Bushwick, rejoice, after Greenpoint, our area also gets to be part of the critically acclaimed immersive, multi-sensory theather experience, “Then She Fell,” created and produced by Third Rail Projects, the company behind The Grand Paradise, located at 383 Troutman St.
Last night we got to witness a special, one night only performance, sponsored by Pernod Absinthe. But don’t be sad, this interactive performance theater based on the works of Lewis Carroll, is now playing through January 15 in East Williamsburg’s abandoned school.
I, personally, am not really a theater person, let alone one who is up for audience participation, so going into “Then She Fell” felt like a step outside of my comfort zone. However, my affinity for all things Lewis Carroll and all things spooky and eerie piqued my interest.
The show takes place in an old public school that was purchased by Third Rail Projects and transformed into what resembles an old-timey hospital.
Each show caps at 15 attendees, all of whom are separated to some degree and led from a room to a room by the actors through different scenes. Each attendee is given a set of keys and is told to explore the rooms—to open drawers and boxes, but not to speak unless spoken to and not open any doors.
Throughout the show, you are sometimes with a group, and sometimes by yourself with an actor, but never with more than four other attendees. We spent a lot of the time giggling nervously to each other, confusedly and timidly following the lead of the talented cast who never broke character.
I felt like I was being led through a haunted house episode of “The Knick” directed by Lewis Carroll himself. The show felt like a hallucinogenic dream sequence one would have after reading “Alice in Wonderland” or “Through the Looking Glass.”
You know the famous Mad Hatter’s Tea party? I lived that scene last night, rotating seats and all. During more than one occasion I was given some mystery vile and instructed to drink, half expecting to shrink or grow like Alice herself. At one point, I even took dictation from “Lewis Carroll,” writing a letter to Alice in ink and quill. As I write this article I still have the ink stains on my hands.
The interpretation of “Alice in Wonderland,” however, wasn’t too literal. The show featured interpretive dance sequences as well as storytelling alluding to some twisted love saga. And tea. Lots of tea.
The best part: The show is unique for everyone. No two guests see it in the same order, or even necessarily experience all the same scenes.
The show will run from now until January 15, 2017. Tickets can be purchased here. Check out one of this highly acclaimed and unusual theater experience while you still can!
All images courtesy of Third Rail Projects