Interactive and immersive experiences that take place off Broadway


As social distancing, masks, and frequent disinfection continue to be necessary safety precautions to combat the spread of COVID-19, some Off-Off-Broadway experimental theater companies are offering intimate, interactive and immersive experiences for Extremely small groups or members of a single audience at one time, in participatory events that strictly adhere to pandemic protocol.

Garden of Eden“Around every corner is enlightenment. Each dead end is a new beginning. Until Saturday October 10, Nancy Manocherian’s cellular theater, in association with Immersive on dark matter, presents a unique individual experience in an interior maze “garden” inspired by traditional symbols of tarot, New Orleans and wanderings in the woods. Conceived and created by Dark Matter co-founders Ereka Duncan and Jaclyn Atkinson, the multimedia exploration invites audiences to embrace the unknown, contemplate the unconscious realm, connect with their inner selves, and unlock the “sacred house. of the first children ”eponymous. of the Earth ”through reflective questions, introspection, meditation and movement. The Garden of Eden The journey includes a virtual tarot reading by Melissa Madara and an ambient soundscape composed and designed by Ricardo Romaneiro.

Private time slots, lasting approximately 50 minutes, are available by appointment only on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 6 p.m., 7, 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., at the cellular cinema – 338 W. 23rd Street, 2nd Floor, NYC. The public can enter the Garden of Eden by themselves, or bring a guest for an additional fee. Each participant will have to wear a face mask throughout the experience; hand sanitizer is available and affected surfaces will be sanitized between clients. For tickets, available on a sliding scale, go to in line.

Static apnea – The term static apnea refers to holding one’s breath underwater while remaining still; the theme of the breath of a private individual, by a virus, a knee, uncertainty and anxiety, is topical in our time. After its world premiere in 2017 at the Performance Arcade in New Zealand, the American vicar, in collaboration with The Invisible Dog Art Center, presents the New York debuts of Static apnea (2020) – a socially distanced performance installation that asks three resonating questions: how long can you hold your breath? Would it take long enough to save you? Would it take long enough to save someone you love?

Designed and directed by founding American art director Christopher McElroen, with additional text by Julia Watt, installation design by Troy Hourie, lighting by Zach Weeks and sound by Andy Evan Cohen, the immersive piece is performed in alternation by Isabella Pinheiro (Thursday-Friday) and Jenny Tibbels (Saturday-Sunday), in a 40-foot storage container, open at both ends, with high-power fans and air purifiers to ensure good air circulation. ‘air. In a nine-minute-and-two-second experiment – the women’s static freediving record – a member of the audience, surrounded by a tunnel of blue light, descends towards the lone woman behind a transparent plexiglass wall, in an exploration of distance to which you might be willing to go to save a life.

Static apnea plays September 12 through October 17 at the Invisible Dog Art Center – 51 Bergen Street, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Doors open at noon and performances start every 20 minutes. Each performance is limited to one member of the public; walk-in visits will be accepted if time slots are available. Temperatures will be taken on arrival and members of the public are required to wear a face mask. For more information and to RSVP for free tickets, go in line.

Voyeur: The Windows of Toulouse-Lautrec – When the coronavirus forced the temporary closure of Defeat Toulouse-Lautrec after 100 performances at Madame X, Bated Breath Theater Company has reinvented its site specific hit for our current situation. The new format, designed and produced by Executive Artistic Director Mara Lieberman, is a pandemic-friendly outdoor theatrical tour through the sidewalks, doors, windows and iconic locations of Greenwich Village, including Judson Memorial Church, The Duplex, Chashama, and other non-traditional secret performance spaces (mostly outdoors, with a short stop inside in a spacious ambience that allows for safe social distancing).

Evoking the absinthe-induced dreams of the titular French Post-Impressionist artist, living and painting in the belly of the 19e– Century Montmartre, the immersive experience – with the design and construction of puppets by James Ortiz, scenography by Sadra Tehrani, lighting by Ebony Burton, sound by Mark Van Hare, musical direction by Dmitiriy and Masha Umanskiy, and the choreography by Kelsey Rondeau and Leila Mire – will transport small groups of six spectators into the provocative, decadent and bohemian universe of Paris 1899, of which they become the voyeurs.

The event runs from September 30, 2020 to July 31, 2021, Wednesday to Saturday, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., rain or shine (except in extreme weather conditions), with an audience departing every 20 minutes from there. exterior of the Duplex – 61 Christopher Street, NYC. The operating time is approximately one hour. Members of the audience must be able to climb stairs and stand for the duration of the performance, and will be required to wear a mask at all times, maintain a safe social distance during the performance and use the hand- disinfection stations available at stops throughout the visit. Go in line for more information and to purchase tickets, priced at $ 75 for general admission or $ 84 with a themed cocktail before the show. A flexible ticket exchange policy will be offered to those at risk of feeling unwell, to facilitate responsible participation in the event.

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