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No Proscenium: LA 
THE SPOOKY SEASON
SPECTACULAR
The Guide to Immersive Entertainment in Greater LA

THE TIME IS UPON US.

Every year LA goes gaga for all things Halloween.

Every year the start of this "Spooky Season" seems to creep forward, like some eldritch thing left unattended by its inept jailers.

Lo, Spooky Season is here and it is glorious.

The format of the newsletter changes during Spooky Season. You'll still find that which is NEW THIS ISSUE (spooky or no) right at the front, followed by the SPOOKY SEASON section, and then the NOT SO SPOOKY section. Hey, you never really know with some of this stuff, right?

Finally the ONGOING, ADVENTURES, and ON THE HORIZON sections bring up the rear.

That assumes you survive: there are 23 listings in this issue. Including a lucky 13 brand new entries. Better get some coffee. Or some booze. Ah, hell, hedge your bets: get both.

Here's another tool for your Spooky Season planning: the My Haunt Life calendar.

This week's episode of the podcast features an interview with Mike and Russell of My Haunt Life, who share their top picks for the season. You can access the full calendar--which really is a calendar and it really is full--to find everything from the big corporate mazes (Universal, Knott's) to home haunts! It's a great resource if you like variety in your scares and want to spend every waking minute making sure you'll never sleep again.

Speaking of the podcast, we've had a great run of episodes. Our conversation with Darren Lynn Bousman, creator of The Tension Experience, is one of the best we've ever had. The episode takes a lot of the themes that we've been talking about over the past year and puts them all in one place. If you've never bothered with the podcast I'd say this one is the one to mess with.

We've also talked with the folks behind Wicked Lit, have another with actor/creator Jenapher Zheng ready and Zay--our New York curator--is eager to sit down for another of our "After Dark" episodes. I can't wait.

Meanwhile, if you're willing to go off the immersive/interactive track and just want to see some great theatre this September allow me to point you in the direction of Four Lark's The Temptation of St. Anthony. It's one of the best shows I've seen in LA. Period. (I liked it so much, that I used a photo from it for this issue's header.)

Before we go: this here newsletter only works because you help us find great stuff. Like our reader Alyssa did this week. THANKS Alyssa! Use the links below to contact us with your finds. We can also, as always, use your help with keeping the newsletter and podcast afloat by having you become a Patreon backer. As little as $1 a month goes a long way. (We're going to start having to pay for Mailchimp soon.)

Now, you want to know the SCARIEST THING about this issue?
The next one is bound to be EVEN BIGGER.
 
Here's how to find us all over the web: 


Email: no_proscenium@outlook.com (send announcements & tips)
Twitter: @noproscenium (look for between issue updates) 
Facebook: No Proscenium Page (Issue Archives for All Regions)
Medium: The No Proscenium Collection (Reviews and Essays)
Podcast: iTunes and RSS 
Patreon: Support the Newsletter and Podcast
New subscriber sign-up: noproscenium.com

DEADLINE FOR NEXT ISSUE: September 14th AT NOON.

I'll see you at the show,
Noah Nelson
(@noahjnelson)

Image: from Four Lark's The Temptation of St. Anthony

New This Issue 

Captain of the Bible Quiz Team

When: Weekends through October 3rd

Where: Various Lutheran  Churches in LA

Price: #34.99

Tags: #newplay, #interactive, #siteresponsive, #LGBTQ

The new play by immersive and site-responsive veteran Tom Jacobson (Hopscotch, Diet of Worms), puts the spotlight on "an idealistic Lutheran minister returns to a country church in Minnesota for Christmas and experiences an epiphany at a time of reckoning. Seven sermons in a single service: a tragicomedy...complete with an organist and hymns, the audience becomes the congregation."

Patterned after ministers who "devoted their entire lives to the church that—until 2009—rejected them. Their true stories moved me to tears,"says Jacobson.

The work is brought to life with an environmental staging by the award winning Michael Michetti that casts the audience as the congregation. 


 
Creep Los Angeles

When: September 16 - October 31

Where: IMPERIAL ART STUDIOS
2316 N San Fernando Rd, Los Angeles

Price: $40+

Tags: #haunt, #immersive

The acclaimed immersive haunt is back, this year they invite you and seven others to enter the mind of a twisted artist...

"In the 1970s, a controversial artist named Erebus
Burwyck set out to explore the dark side of humanity and express it through his art, in the process unlocking something much deeper and more terrifying than he ever could have imagined. In 1974, Erebus disappeared from public view, spawning a cult-like following in his absence... a following intent on spreading his legacy and sharing what he found in the dark."
White Rabbit Red Rabbit

When: Select Dates September 23 - October 2nd
(Part of LAX Festival)

Where: Bootleg Theatre

Price: Festival Passes currently on sale

Tags: #experimentalplay, #participatiory, 

Expect a write up from us soon about this stand-out piece of experimental theatre that uses audience participation to create a kind of psychological experiment.

"Every night a new actor opens an envelope and encounters the script for the first time."

Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour bends time and space in a way that, perhaps unintentionally, suggests that plays are a kind of machine code for human beings. 

Performed over 1000 times in 20 languages, this is a piece will be studied for ages.
Queen Mary Dark Harbor

When: Select Dates September 29-October 31

Where: That Big Ship in Long Beach

Price: $20+

Tags: #haunt


Why settle just for fake ghosts when you can have both faux ghouls and real spectres at a haunt. 

Oh, sure, you're too rational to fall for all that poppycock. The Queen Mary isn't really haunted. That's preposterous.

So I'm sure you won't mind going it alone or staying overnight in one of the hotel rooms. 

Fine. Fine. You don't have to. That's why there are six mazes, paintball, a sideshow and more to take your friends and hide behind at.
Los Angeles Haunted Hayride

When: Select Dates October 1 - 31 

Where: Griffith Park

Price: $27+

Tags: #haunt, #hayride, #hauntedhayride

The annual tradition heads back to Griffth Park to draw upon the souls of lost hayriders past so that next year's summer blockbuster crop can be fruitful. Do your civic duty and go.


Just make arrangements if you don't make it back.
 
The Bitter Game

When: October 4- 9, 7:30PM

Where: Writerz Blok, 5010 Market Street, San Diego

Price: $10-$15

Tags: #soloshow, #siteadadaptive


This stunning solo piece wowed us at last year's Without Walls Festival in San Diego. Now writer-performer Keith A. Wallace returns to San Diego for a short run of his piece which confronts the persistence of violence faced by Black people in America. Here's a taste of what we said about it last year:

"At one moment confessional, and in the next illustrative, this kind of intimate work gets the blood pumping and the tears flowing. It is, in a word, visceral."
Chalk Rep's Flash Fest

When: Select Dates Oct. 6-22, 7PM

Where: St John's Cathedral 
             514 W Adams Blvd, LA

Price: $20

Tags: #siteresponsive, #newplays, #shortplays

15 ten-minute plays by 15 playwrights. Three weekends. One biennial tradition: the Chalk Repertory Flash Festival. All new work, this year on the theme of Religion & Politics. 

Five new works each week.
Hollywood Premiere Party

When: Select Dates Oct. 7th - Nov. 5th, 6:15PM

Where: MANOR ON VINE
             1718 Vine Street
             Hollywood, 

Price: $99-$129

Tags: #dinner, #interactive, #themedparty, #comedy

Just what is Hollywood Premiere Party? 

It sounds like a twist on the Tony & Tina's Wedding formula: an out of control party where the audience
are the guests. Only here the party is a premiere for the latest romantic comedy blockbuster and the audience take on the personas of invited A-listers. 
Partial, Fractional and Promised

When: Select Dates October 7-29, 8PM

Where: 3826 Mentone Ave, Culver City, CA

Price: $10

Tags: #newplay, #livingroomtheatre

From the singularly strange mind of Hella Fresh Theater's John Rosenberg comes Partial,
Fractional and Promised, a play in which "granddaughters of Einsatzgruppe C patronize the Los Angeles County Museum of Art."

You heard some of the ideas that sparked the play during our podcast interview with John, now you can see where they led to in his living room.
Futurerotica

When: October 20-23rd

Where: Location TBA

Price: On sale in early September, part of the IndieGoGo perks at $100/two tickets

tags: #devisedwork, #interactive

The kids from play (Retrograde, Erotica, Tiny Rhino) dip back into the devised work pool for their latest interactive exploration of desire.

Using a series of short-form plays, film, and interactive vignettes - FUTURErotica is a cross section of ideas about how humans will relate in future societies.  play will take you on a vice-fueled journey using a unique combination of movement, storytelling, and ritual that will turn on both body and mind.
Devoted

When: October 21st-30th

Where: TBA

Price: TBA/Tickets on Sale Sep. 5th

Tags: #immersive

Shine On Collective (The Truth), has been running a series of one-offs at the summer Halloween conventions, which moved on into the invite-only Forever which played out over Labor Day weekend. Now the final installment is going on sale to the public.

Here's what we know: "Devoted is an intimate and interactive experience. This show will be intense, dark and unsettling.

"Love can be a twisted, bloody thing."

Color us intrigued.
NEVERMORE Immersive Arts Festival

When: October 29th

Where: Van Nuys

Price: FREE (You can help it out on Kickstarter.)

Theatre Magnet and RENT Poet present a one-day immersive festival in the Valley. Producer David Mack (Artist Magnet) has teamed up with Brian Sonia-Wallace (Bike Odyssey LA) to craft a unique artistic collaboration inspired by Edgar Allen Poe.

Head up to Van Nuys and get on the Bus!

"In the world of NEVERMORE, the Orange Line is transformed by the escaped works of Edgar Allan Poe, which have mingled with local legends and Mexican folklore and haunt six special sites near METRO stations. It is up to you to lay these poems to rest and release Poe’s spirit."

 
Undead Prom

When: October 29th 7-11P

Where: Elks Lodge 
            120 E Colorado St, Glendale

Price: $35.00 

Tags: #themedparty, #halloween, #LARP

It's two events in one: a themed cosplay pre-Halloween party and a murder mystery LARP all in one. This one comes to us from reader Aaron Vanek, Los Angeles' Live Action Role Playing guru. Discounted tickets for all of Aaron's friends. And guess what: if you're reading this you count.
Spooky Season
Bardo Thodol 

When: September 2nd - 30th

Where: DTLA

Price: $50.00

Tags: #immersive

The latest from Screenshot Productions (ShoshinParturition)
Bardo Thodol (The Tibetan Book of the Dead) "is a multi-act immersive experience taking you through your own death and soul’s judgment in the afterlife."

If this is anything like previous Screenshot experiences it is not to be missed.


For more on Screenshot Productions, check out our reviews of Parturition and Shoshin, or our podcast interview with the creators of those shows.
The Tension Experience: Ascension (UPDATED)

When: September 8th - October 2nd

Where: LA, TBA

Price: $132.75 (including fees)

Tags: #horror, #immersive, #arg

It's already the most talked about event this season, everyone from the LA Times to The Daily Beast have written about Tension. Our buddy Juliet Bennet Rhylah got a sneak peak for LAist, and we've interviewed the creator, director Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II, Repo! The Genetic Opera) for the podcast and got one of our best episodes out of it.

All signs point to this being the most ambitious immersive to hit LA yet.

From the event website:

"Ascension is more than immersive theatre, more than a haunted house, more than anything you could imagine.  It is a journey into darkness with the possibility of being reborn in the light.

"You will be processed, tried and tested."

Fair warning: The Tension Experience has the capacity to overtake your life, apparently.


 
Delusion: His Crimson Queen

When: September 29th - November 13th

Where: 2200 S Harvard Blvd., LA

Price: $65.00

Tags: #immersive, #play, #horror

After going dark for a year while working on a year-round experience, Delusion's Jon Braver is back with an all-new "haunted play": His Crimson Queen. It's great to have one of the innovators of Spooky Season back in the game. 

THE INITIAL RUN IS SOLD OUT! CHECK SOON FOR EXTENSIONS.
WICKED LIT 2016

When: October 1 - November 12

Where: Mountain View Mausoleum & Cemetery
2300 N. Marengo Ave.
Altadena, CA 91001

This year's adaptation are H.P. Lovecraft’s FROM BEYOND, Ellen Glasgow’s THE SHADOWY THIRD , and ANANSI AND THE DEMONS which is derived from the canon of Anansi stories and Ashanti proverbs.

 
THE ROPE

When: October

Where: It's a secret

Price: $65.00

Tags: #horror

Screenshot Productions (Fear Is What We Learned Here, Parturition) are up to even more antics this Spooky Season:

"The Rope is a highly interactive and immersive horror experience taking you through a dark fantastical world in which each step, each response, and each decision you make influences the world around you. You will be taken to a strange land, through the darkest moments of waking life, and subject to a variety of obstacles and interactions to challenge your sanity."

Here's the big twist: Screenshot will put you on notice during one of the two ticketing periods (Oct. 1-16, 17-31) but after telling them when you're not available they will bring you into this world on their schedule.


For more on Screenshot Productions, check out our reviews of Parturition and Shoshin, or our podcast interview with the creators of those shows.

Not So Spooky  

Monkey Town LA

When: Tues-Sundays through October 1st.
(Closed Labor Day week.)

Where: 111 W 21st St (at S Main St)

Price: $50-$70 (gratuity not included)

Tags: #cinema, #dining

I'm going to cop to this right off the bat: I was sleeping on Monkey Town. This dining and cinema project had a
ten year run inNYC, and is finishing its life after a world tour with this last stand in LA. Monkey Town pairs up two-hour long video art programs projected in a 27-foot cube, with 4- or 5-course menus by Chef Nick Montgomery.

I've talked to a few folks whose taste I trust and they are over the moon about Monkey Town.
LAX Festival

When: September 22–October 2, 2016

Where: Various Venues, LA

Price: Festival passes currently available via Kickstarter for $75.00 (will be $100.)


Tags: #festival

Fall means more than Spooky Season here in LA, it also signals the return of the Live Arts Exchange, now in its fourth year. The LAX Festival is LA's premiere experimental performance fest. 

This year there are 8 featured projects and 44 performances. "[Contemporary] dance, theater in new forms, experiential walks, video installations, new music/opera" and "puppets making sounds" are all represented. Oh, and parties. Don't forget the parties.

This year also features "a brunch-time chat series to dive into concerns in contemporary performance in our city and our field, and a new late-night hub on the rooftop of the Ace Hotel." 


Previous LAX Festivals have included surprises--like some of the first performances of The Speakeasy Society's The Stronger, and this year's fest includes work by podcast guest Marike Splint.

Passes are currently on sale for a discount as part of the Festival's Kickstarter campaign. Pick them up for a song.

Ongoing  

SCREENSHOT PRODUCTIONS: INNER CIRCLE

Membership: $250/quarterly

Tags: #immersive, #subscription

The folks behind Parturition and Fear Is What We Learned Here are trying their hand at a brand new business model: the subscription service. There's a number of perks to membership, including admission to their standalone experiences, but the prime sell here is  'Das Gericht.'

Here's how they pitch it: "an on-going, multi-year interpersonal performance and installation art project utilizing technology and in-person interactions to explore the implications of personal freedoms in a culture of big data collection."

Adventures, Excursions &
Fun Nights Out 

Looking for something fun? To add a little adventure to your life? These might not be "immersive theatre" per se, but they're still a good time.

For even more fun check out our BIG list of
Escape Rooms & Adventures at No Proscenium.com.

 
Tiny Rhino

Where: Art Share LA 
             801E. 4th Pl

When: Septmeber 9th, 8PM

Price: $10

tags: #funnightsout

play collaborative arts' 
Tiny Rhino, the ten-minute play-fest and theatrical drinking game has taken up residency at Art Share LA while play's own venue awaits renovations.

September's theme is THE FUTURE.


Oh, and I'm directing one of the segments. It's not immersive or interactive, so don't get toooo excited there people. But you'll know where to find me on the 9th. 
 
Mojo Maps

Price: $32+

Tags: #walkingtour


Mojo Maps is the work of a former Disney Imagineer and a host of improvisers who "combine live performance, original music and interactive activities sending you on a journey to another time and place." You can hear our interview with founder Chris Eng on the podcast link right here in this very sentence.

Tickets for "Venice Land" are available now, and No Pro subscribers get a 25% discount (check the link at the top for details.) "Arts District Land" and "Echo Park Land" are planned for the near future.
On the Horizon
 
 
Out of Town
 

 Next Issue Deadline:

September 14th at Noon

Please send any show announcements, leads, tips, suggestions for improvements, and where a fella can get a stiff drink around here to: 

no_proscenium@outlook.com

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