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It’s no secret that performing arts sat on the sidelines during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that we’re mostly out of the weeds, creators are getting more ingenuitive than ever with their theatrical offerings. One trend on the rise? Immersive theatre. On The Stage explores immersive theatre, how it works, and how to utilize it within your own programs.
Simply put, immersive theatre places the audience within the show instead of leaving them as observers – transforming them from passive recipients to active participants.
Immersive theatre covers all genres, from drama and comedy to burlesque, tragedy, satire, farce, or any other subcategory you could imagine. A few ways you can spot immersive theatre and/or differentiate it from traditional theatre include:
The art form of immersive theatre has roots dating all the way back to ancient Rome with participatory pantomime performances. Throughout the centuries, the term ‘immersive’ has been given to many types of performances in which the audience participates in the story’s action.
But if you’re speaking about modern-day immersive theatre, the British theater company Punchdrunk is almost universally credited with founding this new wave. Modern-day immersive theatre spearheaded by Punchdrunk often utilizes the following elements:
As mentioned, theatre in its entirety was curtailed greatly by the pandemic, but immersive experiences are back on the up and up. These experiences are growing in popularity yet again, with the emergence of new venues, new business models, and even greater bursts of creativity from creators around the globe.
The trend is ever-expanding; casinos, hotels and resorts, retail stores, and even stadiums are exploring ways to tap into the trend – making the experience more accessible to larger numbers of people and to different demographics.
Additionally, the pandemic did create something good regarding theatre; creators are bridging the physical-digital divide with elements that can be experienced from the comfort of home.
If you plan to attend an immersive experience, you can best enjoy yourself by trying the following:
Setting the stage for an immersive theatrical experience involves more than meets the eye. For your patrons, delivering a professional and branded experience is just as influential in the overall venture.
If you’re hoping to produce an immersive theatre experience in your upcoming season, On The Stage can help. OTS’ all-in-one technology platform includes robust box office management and marketing tools to help differentiate your organization, not just in your performances but also in your patron experience. This software is designed to engage high-volume audiences, augment the breadth of your organization, and take your patron experience to the next level.
With OTS, you can:
Book a personalized demo with On The Stage today if you want guidance to plan your immersive theatre experience. We are proud to have worked with several immersive experiences, including Saw: The Live Experience, Alice in Wonderland, and Paddington (coming later this year!).