Once upon a time Sean Stewart was a science fiction novelist. Then, one day, he got a call asking if he wanted to take part in a little world-building project. One based around a Steven Spielberg movie.
That movie was A.I. and that project would become known as "The Beast," the first Alternate Reality Game. Now Sean works for Magic Leap, the secretive company in Florida that is working on augmented reality. But we're not here to talk about that. We're here to talk about making participatory stories.
Sean plays Jedi Master to Noah's padawan learner. This is a very, very good episode.
Last week your host, Noah Nelson, was in Qingdao, China for the Sandbox Immersive Festival. This week he's back, solo, to talk about some of what he observed there and about the emerging thinking around XR -- the term being given to all of immersive technology -- and how that relates to live immersive.
This being Noah talking into a microphone, you know that we get into a few tangents, including thoughts about what it means to become a bit jaded as a reviewer, and what incoming designers need to be thinking about when they approach immersive work for the first time.
At the heart of many an immersonaut's journey is #SOMEDND, the "DND" being Dungeons & Dragons, and as it just so happens that hashtag stood for a recent livestream extravaganza called the Stream of Many Eyes.
Now, why is NoPro talking about live-streaming D&D?
Well for one, the lead up to the stream was a multiverse hopping alternate reality game (#NoStoneUnturned) that called upon the powers of transmedia producer Emmett Furey and puzzle designer Elisa Teague, who join us on this week's episode to talk about the ARG, mixing tabletop gaming with escape room like puzzles, and the renaissance in roleplaying games.
Look: we always knew it was going to come down to Dungeons & Dragons. It's almost a surprise it took this long to get here.
Our hard-hitting reporters have revealed a nest of bloodsuckers in the beating heart of Los Angeles. This den of the undead appears to the outside world as the lobby of one of those newfangled "escape rooms" co-owned by a woman named Rachel Foti. Our intrepid host dares to enter this lair of sin and uncover the secret origin of this nefarious gathering point for a "micro-community" of the vampire's mortal pawns.
Follow us into The Count's Den if you dare.
There's something magical going on in Downtown Los Angeles. Something simple, and oh-so-needed in this day and age.
It's called The Silent Play Experiment, and it is exactly what it says on the tin. Host Noah Nelson sits down with its co-creator Olivia Hamilton to talk about the experience, the company that gave birth to it, and the road to embracing play.
She's bringing her experience as a producer of immersive and interactive events to one of the biggest travel destinations in all of Southern California, and taking our friends at Think Tank along for the ride. This episode is a barn burner: art, augmented reality, and how theatre kids are stealth taking over the world. Okay. That last one is implied. We don't say it, but it's soooo there.
Brought to you by the generous support of Meow Wolf (!!!!) and our amazing Patreon backers.
This edition replaces the messed up original file.
From how to handle spoiler discussions online to designing for discovery after the fact, this conversation is all about the unique problems that face immersive entertainment of every form -- from live theatre to escape rooms to Alternate Reality Games.
Good thing we've got people who specialize in each of those on the show today!
It's no secret that we have LARP roots here at No Proscenium, specifically VAMPIRE LARP roots. So when we heard that there's a "blockbuster" (aka bespoke) Vampire LARP coming to Texas in November -- part of the relaunch of Vampire: the Masquerade which is happening all year long -- we got very, very intrigued.
Which is how we ended up talking to Matthew Webb of Jackalope Live Action Studios, the company that is putting on this event called The Night In Question.
That's not all Jackalope is up to, as they're working on the Cyberpunk license and more, looking to introduce an emerging style of play to brand new audiences.
Break out the fangs, we're going in.
Just time for a real quick update about a few things.
Director Spencer Williams (Walk The Night) and music producer Andrew Heringer have created a unique music experience in the form of The Guest & The Host: Make Music, which will be debuting alongside the Hollywood Fringe Festival this June in LA.
Plus: Noah's initial thoughts on the Oculus Go.
What happens when two immersive theatre companies meet at a bar in San Francisco?
They make a show in LA, that's what.
Rochester, 1996 is a collaboration between Capital W and DryCræft Los Angeles that will be hitting this year's Hollywood Fringe Festival. We talk with Lauren Ludwig & Monika Miklas of Capital W, and Thaddeus Shafer of DryCræft Los Angeles whose life as the son of a pastor provides the inspiration for the show.
All that plus a touch of the usual shenanigans.
Every fan of immersive in Los Angeles know the name Jon Braver: he's the creator of the wildly popular Delusion interactive horror theatre company.
Each instance of Delusion is an event into and of itself, and Jon has been creating his dark wonderland in our reality for years now.
This week Delusion goes virtual, with the cinematic VR version of Delusion: Lies Within debuting at The Overlook Film Festival. We talk with Jon about that, the future of the LIVE Delusion shows, and just about everything else under the sun in this, our first full interview with Jon.
Don't worry, we save the pie for afterwards. But it is one of THOSE episodes thanks to the beer. In fact, it's officially an NoPro After Dark.
We get into process in this one, so you know I love it.
John MacInnes and Remington Scott met while making Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, kicking off a collaboration (MacInness Scott) that is exploring the bleeding edge of photorealism. But these two are about more than brain melting tech that can turn Hollywood actors and politicians into digital humans: all that is just the groundwork for exploring the art of storytelling on the immersive digital frontier.
Host Noah Nelson talks with John and Remington about the history of their collaboration, their work for Netflix on an Altered Carbon promotion, and just where all this is headed.
The madmen went and did it.
Last week the creative team behind The Tension & Lust Experiences announced that they were taking on new partners, a company called AGBO -- which is The Russo Brothers' new company.
You know, the guys who are directing Avengers: Infinity War.
So yeah, that's some big news. And Tension creators Darren Bousman, Clint Sears, and producer Gordon Bijelonic sit down with host Noah Nelson to talk about what all this means for The Experiences now and in the future.
Oh, and Joe Russo calls in during the show to explain why and how he got mixed up with all this.
Plus: a word about our editorial policy updates.
Our dear friend Bryan Bishop of The Verge has just come back from a once-in-a-lifetime experience at SXSW. There he was one of just two participants in an elaborate, four day long immersive experience called a "Simulife" by the creative think tank known as Interactive Deep Dive.
Host Noah Nelson, who walks in clueless (What else is new?), journey's with Bryan into the heart of what made this so special. The answer: Soylent Green. (I mean, from a certain point of view.)
Well that and a wide ranging conversation about how he landed in the business, writing, and more.
That plus a #NoProGoesPro campaign update.
You may not know Justin Denton's name, but you certainly have heard of his work. He's the director of the much buzzed about LEGION FX activation at last year's San Diego Comic Con (which had an encore at FoST Fest in NYC) and part of the core team at Here Be Dragons, the production studio that has helped put VR on the map.
Get ready, because Noah and Justin are about to have one of THOSE conversations.
This is my favorite episode in a long while.
Plus: we sing the praises of our SXSW crew, and detail the NEXT STEP in our March NO PRO GOES PRO campaign. (GIVE US YOUR MONEY!)
Aaron and Austin Keeling of E3W Productions join Noah to talk about their new show Bitter at the End and how their surprise debut -- the absolutely wonderful In Another Room -- came together in the first place.
Keep an eye on these guys, they're got the touch.
Plus: the first part of our NoPro Goes Pro campaign BEGINS.
Kathryn sits down with Taylor Myers of Roll The Bones to talk about his storied career (Sleep No More, Then She Fell, Grand Paradise) and the upcoming narrative feature film Hamlet in the Golden Vale an adaptation of Shakespeare's play.
Actor, poet, and entrepreneur Terence Leclere joins host Noah Nelson to talk about how he became an immersive person, and just what he's up to with his company Metaforyou, which offers immersive and interactive services for hire in the LA area.
Philosophy with a side of business. Plus: Noah totally gives a reading list at the end of the show. What? I know.
Join the conversation at the NoPro Slack.
Creator Nick Rheinwald-Jones & Creative Producer Lyndsie Scoggin of Safehouse '77 invite Noah to the safehouse for a chat about how the show came to be... and how it is returning to LA.
That plus: a but about this week's LEIA Town Hall in LA, and a shout out to our friends at the A.R.T. Artist Real Talk podcast, who are kicking off their second season with a bang!
Brought to you by our amazing Patreon backers.
Alison S. M. Kobayashi joins Kathryn Yu to talk about Say Something Bunny, a feat of theatrical documentary that draws audiences into the lives of a New York Jewish family in the 1950s. It is quite unlike anything else on stage in NYC, and it drew the attention of our New York team.
Plus: Noah without his coffee.
Our friends from LA's Speakeasy Society return to talk about two -- or is it three??? -- upcoming projects including their take on The Wild Party, which is part of The Broad Stage's 10th anniversary season.
This episode is dedicated to Prof. Mohammad Kowsar (1943 - 2018).
Zay Amsbury returns to talk with Caitlin Cassidy and Geoff Kanick of Lubdub Theatre Company about The Doubtful Guest.
Plus: Noah talks about the initial impact of the Immersive Design Summit.
This week we turn to YOU, the NoPro audience (and our team), to find out what you're looking forward to in the coming year.
Ida Benedetto is the author of Patterns of Transformation: Designing Sex, Death and Survival in the 21st Century. That work came about thanks to years of practice as an experience designer, including being part of the legendary Night Heron speakeasy brain trust. She joins NoPro NYC curator Kathryn Yu to discuss her approach to experience design.
This is one we've been waiting for.
Tommy Honton wears a lot of hats: escape room designer, founding member of LEIA, and now the co-creator of The Museum of Selfies, a gloriously self-aware "Instagram Museum" which is opening up in the immersive-friendly SoCal city of Glendale.
We talk with Tommy about the very real, and very tongue in cheek, themes of the Museum and about his upcoming escape room "Stash House," which is coming out of testing.
Get ready for one of THOSE episodes.
Zay Amsbury, our man in New York City, is setting out for some traveling. Stepping into his shoes is Kathryn Yu, our not-so-secret-weapon.
In this AFTER DARK episode that duo join Noah to talk about, well... whatever we want to talk about. It's one of THOSE episodes. (Which are a lot of fun.)
Plus: what starts out as a media rant at the end of the show turns into something decidedly more, um, spiritual?
Sean T. Cawelti, Chelsea Sutton, and Lori Meeker of LA's Rogue Artist Ensemble stop in to talk about Kaidan Project: Walls Grow Thin. We dig into the long gestation process, and lessons learned from the Rogue's first foray into large-scale immersive work.
Plus: Rolfe Kent of The Unmarked Door stops by to talk about their first show, 'The Heart of Winter' which debuts in Culver City this month.
Louis Changchien and Steven Klein of the LA and immersive premiere of the Obie-Award winning CAUGHT (currently at Think Tank Gallery in DTLA) join Noah for a look into the twisty reality of this barnburner of a play.
Spoilers abound! But you still have two weeks to catch (accidental pun) the show at Think Tank Gallery, then come back here and listen to this deep dive into the history of the production.
THIS. IS. A. GREAT. SHOW. JUST. GO.
Before he was the Vice President of Experiential Global Entertainment for Westfield -- yes, that Westfield -- Vance Garrett was a producer on 29 Rooms and The Museum of Ice Cream.
Before THAT he was a key player in the opening of the McKittrick Hotel, home of Sleep No More.
On this episode of the podcast we take a trip down memory lane with Vance.
Eva Anderson and Michael Cassady, the co-writers of 'Amos: A Play With Music,' join us to talk about the EDM infused, site-responsive musical that audiences in LA are eating up.
Plus: Steve Boyle of Epic Immersive joins us to make a VERY SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT about The Immersive Design Summit, which is coming up in San Francisco this January. (Applications are OPEN NOW, and they CLOSE THIS SUNDAY!)
Get ready for some brain-twisty-ness on the latest episode.
First: we have Lin Bo, of China's dissident Xiong Collective joining us for a hot second at Think Tank Gallery where he is hanging their new collaboration 'District 798.' Lin Bo is the subject of the show 'Caught,' which is also making its bow at Think Tank.
How does that work? We have no idea.
Then it's time for one of THOSE episodes, as we sit down with Derek Spencer of Ceaseless Fun (and the League of Experiential and Immersive Artists) to talk about... well, everything.
Plus a short rant about Gothamist shutting down, word on the Immersive Design Summit, and strange interruptions galore.
This one really is like hanging out with us.
Just a quick check in with a few announcements about some upcoming events!
London based immersive producer Venetia Harpin joins Noah to talk about the scene in London, her work in experiential marketing and the way that world and the world of immersive theatre overlap.
All that plus more on this January's Immersive Design Summit.
This week: the creative team at Hall and Mirrors -- creators of the $5000 a ticket, one guest at a time show YOU -- sit down with us to talk about upending the traditional theatre market, making art for one, and what led to the creation of this audacious experiment.
Writer-producer Edward Tucker, director Daniel Student, and actor Lola Kelly join host Noah Nelson for a lively discussion.
Plus: a tease of this January's Immersive Design Summit.
This week David Ruzicka, the Artistic Director of Creep LA, joins us to talk about his career path in immersive -- from his earliest days as a kind of haunt prodigy (my term, not his) to working operations and then design in the theme park industry.
And then, of course, teaming up with Just Fix It Productions for The Willows and now Creep: Lore.
It's a great conversation with a great guy. And then Noah ruins it all by rambling for ten minutes at the end of the show. Like always.
This week Zay sits down with Woodshed Collective’s Artistic Director Teddy Bergman (K-POP) to talk about the storied NYC group's approach to immersive theatre. Bergman and Woodshed's The Confidence Man was Zay's intro into the realm of immersive, so he's been looking forward to this one... and I've been looking forward to listening to it! --Noah
Plus: some rambling thoughts from our master of ceremonies.
This week on the show: a kind of psychological sequel to last week’s episode on physical safety.
We have sex-positive psych Dr. Liz Powell -- a licensed therapist and coach who specializes in LGBTQ/Poly/Kink-Friendly therapy joining us to talk about the mental side of safety and emotional risk.
Plus Elan Lee -- co-creator of Exploding Kittens and former Chief Design Officer at Xbox joins us to talk about his passion for escape rooms.
Head's up: strong language and frank discussion throughout!
Immersive productions can be challenging, both physically and mentally for creators and audiences alike.
Even when they are challenging, there is a reasonable expectation that they are safe. That every effort has been made to make sure that even experiences that seem dangerous are, in fact, not dangerous. That the risks that are being taken by audience and performers are the agreed upon ones -- not one of shoddy construction and poor design.
What sort of mindset should creators have when taking safety into consideration? What should audience members accept when it comes to safety issues? These are the questions we get into with our expert panel: from Delusion come production designer Kevin Williams and lighting designer/technical director Iam Momii. Joining them is David Ruzicka, a creative consultant who is part of the Creep team and who works in the theme park industry.
Plus: Charlie Melcher, founder of The Future of Storytelling, joins us for the "A" segment. (Use the code NP20 for 20% of FoST Fest tickets.)
Two of our favorite creators in the Southland, Jeff Leinenveber and Jarrett Lantz return to talk about lessons learned from their first show: the very much beloved The Nest.
Before that: Meredith Treinen talks about her upcoming debut work grief.
Before that: Noah formally announces the formation of LEIA: The League of Experiential & Immersive Artists.
Before that: we address the safety issues raised last weekend at one show in LA, and what we're going to be doing about it as a community.
Before that: you download the podcast.
PLUS: WE. HAVE. FOST. TICKETS. FOR. YOU. Listen for giveaway rules!
There is pretty much NOTHING that gets me more excited about virtual reality than Mindshow: which turns an HTC Vive into a performance capture tool, allowing users to create animated stories with digital puppets. It's like having a film FX pre-visualization tool to play with.
For years now I've been anticipating Mindshow's release to the public and now, this week, it is finally HERE. You can roll onto Steam right now and get it for free.
To celebrate, we've got Mindshow CEO Gil Baron on to talk about it and the philosophy behind the software. Gil is one of my favorite people to talk all things immersive with, and I've been dying to do this episode for years now. If you're in NYC in October you can check out Mindshow and meet the team at the FUTURE OF STORYTELLING FESTIVAL, who are hosting them this year. (You should go.)
This is a big episode in every sense. Gil's interview starts a bit after the half-hour mark (WHAT?) because our friend Ricky Brigante of Inside The Magic stops by to talk about the jam packed summer he's had.
Hey: it's a holiday weekend. Consider this two shows for the price of one.
If you're in the amusement industry, Kevin Williams is a name you probably know. Once upon a time he headed up the "DisneyQuest" project in Orlando for the Mouse House, and beyond that he's a consultant on numerous projects, the editorial voice of The Stinger Report and founder of The DNA: Digital Out-of-Home Interactive Entertainment Association.
This year he's starting an all new conference focused on the Future of Immersive Leisure. We talked about that, his history in the amusement industry, and a whole lot more.
Plus: David & Lisa of Room Escape Artist stop by to talk about the state of Escape Rooms, and I go into a little more about LEIA: the League of Experiential & Immersive Artists, which is coming together in the Southland.
Oh, do we have a multi-layered episode for you today.
First, we turn to Jacob Patterson of Think Tank Gallery, as we drop in on the night of their media preview for their next big show Drinkin', Smokin', West Coastin'.
Then we unlock the No Pro time machine (Where do you think all that Patreon money goes to?) to enter the world of Nocturnal Fandango before The Sudden Loneliness Gift disrupted their dreams and plans. That's where we find Jason and Kevin Davidson, the couple at the heart of that company, weeks after Have You Seen Jake? ended, before a tragic fire--an uncanny echo of stories past--took Kevin away from Jason.
All that, and Noah shares his tale of a Technodelic experience.
Christian Dieckmann is the Chief Strategy Officer of 3D Live, a technology studio in Los Angeles that specializes in creating "holographic" 3D.
Their LED video wall has made appearances at VRLA and other gatherings, showing that there is something magical to letting those of us outside a virtual space see what happens when participants and performers are interacting with virtual worlds.
Christian is going to be speaking at the Future of Immersive Leisure conference at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas this September 13th & 14th. The conference organizers were gracious enough to set us up with Christian for this interview and our audience up with a 20% discount for the conference when they use the code NOPROSCENIUM.
Shouldn't be too hard to remember.
All that, plus the end of the show notes where I talk a little about In Another Room, which makes its bows this week in LA.
After two years (!!) we're back with Annie Lesser for a conversation on how her work has evolved as she's become a mainstay of LA's immersive theatre scene.
Plus: field reports from Noah about Midsummer Scream and a pop-up event for HBO's Big Little Lies that pulled in some of LA's best immersive actors and creators.
What a week.
At this year's San Diego Comic Con the most buzzed about things weren't movies: they were immersive.
Pop-up "marketing activations" for Westworld, Blade Runner 2049, and Mr. Robot drew on the talents and skills of immersive theatre makers and ARG crafters to created the biggest tentpole for immersive this side of Sleep No More.
We check in with Daphne Mir and Maxwell Robison who checked out Westworld and Blade Runner 2049, respectively, to get a connoisseur eye view of these immersive gateways into some of Hollywood's biggest properties.
Plus: our neighbor uses a garden hose throughout a very special announcement from Noah.
Plus-plus: in LA this weekend? Swing on by MIDSUMMER SCREAM and catch our "STAGE & SCREAM" panel on Sunday. Featuring Zombie Joe, Shine On Collective, The Overlook Film Fest, and Unbound Productions.
What can we say about this Open Forum edition?
Well: we crack open a can of worms and we go right in. That's what.
WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE.
Steve Boyle, the CEO of the SF Bay Area's Epic Immersive stops by to talk about their work in immersive theatre and VR... and about their new show The Infernal Motel.
All brought to you by our generous Patreon backers.
Sustaining Backer: Ross Sigworth
Music By: Chris Porter
Lauren Ludwig of Capital W stops by to take a deep dive into the process behind her latest, the much talked about Red Flags. Which means we dive deep down the acting and process rabbit hole.
What does that have to do with Jon Hamm?
You'll see. You'll see.
Plus: "live events locksmith" Simon Rust Lamb jumps in to answer YOUR questions about getting a new production company off the ground.
Plus the creator of the augmented reality/immersive theatre piece Transmission, which will be making its debut at the Edinburgh Fringe stops by.
Brought to you by our Patreon backers, including sustaining backer Ross Sigworth.
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!
A wrap up of immersive theatre news and notes from NYC to LA with a stop in one of our new haunts--Atlanta--by host Noah Nelson.
We check in with Zay, Dean, and Albert--the curators of the New York, Chicago, and San Francsico newsletters--to get their immersive highlights for 2016.
Oh, and we also check in with some of YOU to get a broader picture of our immersive world.
Brought to you by our friends at drafty-app.com.
So long, 2016. You've been... a thing.
The first part of our two part end of the year spectacular. This episode sees friend of the show Juliet Bennett Rylah (LAist, Thrillist) joining host Noah Nelson to talk about some of their favorite immersive experiences of the year. Juliet's a big fan of the haunt stuff, bringing a Team Spooky perspective to the festivities.
All that plus the usual News & Notes.
Brought to you by our friends at drafty-app.com and Patreon backers like you!
Friends of the show Lauren Ludwig and Monica Miklas stop by to talk about lessons learned from the recent remount of Hamlet-Mobile, which was pretty much host Noah Nelson's favorite thing in 2015 that wasn't a Star Wars movie.
All that plus: we've got some free tickets in the Bay Area to David Byrne's Neurosociety thanks to our friends at Epic Immersive, Noah embarrsess himself no less than TWICE during the news and notes, and you can update your NYE plans in LA.
It's No Proscenium! Brought to you by our friends at drafty-app.com and Patreon backers JUST. LIKE. YOU.
Jon Braver, the mastermind behind Delusion--backbone of LA's immersive horror world--joins host Noah Nelson for a quick chat on the patio lounge of the show. Get a glimpse behind the forces that put this powerhouse show together, and peer into the virtual future of Delusion on this episode of your faborite (we hope!) immersive entertainment podcast.
Oh, yeah: News & Notes and a Call to Action! Plus we promise you a Christmas present.
All brought to you by our friends at drafty-app.com and Patreon backers like YOU!
From NYC: Zay Amsbury talks with Kendra Slack and Jordan Chlapecka of Linked Dance Theatre, who have been working on some exciting stuff.
Meanwhile, in LA, Noah makes some dumb jokes about Krampus and pitches us all on becoming Patreon backers. Whatever, Noah.
All that and a modicum of News.
Brought to you by our friends at drafty-app.com and brave, tolerant Patreon backers like you.
Noah here with some updates, a call to action for our End of Year episode, and the latest show annoucements we've got!
Back next week with a full show!
Brought to you by our friends at Drafty (drafty-app.com) and Patreon backers like you!
Lisa and David Spira of Room Escape Artist join Zay in New York City to talk about how they got into reviewing escape rooms, and the trio breaks down their reaction to Paradiso: Chapter One--the theatrical escape room game that's been the talk of NYC.
All that plus news and more.
Brought to you by our friends at Drafty (drafty-app.com) and Patreon backers like YOU.
Theme music by Chris Porter.
Marlee Delia and Anna Mavromati of Shine On Collective join host Noah Nelson to talk about their show Devoted, one of the gems of LA's Spooky Season.
Plus News & Notes.
Brought to you by our friends at Drafty: drafty-app.com and Patreon backers like you.
Bryan Bishop, senior reporter for The Verge, has been on a quest for all of October. He's been digging into the immersive horror scene in Los Angeles and joins host Noah Nelson to talk about The Tension Experience, how immersive is bigger than any one medium, and what gets him excited about our rapidly evolving art form.
And, yeah, the News & Notes.
Brought to you by our friends at drafty-app.com and Patreon backers like you!
Head's up: there's some profanity if you listen open air style.
This week, a vacationing Noah takes some audience questions about the nature of immersive and the International scene. Then he delivers a rant about value and cost in live immersive entertainment.
Plus the usual News & Notes!
Noah journeys into the man cave of Bob Glouberman... wait. That's not right.
MEET: the creator of Get The F Out: The Virus, one of the most enjoyable escape rooms in LA!
MARVEL: at how he and host Noah Nelson pack so much nerditry into such a short span of time!
WONDER: how many more exclamation marks we have in this Costco pack we bought last week!!!!
All this plus the news, notes, and a reminder to send us your questions for next week's OPEN FORUM via email and voice message to email@example.com.
Brought to you by our friends at drafty-app.com and Patreon backers like you!
Zay talks to Andrew Hoepfner and Melinda Lauw of Whisper Lodge, a recent experiment in live ASMR experiences in New York. Zay caught up to the creators right after his experience in the lodge, so it's all super fresh.
Meanwhile: we've got a raft of News & Notes from headquarters-- new shows, new reviews, and a tiny little breakdown of what's up at IndieCade's NIGHT GAMES this Saturday night in LA.
Brought to you by our friends at Drafty (drafty-app.com) and the generous support of Patreon backers (patron.com/noproscenium).
Before you go any further, we just want to remind you that puns were once considered the highest form of wit...
What happens when you put old friends in a room and get them talking about theatrical games? This episode of No Pro, that's what. Noah sits down with Myles Nye and Greg Snyder of The Wise Guys--whose careers have involved building challenges for Survivor-- to talk about their upcoming immersive gaming event Heritage Scare: An Evening of Competitive Murder on Oct. 30th in LA.
Bonus: you can catch a preview of one of the games at the upcoming IndieCade: Night Games event on Oct 15th.
All that plus the usual News & Notes, and a coda about The Grand Paradise from Myles.
East Coast Represent! West Coast Represent!
It's the return of the AFTER DARK podcast. Hosts Noah Nelson and Zay Amsbury plug in their microphones and open up the good stuff to get down to some no holds barred talking.
Bad marketing, hidden burlesque shows, what drives us nuts and what keeps up turning up for show after show.
Pour yourself your favorite drink and settle in. But only... After Dark.
Brought to you by our friends at drafty-app.com.
Host Noah Nelson sits down with creator and performer Jenapher Zheng to talk about her "video game theatre" piece Oblivious, performing in immersive, movement-based work, and how gaming influences her sense of design.
All that plus the usual News & Notes!
From the Think Tank podcast studio in DTLA comes the latest episode of NO PRO.
Host Noah Nelson is joined by Think Tank's Jacob Patterson to talk about Traphouse.la, the art show/escape room/immersive venue that Think Tank is popping up for Spooky Season in LA. Annnnnnd to announce the advent of Think Tank's own podcast A.R.T.- Artist Real Talk, which is bowing this week.
All that plus the News & Notes-- featuring the announcement of No Pro's involvement with IndieCade's NIGHT GAMES event on October 15th, and our BRAND NEW THEME MUSIC by Chris Porter.
So, you know, just your average episode. ;-)
Jonathan Josephson, Paul Millet and Jeff Rack are the creators of the perennially popular WICKED LIT in Altadena--a triptych of literary adaptations that provide an immersive twist on Halloween fun. The team, best known as Unbound Productions, sits down with host Noah Nelson in the Think Tank Podcast Studio to talk about this year's Wicked Lit, the history of the company, and the non-Spooky Season shenanigans they get up to.
All that plus the News & Notes, and Noah makes the case for why you should be backing No Pro on Patreon. (Hint: because we need you to!)
THE TIME OF THE HARVEST IS UPON US! ALL SHALL... oh, sorry. Wrong podcast.
THIS WEEK ON THE SHOW: Mike Fontaine & Russell Eaton of My Haunt Life join us to talk about the best that LA's Spooky Season has to offer. We go IN on haunts large and small, extreme and home. If you want to know what to do in LA for Halloween scares THIS IS THE PLACE TO BE.
All that plus a whole lot more. (How "a whole lot more" is even remotely possible, I don't know. But it is!)
For the past few months in Los Angeles a mysterious cult has been up to no good... or so the makers of The Tension Experience would have you believe. After months of speculation and rumors the cat was finally let out of the bag when what appeared to be an Alternate Reality Game turned out to be the lead up to: an immersive horror experience.
So that's a two-fer for NoPro. Our interest was piqued.
Yet there was still little in the way of information on just who was behind all the cloak and dagger shenanigans. That is, until today. The Tension Experience pulled back the curtain for the LA Times and revealed its creator as Darren Lynn Bousman, director of Saw II, III, IV and of Repo! The Genetic Opera.
We were lucky enough to sit down with Bousman a couple of weeks back to talk about The Tension Experience, how a filmmaker finds himself doing immersive horror, conspiracy theories, and his deep passion for immersive theatre. Oh, and we also talk about how hard it is to get a show up and running in LA.
This is one of my favorite interviews in the who series so far. I hope you dig it too.
This one's for the record books.
John Rosenberg of the (currently) Culver City-based Hella Fresh Theater joins host Noah Nelson for what can only be described as a late-night dorm conversation about high school theatre, putting plays on in your own living room, and the living legacies of the worst people ever.
Not exactly the usual chit chat.
All that plus News & Notes on this, the 60th episode of No Proscenium.
(Contains strong language.)
Last year play collaborative arts venue, one of the producers of immersive and interactive shows in LA, was shut down by the vice squad for running a DIY performance venue.
For the past month Noah--our host--has been helping out the campaign to "legitimize play" and bring performing arts back to the space that until now has been zoned as an art gallery. You've probably heard us talk about it on the show.
In this episode Noah talks with the power trio at play--Nicole Rosner, Meredith Treinen, and Scott Monahan--about how the campaign came to be, the obstacles they've faced in bringing the space back, and more.
Check out the play IndieGoGo campaign at https://igg.me/at/playdtla/x/7051521
In the experimental Think Tank podcast studio Noah sits down with Ben Taylor of Escape Authority--a new site focusing on escape room games--and calls up Ben's partner Chris Moschella in Orlando to talk about their new site and what makes a great escape room.
All that and a Noah riff on the VRLA Expo that took place this weekend in LA as part of the News & Notes.
Brought to you by our friends at Drafty, the lighting, projection and sound design tool for theatrical designers: drafty-app.com.
In NYC: Zay talks with choreographer Avital Asuleen, co-creator of the immersive dance theatre piece Ephemera about this dream ballet fueled by drinking and debauchery.
Meanwhile, in LA, Noah has the news and notes. And he probably shares TMI. That is his M.O. these days. (That and writing in the third person again.)
Brought to you by our friends at Drafty: the CAD program built from the ground up for theatrical designers by a theatrical designer. Learn more at drafty-app.com.
This week host Noah Nelson is joined by Julianne Just, Genevieve Gearhart, and Matthew Bamberg-Johnson of LA's The Speakeasy Society to talk about their latest production Johnny: The Shell. This is the second part of their cycle of work exploring Dalton Tumbo's Johnny Get Your Gun, which opens on July 21st at St Mark's Episcopal Church in Glendale and runs through August 13th.
All that plus our usual news and notes. Brought to you by our friends at Drafty--the theatrical design program built by and for theatrical designers--check it out at Drafty-App.com--and the support of our Patreon backers.
In 2014 Boxcar Theatre's The Speakeasy was the most talked about immersive experience in San Francisco, and then it disappeared. Now, after an extensive rebirthing experience the show is returning with a brand new, custom-built space. NoPro SF's Albert Kong visits the site of the new show while it is under construction to talk to Boxcar's Artistic Director Nick Olivero and producer David Gluck for a walk through.
Then, though the magic of the internet, host Noah Nelson speaks to Gluck and Olivero about the unique crowd-investing plan that is powering The Speakeasy's rebirth and setting a path for the production's future.
In other words: this isn't your usual episode.
Brought to you by our friends at drafty-app.com.
Host Noah Nelson is joined by Chris Eng, founder of Mojo Maps Expedition Co., an LA-based theatrical walking tour group that mashes up history and improv in Venice, the Arts District, and Echo Park. The two dig into Chris' background as a business guy at Walt Disney Imagineering, creating experiences in urban landscapes, and just what the market is for this kind of work.
All that plus the usual News and Notes, brought to you by our friends at Drafty-app.com: the theatrical design tool built by and for theatrical designers.
This week: Noah interviews writer Ruth McKee, one of the core members of LA's Chalk Repertory Theatre, about her latest play 'In Case of Emergency.' The conversation ranges from the themes of the play itself, to how McKee's writing process is driven by a sense of space. A great, into the artistic meat of it, kind of episode.
All that, plus the news and notes-- and a call for feedback.
THIS MONTH'S EPISODES ARE BROUGHT TO US BY OUR FRIENDS AT DRAFTY-APP.COM
If you've been following the LA scene you have probably heard of Screenshot Productions, or at least their work: the company popped up during last year's spooky season with the solo haunt "Fear Is What We Learned Here" and since then have mutated into something... unique.
Screenshot founder Nicholas Sherwin Jr. and his partner Meghan Farrington sit down at No Pro headquarters with host Noah Nelson to talk about crafting one-on-ones, taking the step beyond extreme haunts and food. What? We're human. Humans talk about food. (Trust us, it makes total sense in context.)
All that plus your news and some notes that take us beyond theatre.
Brought to you by our friends at Drafty. The Computer Aided Design program built from the ground up for theatrical designers by a theatrical designer. Learn more at drafty-app.com
Sophie Bortolussi is the choreographer and co-director of LA's immersive hit The Day Shall Declare It (which just announced an extension). Sophie sits down with host Noah Nelson in the back patio of the show right before a performance in the Arts District of DTLA (so, you know, it's gonna get loud) to talk about the show, how her training with the Martha Graham company led to a career in immersive theatre, and oh yeah: the art of all this stuff.
All that and the usual news and notes, brought to you this month by our friends at Drafty (drafty-app.com): a computer aided design tool for theatrical professionals. (And yes, we explain EXACTLY what that sentence was all about herein.)
Steve Peters, host of The Story Forward Podcast--a show about the future of storytelling and entertainment--joins our own Noah Nelson for this hybrid of both shows. Fun fact: Steve and Noah have known each other for a few years now, but they've never sat down and had a one on one before now.
Another fun fact: Steve isn't just a podcast host, he's also an experience designer. Both with his company No Mimes Media and at other experience design houses Steve has worked on some of the biggest Alternate Reality Games ever. So big that he's still not allowed to mention some of them by name. But you're all some of the world's finest detectives, I'm sure you can figure them out.
Yes, it's a big show--with a big News & Notes to lead us in. One that includes Noah's super fresh impressions of Annie Lesser's 'Apartment 8' at the Hollywood Fringe Fest.
LET'S GET TO IT.
(And thanks for 50 episodes, y'all. Here's to 50 more.)
In this oh so special episode hosts Noah and Zay connect for a little late-night philosophizing over the role of narrative in immersive experiences. This is one you're going to want to pour a drink and mull over.
Content warning: I think we might get a little salty. Frankly, it's been a minute. Better just avoid playing this around kids.
All that and the usual news and notes.
The director of Second Skin, a site-adaptive piece currently performed on the Santa Monica beach, joins host Noah Nelson for a discussion about site-specific theatre. This one gets *philosophical*, but in a totally fun way.
All this plus the usual news & notes.
Zay Amsbury (@zayamsbury) takes over the interview duties this week to talk with Jennine Willet and Elizabeth Carena of Third Rail Projects (@TRPNYC) about the development of the company's latest show The Grand Paradise ahead of its scheduled close at the end of May. Secrets are revealed, ideas dissected, and a rando calls in with some weird story.
All this and the usual news and notes from Noah Nelson on the West Coast.
Noah is back in LA with lessons learned from his NYC trip in this host-only episode.
We kick off with an extended news & notes before leaning into some thoughts on The Grand Paradise, Accomplice, Then She Fell, Sleep No More, how to manage problem guests, and wrap with program notes and a question for you, the No Pro audience.
With Noah in New York City, No Pro's dynamic duo gets to go on an adventure together. They pick Janet Cardiff's 'Her Long Black Hair' an audio walking tour piece from 2004 that feels like it could have been made last week. Set in Central Park, 'Her Long Black Hair' takes listeners on a journey that can leave you feeling like you've slipped the bonds of times.
This episode was recorded in Central Park, NYC.
Access the play: https://phiffer.org/hlbh/
One of our favorite shows of 2015 is returning to the site of its run in LA's Arts District. But what they found might surprise you... or not, if you know the Arts District.
The work to get The Day Shall Declare It back up on its feet for a May 10 bow has begun, and Wilderness founder Annie Saunders takes host Noah Nelson on a tour of the site where they talk about the future fate of the Arts District.
All that plus news, notes, and some advice on how to get in on the pre-sale for The Day Shall Declare It, which starts on April 9th.
Host Noah Nelson (@noahjnelson) takes YOUR questions about the--still emerging--immersive art form.
All that, plus news and a special announcement about a favorite show returning to Los Angeles.
Designer Uriah Findley (@theuriah) has been caught up with some of the most talked about long-form immersive experiences of the last decade. His work with Nonchalance on "The Jejune Institute" was documented in the film "The Institute" and he was instrumental in the building of "The Latitude," which reached its controversial conclusion in San Francisco this Fall.
In the wake of "The Latitude" Findley and game designer Anthony Rocco (@anthrocc) have teamed up to create their own experience design firm: Foma Labs.
Host Noah Nelson talks with Findley and Rocco about the ethics of experience design, how Foma approaches the work, and what lessons they both took away from "The Latitude."
Get your thinking caps on: we get philosophical up in here.
Host Noah Nelson drops in on NoPro SF curator Albert Kong and gets a lesson in Bay Area public/prankster performance art, and a glimpse into how Albert approaches his version of the newsletter. A fun conversation to be sure!
Lauren Ludwig (Hamlet-Mobile, Lost Moon Radio) is the director and adaptor of And The Drum, a movement based immersive in LA's Koreatown that is one part dinner party and two parts exploration of the poetry of Martha Marion. The piece, performed at Marion's own home, is one of the more stunning pieces of work to be staged on LA's immersive scene in the past year.
Ludwig speaks with host Noah Nelson (@noahjnelson) about her process for And The Drum in this fast paced, insightful discussion.
All that and the usual news and notes.
NEW YORK CITY: Zay Amsbury talks with Jennine Willett and Elizabeth Carena of Third Rail Projects, the company behind Then She Fell and The Grand Paradise. Settle in for a history of the company, a SECRET ORIGINS special if you will. (Ed. Note: No one but you will get that reference, Noah.)
In other words: this is the big one. The episode we've been dying to do since the start of the podcast... and we're less than a year old.
All that, plus Noah Nelson has the usual news and notes.
Sign up for the newsletter: NoProscenium.com.
Check out the Medium collection.
We go off the beaten path this week to talk to the creators of Escape Room In A Box: The Werewolf Experience, which aims to bring the escape room genre home. The duo behind the game--Juliana Patel and Ariel Rubin--are two stay-at-home moms who love escape rooms but find it increasingly hard to get everything in order to get out to them. So they used their game playing acumen--and their theatre degrees, what???--to create a dramatic, at-home version of the phenomenon.
Come along as we talk about bringing he escape room experience home, and the pitfalls of crowdfunding--something I know more than a few of you have either considered or know a thing or two about yourselves.
Artists Scott Hove and Baker's Son join host Noah Nelson, along with Think Tank gallery Creative Director Jacob Patterson and Arya Davachi--director of Rough Sleeper--which will be using the gallery's Break Bread installation as the backdrop for his show.
The conversation waxes philosophical about the nature of collaboration and the intersection between art installations and immersive theatre.
Rough Sleeper will play out on just two dates--March 3rd and 4th--at the gallery. The Break Bread installation will be open through March 13th.
We talk a lot about Sleep No More and Then She Fell at the margins of this podcast. This week's guest--performer Haylee Nichele--has danced in both shows. We are lucky to count her amongst our friends.
On this week's episode we step through the looking glass and see what the immersive life is like from a performer's point of view. We also nerd out a lot.
Haylee's in Los Angeles these days, so Noah has the hosting duties this week.
In the summer of last year Marike Splint, an incoming theatre professor at UCLA, reached out to us to talk about LA immersive theatre community. Now we visit Marike at her office on campus to talk about her experiences creating immersive performance and what the scene is like in The Netherlands, where she hails from.
It's a fun talk. All that plus a blast of News Notes. (The fastest in ages... the coffee is working!)
This time out host Noah Nelson talks with Paul Stein, creator of The Car Plays and Moving Art's Lem Thornton about the origins of that show. Is it any surprise that there's a "necessity is the mother of invention" moral to the story?
And STICK AROUND after the interview because our intrepid host FORGOT something cool in the News & Notes. Unless you are listening to this after Saturday Jan 30th. In which case: you're too late.
Host Noah Nelson talks with the folks at Play Collaborative Arts (Retrograde, Erotica)--Cole Rosner, Meredith Treinen, and Scott Monahan--about their take on devised work, making immersive theatre with an erotic charge, and the pitfalls of running an underground venue in LA's Arts District.
All that, plus the usual news, notes, and a tease of what's to come.
After a too-long hiatus we are BACK and this time out we've got a special ALL CURATOR edition of the podcast. Noah (LA) and Zay (NYC) are joined by the all-new curator of the SF Edition: Albert Kong.
Together they form Voltron.
Just kidding. That takes FIVE curators.
Together they review the Best of 2015, the biggest surprises of last year, and look forward to what 2016 is going to bring. It's been a great year for immersive theatre and events, and the year ahead promises even more.
ALSO: be on the lookout for the WEST COAST EDITION of No Pro--launching THIS WEEK!
Host Noah Nelson shares a little bit of the regional news, and then big parts of the plan for 2016 for No Pro--including the revised fate of No Proscenium SF!
PUBLICATION NOTE: Both the podcast AND the LA newsletter are taking a break next week. We'll be back in FORCE before Christmas.
The creators of LA's living, experiential literary journal Enter>text, Henry Hoke and Marco DiDomenico, join host Noah Nelson to talk about bringing some immersive spice to the world of literary readings.
Enter>text is a fascinating beast, that proves that you can approach the open frame of immersive work from just about any angle in order to create compelling experiences.
All this, plus some big--albeit tentative--housekeeping news.
Noah travels to the offices of the Think Well Group--experience designers extraordinaire--to talk about the shared worlds of immersive theatre and theme park design with a group of people who are passionate about both.
Vice President of Creative Development Dave Cobb (@DaveCobb) is joined by members of the creative brain trust--Kate McConnell (@AntiKate), Jeremy Thompson (@jkthompson72), and Dana Shaw (@thefakedana)--for a family style discussion that is probably way chiller than what happens at your Thanksgiving table. So come sit with us at the cool kid's table!
Also: Noah waxes POETIC about The Industry's HOPSCOTCH, which Jeremy was kind enough to drag him to when all hope looked to be lost.
More Twitter handles than you can handle:
All of which are there for a reason--just listen to the show already!
Zay pops in from NYC to interview director Erin Mee (Versailles 2015, Ferry Play) about her immersive work and transforming public spaces into performance venues through unconventional means.
Four core members of Los Angeles' The Speakeasy Society--Genevieve Gearheart, Julianne Just, Matthew Bamberg-Johnson and Chris Porter--join host Noah Nelson to talk about their recent seasonal special show 'The Hollow.'
Staged at Golden Road Brewery's own Speakeasy--Chloe's--'The Hollow' is an exploration of the work of Washington Irving centered on his classic 'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow' that mixes storytelling, dance, and immersive performance within the frame of dinner theatre.
We go deep this episode into how the show came together on a tight timeline.
Find the Speakeasy Society online: http://speakeasysociety.com
Speakeasy Society Twitter: @TheSpeakeasySoc
No Proscenium Twitter: @NoProscenium
Sign up for the No Proscenium Newsletter: noproscenium.com
Back the No Proscenium Patreon: patreon.com/noproscenium
Miranda Wright, founder of Los Angeles Performance Practice and the Live Arts Exchange Festival in LA comes by No Pro HQ to talk with Noah about contemporary performance, producing, and the ways in which the relationship between performers and audience members are changing.
Wright--whose credits include not only LAX but The Day Shall Declare It and multiple shows at REDCAT--and her producing partner at LAPP have started a FREE ADVICE series at the Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles for artists who are looking to produce work.
Get ready for a big episode as we sit down to talk about the crown jewels of Spooky Season--Haunts--with filmmaker Jon Schnitzer. His new documentary 'Haunters' is headed towards a release next year and has begun offering behind the scenes looks at the work ahead of release.
Also joining us on the podcast is host Noah Nelson's housemate, writer Priscilla Spencer, who shares with Noah and Jon her harrowing experiences at the infamous BLACKOUT.
This is a super fun conversation, and it's the perfect way to spend the time between Halloween parties! Just, you know, know that there's some cursing so: NSFW.
Check out the film at www.HauntersTheMovie.com where you can get early access as part of a late stage crowdfunding effort.
Our man in New York, Zay Amsbury, sits down with Andrew Hoepfner--creator of Houseworld--to talk about the surrealist immersive show.
Meanwhile, in LA, Noah has the news and something like a short rant about ethical behavior regarding ticket sales. Because, you know, he gets cranky sometimes.
All this plus the usual nonsense.
No Pro travels this week to La Jolla and the bi-annual Without Walls (WoW) Festival of immersive and site-specific performance. There we talk with Christopher Ashley, Artistic Director of both the Festival and the La Jolla Playhouse.
This is a can't-miss episode for the theatre makers in the audience.
All that plus the usual news and notes from Noah.
Host Noah Nelson sits down with Matt Soson, founder of Crooked Grin (formerly A Working Theatre, a Sliver Lining) a production company working in both immersive theatre and virtual reality for a nice, ambling chat complete with cat visitations.
Hey: you don't win Best of LA Awards without a few cat visitations.
All that plus some news and notes!
This one contains swears.
Zay Amsbury, our man in New Amsterdam--that's New York City, if you're not into Dutch Colonial American History--come through with a short and sweet one with BBQ Films' Gabriel Rhoads. These purveyors of immersive cinema are gearing up for the BLADE RAVE--an immersive showing of BLADE complete with a recreation of the iconic, bloody vampire rave. That will be going down on October 9th as part of New York's Super Week, presented by New York Comic Con.
Find out more at bbqfilms.com
Find more on Twitter: @bbqfilms, @zayamsbury, @noproscenium
Next week: a brief hiatus.
What happens when you make a call for comments for an Open Forum about failure?
You get a very meta-episode where no one calls in.
So instead: some news and notes from our host Noah Nelson.
Heidi Duckler, the founder of LA’s site-specific dance company Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre, joins host Noah Nelson to talk about her company’s 30th anniversary season including the upcoming Sophie & Charlie: a dance telenovela that runs for four weeks and culminates with a gala event.
All that plus the usual news and notes.
NEXT WEEK: Our second Open Forum episode. Listen for details, and send your voice memos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sam Roberts--the festival director of Indiecade, the independent festival of games-- knows a thing or two about theatre. He’s been directing and designing it for two decades now. Sam sits down with host Noah Nelson to talk about how game design can—and already does—influence immersive theatre in this thoughtful, philosophical chat.
Honestly, we could have gone on for hours.
Program note: the first half of the interview had a technical glitch with the mic (short answer: I made a rookie mistake) but the second half is spot on. (And now I know which button I’m looking for!)
Find No Proscenium all over the web. Twitter: @noproscenium. Newsletter: noproscenium.com. Medium: medium.com/no-proscenium.
Help make the podcast better, pledge to our Patreon: pattern.com/noproscenium.
So, time to come clean: last week's episode was "in character." A kind of epilogue to the fantastic Hamlet-Mobile produced at this year's Hollywood Fringe Festival.
This episode is a real--no really--interview with the cast and actual creators of Hamlet-Mobile. Producer Monica Miklas and writer-director Lauren Ludwig join the actors-- Heather Ann Gottlieb, Lizzie Prestel, Hunter Seagroves, JB Waterman--and host Noah Nelson to talk about the actual creation of Hamlet-Mobile.
We assure you, these are real people.
Okay, one of them might be a raccoon in a human suit.
All that plus a boatload of news. Seriously. Like, too much news.
Long time listeners of the podcast--we've only been around for four months, so not that long--know that there is a special place in our hearts for Hamlet-Mobile, the immersive theatrical installation from this year's Hollywood Fringe Festival that took place in a van.
In this very special episode of No Proscenium host Noah Nelson talks with the members of The Moving Shadow-- Lizzie, Heather Ann, James, and Hunter--the troupe of actors who fulfilled the last wishes of theatrical genius Marlon Pine in order to bring the microtheatre masterwork that was... is Hamlet-Mobile into our lives.
We apologize in advance for any distress the explicit language in this episode may cause.
Listener discretion advised.
You know what, this is your show, and for all the talk we talk about "audience agency" it is about time that we went ahead and opened up the "phone lines." This is our first, and hopefully not our last, Open Forum episode featuring reviews and comments from the community.
We'll be doing another one of these next month, so find out where the Voice Memo app is on your phone or fire up GarageBand and shoot us a memo at email@example.com.
This minisode--recorded in a car and at the Oculus Story Studio's press event for Henry--features some clips from Oculus' Edward Saatchi, producer of the Story Studio, on how his team views their exploration of immersive entertainment. (Oculus, for those who don't keep up with tech stuff, is the company that makes virtual reality headsets and has captured the imagination of the tech world.)
Next Week: our first Open Forum send in your reviews/questions/comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hey gang, just a few quick notes this week before we head up to the SF Bay Area.
The heads of No Pro East and West meet up to talk about the ellusive "I" word, what keeps them passionate about this whole "open frame theatre movement" and just what the hell goes on in their heads when they are putting together the newsletter.
If you're a producer looking to know what it takes to make the cut: this one is for you. If you're an enthusiast looking to understand some of the intriciies and mysteries of the scene, yeah, we do some of that too.
This one was incredibly fun to make.
Content Advisory: Noah curses just like he does in real life.
Find us on Twitter: @noproscenium, @zayamsbury, @noahjnelson
Help make the podcast even better (becasue it's getting more expensive to produce!)
Juliet Bennett Rylah (LAist) and Abel Horwitz (Urban Death at Zombie Joe's Underground Theater) join host Noah Nelson to talk about Escape Rooms and Haunts in the LA area and what makes a good interactive show.
Get ready to dig in. Host Noah Nelson gets into the nuts and bolts of the creative process that drove writer Annie Lesser's Getting To Know You, one of the sleeper surprises at the 2015 Hollywood Fringe Festival.
All that plus a quick update on the world of immersives this week.
Brent Bushnell co-founder and CEO of Two Bit Circus--a motely crew of Entertainment Engineers--joins host Noah Nelson. Bushnell isn't just involved with immersive entertainment professionally, he's also the LA area's number one fan of the work. Listen is as he and Noah dig deep into what's exciting in the world of immersibve and interactive experiences today.
Plus the usual news, and more.
Two Bit Circus (@twobitcircus)
No Proscenium (@noproscenium)
A quick episode this week (with a little set-up) as Lauren Ludwig and Monica Miklas, producers of Hamlet-Mobile at the 2015 Hollywood Fringe Festival join host Noah Nelson to talk about their interactive, immersive, and mobile show. It's like a food truck... for Hamlet.
All this plus the usual updates from the immersive world.
Follow Hamlet-Mobile on Twitter (@hamletmobile). Catch up with No Proscenium on Twitter (@noproscenium) and send us tips/announcements via email: email@example.com.
Director Mikhael Tara Garver has been doing immersive and interactive theatre work for over a decade and a half now. She coined the term "Open Frame" to talk about the continuum of work that she's developed, and that tends to fall under "immersive" in it's squishy, catch-all usage.
No Proscenium New York's Zay Amsbury talks with Garver in Brooklyn about Open Frame as a concept and about Garver's latest directorial effort, Dean Poynor's Together We Are Making A Poem In Honor Of Life. (The play is reccomended for audiences over the age of 16.)
On Twitter: follow @ZayAmsbury, @MTGarver, @honoroflifeplay, @NoProscenium
Everything is backwards!
Recent guest Jennifer Chang (Chalk Rep's Diet of Worms) becomes the host and No Prosceium founder Noah Nelson is the guest as Jennifer seeks the answer to the question: What is No Proscenium?
If you've been wondering that youself, this is the episode you won't want to miss.
Find No Pro on Twitter: @NoProscenium, at Patreon: patreon.com/noproscenium, and on Medium: medium.com/no-proscenium
The second part of our conversation with Chalk Rep's Jennifer Chang: this time we zero in on the company's new work: Diet of Worms.
Jennifer Chang, Producing Artistic Director at Chalk Repretory Theatre and director of their upcoming show Diet of Worms joins host Noah Nelson for the first in a series of interviews about the site-responsive company's work, diversity in casting, and a whole lot more.
The second part of our two-parter with Jamie Peterson (At An Appointed Time). Focusing on his creative process when working in interactive theatre. Hosted by Noah Nelson (@noahjnelson).
Plus: the latest news from No Proscenium. Keep up with @NoProscenium on Twitter, subscribe to the newsletter at noprosceium.com and support the podcast at patreon.com/noproscenium.
In this, the first of a two part talk with Jamie Peterson, host Noah Nelson digs into what the creator of last year's At An Appointed Time looks for when he's exploring Los Angeles' immersive scene.
That plus the latest news from No Proscenium in this, the second of our podcasts. Keep up with @NoProscenium on Twitter, subscribe to the newsletter at noprosceium.com and support the podcast at patreon.com/noproscenium.
For the first episode of the podcast Julianne Just and Genevieve Gearhart, founders of Los Angeles’ The Speakeasy Society (Ebenezer, The Stronger), join Noah to talk about their approach to immersive theatre and the company’s next production: The Quick and The Dead.