer/director Philip Gates discuss accepting offers from the performers, making assumptions, psychedelic breaks in your play, and how knowing where you’re headed can help you build your show.

“It’s like the dark side of the American Dream…what is the sacrifice that America is making, to be America?”

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Daria Miyeko Marinelli and Elana McKelahan of “Untamable”

Highly Impractical Theatre and The Unsoft War present Untamable, written by Daria Miyeko Marinelli and directed by Elana McKelahanEver wanted to watch as a major heist unfolds in front of your eyes? Not on film, but actually happening right in front of you?

Thanks to the magic of immersive theatre, you can. Daria Miyeko Marinelli and Elana McKelahan, the playwright and directors of Untameable, respectively, give you that opportunity in a Brooklyn church they’ve converted for the occasion.

Plus, you can see it from both sides: those trying to steal the diamond, and those trying to protect it from the thieves. And while those multiple angles come with an opportunity cost—you’re definitely going to miss some action at some point—that just gives you a great reason to meet and compare notes with your fellow theatre-goers after the show.

Listen in as Daria and Elana discuss fascination with “illegal teamwork movies,” what it takes to act in an immersive show, the opportunities for connection that this style of theatre can provide, and how to invite the audience in by breaking all the rules.

“When people leave a show and they want to talk about it, and they’re really excited about it, it is exciting to me as a creator of the show…”

“…and I love theatre that makes people talk to each other. And it’s kind of impossible to see this show with someone else, and not talk about the experience you have, because you create your own experience…”

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Cynthia von Buhler and the cast of “Speakeasy Dollhouse”

Speakeasy DollhouseA murdered businessman. Illegal booze. Accusations of infidelity. Political intrigue. Family secrets. Baked goods.

All ingredients for an evening in Speakeasy Dollhouse.

The brainchild of artist Cynthia von Buhler, Speakeasy Dollhouse is an immersive theatre experience that takes place in a Lower East Side speakeasy, where the events leading up to the unsolved murder of Frank Spano in 1935 — the victim was von Buhler’s actual grandfather — are recreated amongst, and with, the audience. Also recreated are a morgue, a Bronx bakery, and a swingin’ Prohibition-era speakeasy, complete with live music and burlesque dancers.

Listen in as Cynthia (and an ever-growing group of the cast) discuss time travel, directing an unwitting cast of several hundred, multiple endings, and exploring history through performance.

“Try the cannolis.”

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