We gave a brief overview of immersive theater in an article on the different forms of interactive scenography . This new form of cultural experience, off the beaten track, reinvents the art of theater for more passion and more emotion. In this configuration, the audience no longer simply attends a play. He saw her completely.
Immersive theater breaks down the 4th wall between stage and audience. Spectators share the space with the actors, and are free to move around a set composed of different spaces. The action is non-linear and takes place simultaneously in these spaces.
This takes us out of the realm of traditional theater. By placing the audience at the heart of the concept, the scenography allows them to become totally immersed in the performance. Seeing the actors perform up close and personal, and roaming freely in authentic settings, increases the intensity of the action tenfold.
It all began in London in 2011. The English company Punchdrunk performed a free adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth on the 5 floors of a New York hotel. A runaway success, the play went on to tour the world.
In our country, immersive theater has been attracting interest for some years now. Le Secret, a disused factory in Paris, hosted an adaptation of Shakespeare’sHamlet in 2018 that totally won over theater lovers. Entitled Helsingor – Hamlet’s castle, the play returns to the Château de Vincennes this year.
The same applies to Close, another immersive play featuring artists, revolutionaries and misfits in a Parisian cabaret in 1918. After performances last April, the Big Drama company that produces it has been replaying the play since late January 2020.
This craze is not surprising. Indeed, immersive theater responds to the new desires of 21st-century audiences to be immersed in the action, to have powerful experiences and to feel emotions.
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