Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hey, Can I Be on Stage Too?

Upon entering one of the rooms at the McKittrick hotel, a performer looked in my direction. I immediately looked around me to see the other performer she was looking at but realized that it was me – an audience member - she was looking at. She then took my hand and led me to a dark room. But wait a second, I thought. I'm an observer. I'm not a part of the show (hey, see my mask). That’s the way it should be. Right? 

Well, not for all shows. As I reminisce about my Sleep No More experience, I recall a few other instances where audience members become a part of a show. 

Gob Squad's Kitchen (You've Never Had it So Good) - Take a few random audience members, throw them into remakes of Andy Warhol films under the direction of the Gob Squad and you have one entertaining evening (even if you are not a Warhol fan).

Room 17B In this case, I actually knew the audience member who was pulled into a hilarious version of musical chairs on the small stage at 59E59 Theaters. What fun it was to watch!

Play Dead – The audience promised Todd Robbins not to give away what happens in this cross between a magic show, seance and haunted house visit.  Let’s just say that the audience better be prepared to partake in all the goriness.

Blind Date In this production Rebecca Northan as Mimi (clown nose and all) selects a guy from the audience, and together they have an impromptu blind date, with the audience watching every move (as if a blind date isn't stressful enough on its own). An absolutely clever piece of improv theater.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee – How about getting to relive middle school for a few moments? Throw in some quirky characters and an audience member and you have one heck of a competition.

The Donkey Show – My colleague reminded me of this blast from my past. Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream set to disco in a club on the far west side. Aaah, I want to get up and dance right now.

All of these productions were so much fun. Hey producers, if you are looking for an audience member to add a little impromptu color to your interactive production, sign me up!

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