Feature: CURIOUSER & CURIOUSER at Theater Works (Insider Tips from Chris Hamby)

5 Top 5 Lists: Before & After Attending CURIOUSER & CURIOUSER (With Chris Hamby)

By: Sep. 25, 2020

Feature: CURIOUSER & CURIOUSER at Theater Works (Insider Tips from Chris Hamby)

Before and After attending CURIOUSER & CURIOUSER at Theater Works in Peoria, Arizona, I got some insider information from the show's production director and deviser, Chris Hamby. Hamby, who is also the theatre's producing artistic director, has worked with his cast and production team to bring to life the world of Wonderland in this one of a kind, immersive, theatrical experience. Here are his answers to my 5 Top 5 (BEFORE).

Feature: CURIOUSER & CURIOUSER at Theater Works (Insider Tips from Chris Hamby)

Top 5 Tips for Preparing to Attend Curiouser & Curiouser

1. Read Alice in Wonderland

2. Read Alice Through the Looking Glass

3. Watch the animated Disney film

4. Watch the Tim Burton film

5. Do some good stretches

Top 5 Inspirations for Curiouser & Curiouser

1. Sleep No More in NYC

2. Speakeasy experience in San Francisco

3. The Art of Brian Froud

4. The work of Jim Henson

5. The film Dreamchild

Top 5 Things for Audiences to Keep in Mind

1. This is an original creation, it has never existed before

2. The talent on and off the stage is all local

3. Consider the hours spent on the faux stained glass in the lobby alone

4. There is art and it is alive in Peoria

5.30% of the production was created from up-cycled materials from a donation drive

Top 5 Easter Eggs (Hidden Gems)

1. You will need to visit at least 3 times to see every encounter

2. There are character Swarovski crystals hidden throughout the experience that relate to each space

3. The set in the Caterpillar Den was repurposed from a Texas ranch house interior

4. Be sure to visit the bathrooms

5. Read the titles of the pictures in the Queens Gallery

Top 5 Memories of Curiouser & Curiouser from Concept to Today

1. The installation of the first stained glass panels and how striking it was

2. The trust of our Board, Staff and Artists to create something with no rules but also no directions

3. Taking people on early tours of the spaces and seeing them bust into tears walking into our Tea Party

4. Being with actors in a rehearsal and how much I missed that.

5. Seeing actors dance in person after so many months

Feature: CURIOUSER & CURIOUSER at Theater Works (Insider Tips from Chris Hamby)
Hahnna Christianson as Caterpillar
photo by Josiah Duka Photography

I promise there has never been anything like CURIOUSER & CURIOUSER in Arizona, and I hope it is the beginning of a new era in experimental and experiential theatre. During this unprecedented pandemic, Theater Works has taken all precautions to protect the audience, with temperature checks, a close watch on masks and gloves, and clever use of spacing to maintain social distancing. All safety measures are outlined here: https://curiousertheater.org/safety/

After attending the unforgettably brilliant 100-minute experience that is, CURIOUSER & CURIOUSER, Hamby provided answers to my 5 Top 5 (AFTER).

Feature: CURIOUSER & CURIOUSER at Theater Works (Insider Tips from Chris Hamby)

Top 5 Ways to Unwind After Experiencing Curiouser & Curiouser

1. Posting on social media

2. Play some flamingo golf

3. Have a drink at the Pig & Pepper Bar

4. Revisit the stories of Alice & Wonderland

5. Tell everyone you know about your experience

Top 5 Plans or Hopes for the Future of Curiouser & Curiouser

1. A Holiday family friendlier experience

2. Curiouser 2.0 where we tighten up loose ends

3. We continue to introduce new people to our theater

4. Our extension SELLS OUT

5. We bring some joy and laughs to our audience

Top 5 Stories You'd Like to See Turned into Immersive Theatre

1. The OZ tales

2. The World of Stephen King

3. The World of Charles Dickens

4. The World of Shakespeare

5. Something not written yet

Top 5 Reasons to Curiouser & Curiouser Attend Again

1. To see new actors

2. The throne room itself has 24 possible actor combinations

3. To catch the details you didn't the first time

4. To be a new card suit

5. To support local art and artists

Top 5 Pieces of Advice for Creating Immersive Theatre

1. Give yourself lots of time

2. Align with brilliant artists

3. Give yourself permission to make mistakes

4. The audience will do all the things you didn't plan for and none o the things you did.

5. The devil is in the details

Unfortunately, the whole run was sold out! BUT, the show has just extended with tickets available through November 1st. Don't wait. Get them now! Multiple performances take place Thursday - Sunday. Advance ticket purchases are required for this one-of-a-kind adventure. Tickets range from $48 - $36; includes one drink in The Caterpillar Den. The production takes place at the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts (10580 N. 83rd Drive Peoria, AZ 85345) until November 1st. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the Box Office at (623) 815-7930 or visit www.curiousertheater.org.

Feature: CURIOUSER & CURIOUSER at Theater Works (Insider Tips from Chris Hamby)
Lauren Hardcastle as The Queen of Hearts
Photo by Josiah Duka Photography

Article Developed and Written by Seth Tucker (More information at www.SethATucker.com)