By Andrea Laurion
Pittsburgh Current Contributing Writer
Suppose you receive an unexpected invitation from a wealthy, famous stranger to pay a visit at their home but with no further instructions or information. Would you throw it in the trash without thinking twice? Most people probably would. It doesn’t make sense to go; it’s probably not safe.
Or, just maybe, you pick up that invite again and give it a second thought. Maybe something completely exciting and unprecedented is going to happen. If you’re someone who chases curiosity, you just might be interested in checking out the immersive show, Hollow Moon, the first production from Vigilance Theater Group, running through this Sunday, Nov. 18.
Founded earlier this year by Sean Collier, Dana Custer, Ariella Furman, and Renee Rabenold, Vigilance Theater Group kicked off its season with a successful Kickstarter campaign. The immersive theater scene in Pittsburgh continues to grow. Vigilance joins the list of local theater groups embracing the unpredictability of this art form; a list that includes Bricolage, Quantum Theater, and Uncumber Theatrics. As more people experience theater that breaks expectations of what a performance has to look like or where it must be held or who is in on the show, the demand for these types of productions will only increase.
Hollow Moon is set at an undisclosed location (audience members receive further instructions after securing tickets) and requires both signing a waiver and relinquishing cell phones until after the show. This adds a foreboding feeling from the outset, as if leaving home on a journey without any way to call for help.
From the beginning, there are four fellow attendees who will go on this experience with you. Through these individuals, you can learn more about the characters themselves and the mysterious host. Will you follow the mystical Theo, or perhaps the confident (emphasis on con) Luke? The vulnerable Eleanor or the paranoid Dr. Montague? Like a fully formed people, these characters are fascinating, contradictory, exasperating, and yet always entertaining.
Without revealing too much, dread is a feeling that permeates the show; a good type of dread, the kind of that precipitates a roller coaster right before it plunges downhill. Will you take the leap?