Immersive Theater Comes to Houston in RED HOUSE and THE MAN FROM BEYOND This Spring
Houston audiences will experience theatre in a completely new way in productions by two different arts companies that are rethinking the relationship between artist and audience.
Dinolion's RED HOUSE, running April 27-30 in a secret location in Houston's Museum District, explores a family's dark secrets through a mystery told by actors, dancers, musicians in an open performance environment. Strange Bird Immersive's THE MAN FROM BEYOND, currently in an open-ended run at The Silos at Sawyer Yards in the Washington Avenue Arts District, imagines the famed magician Houdini's struggle with the after-life in the context of an escape room game.
Pioneered by such companies as Punchdrunk (SLEEP NO MORE, THE DROWNED MAN) and Third Rail Projects (THEN SHE FELL, THE GRAND PARADISE), the immersive theatre genre takes the audience out of their seats and puts them in the middle of the play. Performers often interact directly and spontaneously with the audience in a way that is not possible from the stage.
Something dark grows in Dinolion's RED HOUSE. Beneath a veneer of piety and domestic normalcy lurk secrets to be unlocked. Only the boldest are fortunate enough to uncover all the truths buried within. Patrons roam freely, observing and interacting with characters and environments while the stories of the home unfold. Actors and dancers traverse the space as musicians and sound artists underscore the narrative.
"I wouldn't call it a play," says Dinolion co-founder Jeromy Barber, who also directs RED HOUSE. "I wouldn't call it a musical, or a concert. I wouldn't call it a dance piece. I wouldn't call it a live action game or a choose-your-own-adventure. But it can be all of those things depending on how you engage with the piece."
RED HOUSE features the music of Houston's BLACK KITE (Vicki Lynn Tippit), who collaborates on the performance with Barber, poet Traci Lavois Thiebaud, and visual/musical artist LIMB (James Templeton). RED HOUSE was born out of their desire to transcend the traditional format of live performance, and thrust audiences fully into BLACK KITE's musical universe. RED HOUSE features performances by Houston music mainstays Anthony Barilla, Cathy Power, and Chris Bakos, as well as actors Richard Lyders, JoAnna Smith, Megan Gonzalez, and members of the Houston Ballet (Oliver Halkowich, Shu Kinouchi, Connor Walsh).
Strange Bird Immersive's THE MAN FROM BEYOND combines immersive theatre with the problem-solving challenge of an escape room game. Four to eight audience members become participants in a séance hosted by alluring medium Madame Daphne. Through encounters with the ghost of famed escape artist Harry Houdini, they must solve a series of challenges that will allow them to bring the story to its conclusion.
"Immersive theatre tears down the wall that traditionally exists between performers and audience members," said Strange Bird Immersive Co-Artistic Director Haley E. R. Cooper. "By inviting our audience into the story as active participants instead of casual observers, we give you a personal stake in what's happening. You don't just watch the story, you are the story."
Conceived by Cooper with her husband, Co-Artistic and Technical Director J. Cameron Cooper, Strange Bird Immersive also includes Puzzle Designer Nathan Walton and Actor/Sound Designer Bradley Winkler. The company's artistic philosophy is based on the Meisner acting technique, with a focus on living truthfully in imaginary circumstances. THE MAN FROM BEYOND opened in January as Houston's first permanent immersive theatre installation.
IF YOU GO:
an immersive memory through a glass, darkly
at an undisclosed location in Houston's Museum District
Performance Dates and Times:
Thursday, April 27 @ 8:00p.m. & 11p.m. Friday, April 28 @ 8:00p.m. & 11p.m. Saturday, April 29 @ 8:00p.m. & 11p.m. Sunday, April 30 @ 8:00p.m. & 11p.m.
General Admission: $35 VIP Admission: $50
Tickets available online at:
Strange Bird Immersive presents
THE MAN FROM BEYOND
The Silos at Sawyer Yards 1502 Sawyer St., Suite 213 Houston, TX 77007
Performance Dates and Times
Thursdays @ 8:00p.m. Fridays @ 8:00p.m. Saturdays @ 8:00p.m.
General Admission (Friday & Saturday nights): $40 General Admission (Off-peak nights & matinees): $30
Tickets available online at:
Private performances (closed sales) available for the price of 7 tickets.
Additional evenings and daytime performances available on request with minimum 4 participants. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule.