Vinny DePonto is an amazing mentalist based out of New York City who knows a thing or twelve about immersive theatre: he's been working for the past few years with Third Rail Projects on shows like Sweet & Lucky and the recently opened Ghost Light.
While on tour in LA, Vinny stopped by NoPro headquarters to talk with Noah about how magic is the original immersive theatre and his own background in working in both magic and immersive.
Plus: we get Meiyin Wang, the new Festival Director of the Without Walls Festival, on the line to talk about their big announcement this week and Lauren Ludwig of Capital W (Red Flags, Hamlet-Mobile) stops by to talk about the launch of NoPro's brand new workshop program: because she's teaching the first class next month!
In other words: this is a MASSIVE episode, all in a tiny little space.
Because we know you like it that way.
(Oh, and dig our new logo by Dino Nama, cool, right?)
"When in doubt, LARP it out."
That, thanks to Andrew Hoepfner is one of our unofficial mottos here at NoPro. So it is with great exuberance that we introduce today's guest: Jason Carl of By Night Studios.
By Night Studios are the folks who publish the Mind's Eye Theatre series of LARP games-- live action versions of the classic RPGs Vampire: The Masquerade and Werewolf: The Apocalypse. These are among the NoPro crew's formative immersive experiences, and the lines have been going strong and maturing for years now.
In this episode we do more than talk about what the games are and how they cross over with all things immersive, but about the lessons in consent and safety that have been developed through years of experience in the LARP world: lessons immersive creators and participants would do well to heed.
All that plus: GHOST LIGHT notes from Zay Amsbury in NYC, and something SPECIAL from the gaps of the Hollywood Fringe. #theboanthropic
This week on the show, the co-director of The Overlook Film Festival--Landon Zakheim--joins host Noah Nelson for a lively discussion.
We also check in with Mike and Russell of My Haunt Life to see how the Hollywood Fringe is going.
Plus we tease OUR panel at the Hollywood Fringe: The Fringe of the Fringe! This Saturday June 10th at 11AM!
For even more news: check out NoProscenium.com
Welcome to the all-new No Proscenium Podcast.
The format has changed!
But we've still got an amazing guest for you: contemporary artist Simon Birch, the creator of The 14th Factory, which has been turning heads in Los Angeles since it opened. The 14th Factory is three acres of art--much of it immersive--and all of it designed to create a sense of awe and wonder.
It's a can't miss spot in LA this summer.
Plus we check in with Ricky Brigante of Inside The Magic to talk about an otherworldly attraction in Orlando.
All that and more on the all-new No Pro: brought to you by listeners like you!
One hundred episodes.
Guiding you through everything immersive.
This very special episode of NoPro features the voices of some of our friends--all looking forward to the future of immersive entertainment.
(It's also super short, as these things go!)
We'll see you back here next week, for the ALL NEW No Proscenium.
Our man in NYC -- Zay Amsbury -- and Bryan Bishop (Senior Reporter for The Verge) join master of ceremonies Noah Nelson for a wide-ranging talk about how we talk about this immersive thing of ours.
Oh, yeah, it's one of THOSE episodes.
The "I-word," ARX vs. ARG, virtual reality and more come up as three dudes try and figure out which part of the elephant they are holding. All part of the lead up to episode One- Zero-Zero.
Plus a flash facts version of News & Notes.
WARNING: WE CUSS.
The proprietors of LA's most deliciously strange haunt--Creep LA--invite you to meet the family: The Willows family, that is.
Planned as a year-round production, The Willows is the Creep take on the classic murder mystery dinner. If 'Clue' were staged by The Addams Family and viewed through a disturbed gothic indie horror lens.
Naturally, we love it.
We dig deep into what makes the show possible and the vision Justin Fix and Daniel Montgomery have for it and their production company on this blockbuster episode.
Plus News, Notes, and a call to action for the upcoming Episode 100!
The LA immersive renaissance is really heating up, and choreographer Sophia Stoller is bringing some stunning dance chops to the table this month with her piece 'The Other Side,' which uses some infamous experiments in social control as her inspiration.
We dive into the inspiration for the show and Stoller's craft... and you get a nice dose of news, notes, and an old fashioned Noah rant after the interview proper.
All brought to you by listeners like you.
This is a first: an After Dark episode with someone who isn't on the No Pro team.
Here's another first: talking to a member of The Speakeasy Society solo... well, mostly solo. Maybe there are special guests. Maybe not all of the are human. Maybe you'll have to listen to find out what we mean by that.
This is one of those lovely philosophical discussions about the form where we really get our hands dirty. And occasionally curse. So grab a drink (but don't drive!) and join us After Dark, won't you?
OH, YEAH: I totally give you a hint at what's going on with the Hollywood Fringe Festival, the tickets for which go on sale at MIDNIGHT MAY 1st.
Story time: months ago, while driving Interstate 5 in California, I listened to Kent Bye's interview with Jessica Brillhart of Google. In that episode of his "Voices of VR" podcast Kent offered up an "elemental theory of presence," mapping the classical elements onto the different building blocks of immersive experiences.
It was like a door opened up in my head. Luckily, I didn't drive off the road.
I knew at that moment that I had to have Kent on the show. I knew I had to bring him into our little corner of the immersive world to share what he discovered.
In other words, get ready for one of those episodes of No Proscenium, because we're not going to be the same after this one.
Oh yeah: all the news and notes--and then some--are here in our pursuit of EVERYTHING IMMERSIVE.
Brought to you by Patreon backers like you.
What can we say about Dasha and Keight, Keight and Dasha?
If you're a fan on the LA immersive scene you've probably encountered their work with Annie Lesser (Getting To Know You, Covell), or seen Dasha in Delusion or had the most disturbing one-on-one possible with Keight in Lesser's A(partment 8)--which is getting a reprise this year at the Hollywood Fringe and is appearing at the Overlook Film Festival as The Chalet.
But that's their resumes.
What's it like to, you know, just hang out with Dasha and Keight?
It's awesome. Enjoy.
All that plus another ridiculously huge raft of News. Honestly people, you need to calm down.
This week Noah is joined by Jon Lawrence Rivera, founder and artistic director of LA's Playwright's Arena to talk about their 25th-anniversary show "The Hotel Play," a site-specific piece that unfolds in a series of hotel rooms at the Radisson by USC.
We get into their writing process behind telling a mosaic story with a writer's room of playwrights. (Apologies for the slightly off sound quality. SOMEBODY forgot a cable and we recorded on the laptop... but it sounds better than the pre-Yeti mic episodes somehow!)
All that plus a MEGA News&Notes (sorry, not sorry, but kinda sorry) and the announcement of EVERYTHING IMMERSIVE our new GLOBAL Facebook group for... everything immersive.
Marissa Nielsen-Pincus, Associate Artistic Director of Third Rail Projects, joins us to talk about the a of immersive performance. Marissa has had a major role in crafting and keeping up Third Rail's most famous shows, and we get into the spirit of the craft and her approach.
All that plus the usual News & Notes, brought to you by Patreon backers just like *you*.
Note: the News & Notes section is a bit long this time out. Interview starts at 19:39.
I first met Ben Hill in 2011, on the eve of the second Hollywood Fringe Festival. We became fast friends. In the years since the Hollywood Fringe has become an important incubator for the immersive arts here in LA. Capital W, Annie Lesser, and Shine On Collective all got their start at the Fringe. This year is poised to be the most important year for immersive at the Fringe yet: for reasons we delve into in the podcast.
Join festival co-founder Ben Hill and myself as we take a tour through what it takes to make immersive at the Fringe--the registration deadline is April 1st--and have a few laughs along the way. -Noah
Plus the usual News & Notes.
This week: we travel up to the Presidio in San Francisco to talk with Vicki Dobbs Beck, the executive in charge of ILM's xLab. That's the part of Lucasfilm--yes, that Lucasfilm--whose mandate is to explore the immersive frontier. They're working on a whole range of immersive, virtual reality powered projects, and host Noah Nelson talks with Beck about how she views the world of immersive entertainment.
Join us as we gaze into the future, and get incredibly excited about how the digital and physical realms of immersive entertainment are merging.
All that, and the usual News and Notes. Brought to you by Patreon backers just like YOU.
It's always a big deal when an internationally known theatre company like Rimini Protokoll hits Los Angeles. It's an even bigger deal for our team when they hit LA with an immersive, headphone driven show like Remote X. And it's a really big deal that they're doing it under the auspices of Center Theatre Group, the biggest theatrical producer in LA.
So naturally we just nerd out with director Jörg Karrenbauer and talk about process and theory, because No Proscenium is a podcast for theatre nerds by theatre nerds.
Oh, and there's the usual NEWS AND NOTES... and an announcement we're just going to tease you here with.
We've wanted David Mack, the strategic director for Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre and a consultant and producer in his own right, on the show for ages. David is a fellow traveler in the LA arts scene and knows more than almost anybody here about what's what.
So naturally we start talking about the Big Picture: how the real estate market and the demographics of LA impact and influence the art that is made here. This one works as a solid compass point for producers of *any* kind of performance art here in LA. And for fans: it gives you a real nuts and bolts look behind the scenes that explains why things are the way they are...
All that plus a raft of News and Notes.
Live from the ThinkTank Studio... well, virtually live anyway: we talk with VR Scout editor-at-large and immersonaut extraordinaire Jesse Damiani about his exploration of Sundance's New Frontier, his development of scripting tools for digital and live immersive experiences, and a whole lot more.
PLUS: so many notes you will run out of sticks to shake at them. Including details on our first unofficial Fringe Town Hall: putting two great tastes--the Hollywood Fringe and immersive--together in a formal way at last. Better than chocolate and peanut butter! (That's a damn lie and I know it. Nothing is better than chocolate and peanut butter. Unless you have an allergy.) LINK: http://hff17.com/4496
All this brought to you by our generous Patreon backers and the support of Think Tank LA--check out their podcast Artist Real Talk! Stalk their shows as they go mobile!
CONTENT ADVISORY: Noah says a BAD WORD!!!
Jeff Leinenveber and Jarrett Lantz have been around the immersive scene in LA for a minute. The two Imagineers (you know what this is, right?) have worked on Delusion and helped out Third Rail Projects when they popped into town.
Now they are turning their theme park sharpened skills on their own immersive work with the newly announced The Nest, coming this April: and we're here to tell you all about it.
Well, that and the usual nonsense we get up to.
All that plus a massively NEWS focused News and Notes.
Rubber Ducky Optional!
Thrills! Zay-our man in NYC-sits down with Siobhan O'Loughlin, creator of Broken Bone Bathtub, the globe-trotting solo show that takes place in bathtubs.
Chills! Noah butchers some names, as usual!
News! Notes! Surprises! Stick around for the end credits: there's one!
ALL BROUGHT TO YOU BY WONDERFUL PEOPLE JUST LIKE YOU!
Friend of the show Abel Horwitz stops by to talk about the month-long residency of his Serial Killer Speed Dating at The Bunker Experience escape room in Pasadena. It's been a while since Abel and Noah have had a face-to-face chat so, naturally, things get weird.
Also: in the News & Notes section this week a little tale of community and connection from our MC.
All this is brought to you by our amazing Patreon backers. Like Jessica Lachenal and Brett Kuehner, who are the latest to join the cause!
They call themselves THE ORGANIZERS and they're looking for a man named Jake. You know him. That Jake.
Welcome to another great episode of the No Pro podcast as we get wonky with two members of the creative team from the immersive event series Have You Seen Jake? which involves a search for a missing man through a surreal mindscape.
We're protecting the creator's identities, since there's a whole metafiction going on, but to be clear: this is NOT an in-character podcast. This is a full-on, glorious No Pro wonkfest.
These folks GET the power of immersive, and I think you can learn a lot from this episode whether you're a new maker, a fan, or an old hand. One of my favorites. -Noah
BROUGHT TO YOU BY LISTENERS LIKE YOU, THANKS TO PATREON!
John O'Malley has had a storied career behind the scenes in immersive theatre. He was part of the producing team on Sleep No More back when the show started up in NYC, and he currently works for Space in the Raw--a group who navigates the liminal space between real estate developers and artists.
Host Noah Nelson sits down with John in his West Hollywood apartment and the two talk about the business, John's career journey, and a certain Mouse House. In other words: we get hella wonky in this one. A great episode for you immersive nerds.
Screenshot Productions' Nicholas Sherwin & Meghan McHale-Sherwin join host Noah Nelson to talk about the all-new version of Screenshot's Fear Is What We Learned Here that they are bringing to SF. They also chat about adjusting to life in the Bay Area, the ART side of immersive, and more.
All THAT plus a RAFT of news & notes from around the country.
Brought to you by PATREON backers like you!