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Geffen Playhouse Announces World Premiere Of Live, Virtual And Interactive Theatrical Experience THE PRESENT

Geffen Playhouse Announces World Premiere Of Live, Virtual And Interactive Theatrical Experience THE PRESENT

Geffen Playhouse today announced the world premiere of The Present, a live, virtual and interactive theatrical experience written and performed by master illusionist, storyteller and Geffen alum Helder Guimarães. Directed by Academy Award nominee Frank Marshall (Jurassic World, Indiana Jones, Goonies, Back to the Future), The Present marks the first full-length production to emerge from Geffen Playhouse's new Geffen Stayhouse initiative.

The Present is inspired by Helder Guimarães' own life experience with quarantine during childhood. Using his signature mind-bending illusions, Guimarães leads us through a funny, moving and ultimately illuminating story of lessons he learned when he least expected it.

The Present will take place virtually via a secure online platform with a maximum of 25 participants per show. Each participant will be mailed a sealed mystery package in advance, the contents of which will only be revealed during the course of each performance, as Guimarães' story unfolds. In a unique twist, The Present will provide both a virtual and physical experience for the audience, as magic will also take place in their own hands, in their own home environment.

"The Geffen knows that theatre can survive-and flourish-even in the most challenging of times, and so we are proud to present The Present-our first full virtual production," said Geffen Playhouse Artistic Director Matt Shakman. "Led by the charismatic and brilliant Helder Guimarães, this a true play in every sense. A mysterious package arrives at your door. You pour a glass of wine, dim the lights, and settle into your favorite chair. Theatre is alive and you didn't have to leave your house. Join us for a funny, moving, mysterious interactive play brought to you in the comfort of your own home."

In characterizing The Present Guimarães said, "There is something fun about overcoming obstacles with creativity. While theater isn't happening in the room we usually physically share, it lives in the spectators' mind, in their emotions, and in their perceptions. That's what we want to connect with."

The Present marks the second collaborative effort between Guimarães and Frank Marshall, who first worked together on Invisible Tango, which made its world premiere May 7, 2019, as part of The Geffen Playhouse 2018/2019 season.

"In these extraordinary times, I'm very excited to be collaborating again with Helder and the Geffen to bring a new magical experience to the audience in an innovative way," said Marshall.

Geffen Stayhouse launched March 25, providing free, short-form original content from Geffen Playhouse alums and others on a weekly basis, including Tony Award winner Jefferson Mays (Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, A Gentlemen's Guide to Love and Murder), Tony Award nominee Rory O'Malley (Hamilton, The Book of Mormon), Obie Award winner Lauren Patten (Jagged Little Pill, Fun Home), Emmy Award nominee Kathryn Hahn (Transparent, Bad Moms), Drama Desk Award winner Benjamin Scheuer (The Lion), Dixie Longate (Dixie's Tupperware Party) and others.

Previews for The Present begin Thursday, May 7. Opening night is Thursday, May 14.

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