Spooky Action Theater and the Goethe-Institut Washington bring the interactive performance event Happy Hour by the emerging German theater company machina eX to Washington May 14 - June 5, 2016. Blending video games, live theater, and interactive installation, this English-language premiere of Happy Hour brings machina eX’s signature high-quality technology to Spooky Action Theater’s versatile and imaginative playing space. Designed for no more than 20 audience members at a time, this immersive experience creates an active exchange among the players (audience), and between the audience and the actors - the human avatars - in the other room.
Happy Hour, a hilarious and thought-provoking immersive theater performance, pits two small teams of audience members against one another in a race to solve a series of puzzles. Drinks in hand, the teams must help their human avatars escape the clutches of the evil mastermind holding them captive. A diabolical bartender gives each team the tools they need to communicate in this theatrical twist on the familiar Room Escape video game. As the avatars’ puzzles become increasingly complex, will either team find the keys, unlock the doors, and beat the clock to save the stranger they have been guiding on the other side of the screen?
Co-Directors: Yves Regenass (machina eX) & Gillian Drake (Spooky Action Theater)
US Scenic Design: Kim Sammis
US Technology Direction and Lighting Design: Gordon Nimmo-Smith
US Costume Design: Lynn Sharp Spears
US SoundDesign: Matias Prince
US Adaptation, Game and Interaction Design: Jan Philip Steimel & Lasse Marburg (machina eX)
US Stage Manager: Becky Reed
US Technical Director/Software Operator: Charles Cobb
US Props: Becky Mezzanotte, Oliver Ann Hinson, & Elizabeth Long
Software Operator: Justin Herman
Audio/Visual Advisor: Natalie Kinsaul
Deck Crew: Patrick Derrickson
Original Production, Artistic Direction and Game Design: machina eX and Gessnerallee Zurich, at which Happy Hour premiered.
”Why did we just do that?”, a girl in my group asks after we tried different combinations of commands in a collective power frenzy and forced the performer ... to do absurd and sometimes repetitive operations just like a puppet on a string. “Because it is fun,” another girl answers. - Andreas Tobler, Tagesanzeiger Zürich
“In a previously unseen way the group mixes two worlds which so far seemed incompatible. And they accomplish it with flying colors” - Jan Graber for 20 Minuten
PRODUCING PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS
machina eX is a company of media and theatre artists from Germany designing computer games in real life environments. Blending theater performance with the power of digital gaming principles, machina eX enchants performers and players alike and turns theatrical stages into fantastic interactive worlds. Audiences plunge into the world of the game and find themselves in the midst of a story that they must guide to its conclusion. machina eX is returning to DC following a successful production of the award-winning 15’000 Gray at the 2014 Zeitgeist Festival. http://machinaex.de
Spooky Action Theater
Located in a historic church along Washington, DC’s U Street corridor, Spooky Action Theater (SAT) is a dynamic, young theater company that has been recharging the audience's imaginative, intuitive, emotional core by linking artists & audience in a collaborative enterprise. www.spookyaction.org
The Goethe-Institut Washington, the German cultural center, organizes and supports cultural events that present German culture abroad and that further the transatlantic dialogue regarding today’s challenging questions. www.goethe.de/washington
Made possible with additional support from the German Federal Foreign Office and Friends of the Goethe-Institut Washington
Preview Performances May 12-13 PWYC at the door
Opening Night Saturday, May 14 at 7:00pm & 9:00pm
Thursdays & Fridays: 7:00pm & 9:00pm
Saturdays: 7:00pm & 9:00pm
Sundays: 2:30pm & 4:30pm
Performances run through June 5, 2016
Spooky Action Theater, 1810 16th St. NW, Washington, DC (Metro: Dupont Circle or U Street)
Please visit Spooky Action Theater’s website for ticket purchases.
All tickets are general admission. Our bar and gaming room seats 20 audience members per performance. The two gaming tables can each seat 10 patrons.
GROUP SALES: This interactive event will team up audience members with their fellow patrons. Groups of friends who wish to play together may contact the Box Office directly at email@example.com or (202) 248-0301 for group sales information and pricing.
Norma Broadwater, Goethe-Institut Roberta Alves, Spooky Action Theater
Bulgakov and Stalin play a lethal game of cat and mouse in award winning script
Recipient of the 2012 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play, Collaborators
comes to Washington DC directed by Richard Henrich
"A truly tremendous double act which thrills, chills and makes you laugh out loud - even though you know you shouldn't." - Daily Telegraph
"Collaborators is fresh and energetic, with a thick, throbbing vein of grotesque humour." - Evening Standard
"Rare and special… An absurdly fantastic view of Stalin, and it’s seriously funny."
- The Times
Featuring Paul Reisman, Joe Duquette, Michael Harris, MacKenzie Lynn Beyer, Kim Curtis, Mindy Shaw, Ryan Dalusung, Steve Beall, Sha Golanski, Robert Bowen Smith, Amal Saade, Liz Dutton, Willem Krumich and Matthew Marcus
Recognized as a valued contributor to the DC performing arts community for bringing new and sharp scripts to the area, like The Wedding Dress, Kwaidan and Can't Complain, Spooky Action Theater presents Collaborators, another Washington Area Premiere. Recipient of the 2012 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play, Collaborators was written by British playwright John Hodge, also known for his Academy Award nominated screenplay for the film Trainspotting, based on the novel by Irvine Welsh.
Collaborators takes place in Moscow in 1938. Russian writer and playwright Mikhail Bulgakov has just finished his play Molière, or The Cabal of Hypocrites, which his friends acclaim a masterpiece. The day after the premiere, he is visited by two secret policemen from the NKVD. He learns his play is banned and will never be shown again unless he writes a new play glorifying the leader of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin, in honor of the dictator’s 60th birthday. Bulgakov must accept the commission - his hands are tied. But he is thoroughly blocked and baffled, until he gets help from an unexpected source. The deal that he cuts leads to unexpected and darkly comic consequences, both for himself and for his country.
"Bulgakov was the last man standing. That's why they chose him, because it means more," explains Hodge. "We talk about artistic compromise now. But we know nothing. The worst that can happen is that we have to get another job. It's not as though your life is at stake, or that your wife will be killed."
It's not the first time Spooky Action Theater has explored Bulgakov's work. In 2009, SAT presented Heart of a Dog, a hilarious satire about a great Professor who performs a surgical miracle with transplants, transforming a stray dog into a human. On reading Collaborators, Artistic Director Richard Henrich could not resist the play's irreverent, sly humour.
"While the play is about Bulgakov rather than by him," says Henrich, "Hodge has brilliantly infused it with the Russian playwright’s wild imagination and sense of comic absurdity. It is a modern Faust and the Devil. What starts as a cat and mouse game between irascible dictator and wily, free thinking playwright, quickly runs in a headlong rush from comic to catastrophic. The play makes us laugh then tremble, leaving us finally with the realization we are never bystanders but always players in the great game of fate."
The production design team includes artists who have collaborated on many previous SAT productions as well as projects at a number of regional theaters, like Giorgos Tsappas (set design), David Crandall (sound design) and Brian S. Allard (lighting design), as well as Alisa Mandel who is credited with the imaginative and playful costume design for Heart of a Dog.
February 11-March 6, 2016
Thu - Sat @ 8:00 PM, Sun @ 3:00 PM – Running time 2 hours
Tickets $25-35. Special discounts for students and seniors. Group Rates available.
Purchase tickets online HERE
or at the theater one hour before performances.
For information, or to purchase by phone, call 202-248-0301.
Spooky Action Theater
The Universalist National Memorial Church
1810 16th St. NW Washington, DC 20009
NEW! Free off-street parking is available for every performance
at the Masonic Temple, diagonally across from the theater.
to see performance schedules and purchase tickets
Get more information about our shows.