The immersed audience: how theatre is taking its cue from video games

A new era of theatre is borrowing conventions from video games, making invigorating performances in which the viewer becomes a player…It’s a technique familiar to anyone who’s been to see a piece of immersive performance. Liberated from the plush balcony chair, you are thrust into a world where you can go where you please, but you need to go different ways to see what happens next, down an alley, into a room. Making a good immersive show is difficult and, like games, much of the trick teeters on the balance between scripted-events and audience-freedom, between getting people to go down the corridors and making them want to go down the corridors all of their own accord.

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Inside The Drowned Man with Punchdrunk’s Felix Barrett – audio slideshow
The audience wear masks and stitch together a narrative from scenes unfolding in a former sorting office. The plot relocates Georg Büchner’s Woyzeck to Los Angeles. The cast grant individuals one-on-one experiences. And Spider-Man has been known to make an appearance… Felix Barrett, the maestro of immersive theatre specialists Punchdrunk, explains how they dreamed up The Drowned Man

About La (Paula) Mor

La (Paula) Mór is a theatre teacher and director. She has taught and directed in the UK and internationally for 20+ years, both at Secondary and University level. La is currently working on Jeju Island in South Korea at Branksome Hall Asia where she develops original, contemporary theatre with her students and continues research into the applications of the Viewpoints in Theatre Education. La has been trained in Anne Bogart's 9 Viewpoints by SITI Theatre Company and Zen Zen Zo and delivers international Viewpoints training to young people, undergraduates, performers and lecturers. Academic background: BA(Hons) Bristol University; PGCE Leeds University; MA Applied Theatre, Central School of Speech and Drama.

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