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BWW Review: THOSE WHO LIE BEYOND Offers Audiences a Unique Experience

BWW Review: THOSE WHO LIE BEYOND Offers Audiences a Unique Experience

Jess here. I just experienced my first ever immersive theatre production, and I must say, it was unlike anything I've ever seen before. Those Who Lie Beyond: An Immersive Performance, follows sisters Clara (Ashley J. Mandanas/ Ashley Frisbee) and Flora (Chelsey Harrel/ Morgan Smith) as they go into the "beyond" in search of something they have not yet been told about. Collaborating with Factory Obscura, Beyond is the debut production for 19th Century Hound, a new performance company in Oklahoma City.

Due to the fact that immersive theatre is often centered around many stories, I won't be able to provide an in-depth synopsis of the piece other than the two girls (one of which you pick to follow in the very beginning) travel through several different rooms in the exhibit. As their encounters include meeting up with strangers and giving them riddles to solve, the core of the show's action is driven by the patrons in attendance drawing their own personal conclusions about the meaning of the rooms they engage in, thus adding many layers to the piece as a whole. As an audience member, I gathered that the production centered around not searching for what you're trying to find, but rather being open-minded and curious enough for it to come to you.

The ensemble of actors featured:

Regina J. Banks

Mary Buss

Todd Clark

Lindsey Cox

Zaneen Hotchkiss

Madolynn Hayes

Anna Holloway

Sarah Lomize

Sheridan McMichael

Aaron Michael

Joshua Okpara

Anastasia Pellar

Alex Prather

Brianna Williams

Race Dance Company

Perpetual Motion Dance

The oddity and curiosity of the show was reflected in the cast's incredible performance, with each actor demonstrating their own individual spark and intriguing qualities. The costume designer (Kristy Johnson) did an amazing job with the piece. All of the costumes were period specific, and enhanced the theme of the show beautifully.

Director/Creator Ronn Burton has done OKC a great service by introducing the art of immersive theatre to our local community. As a patron who has never seen an immersive work before, I treasure the idea that this was my first brush with the art form. The cohesiveness of the cast, as well as the poetic language of the script, worked to give the audience a new theatrical perspective, not to mention, an unforgettably eye-opening experience.

"Though it's fearful, though it's deep, though it's dark and though you may lose the path, though you may encounter wolves, you can't just act, you have to listen." -Stephen Sondheim

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From This Author Jessica Vanek

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