Review by David Walters
“Thank you for taking the risk. As you know, I have prepared a virtual trip back in time to the last days before the Great Flood and Freeze, approximately 2015 to 2025 Common Era.
Congregating was not illegal in that time before the catastrophe, as it is now in the year 2520. Here are your instructions for the evening. Please keep this confidential.
My presentation will begin promptly at xxx, and I can not allow you in after. My location is approximately xxxxx. The address is unmarked and unsearchable with modern technology.
The clue is a sign that says “EVENTS WITH STRANGERS”. Knock on the door 3 times.
I have prepared the actual cocktails from this time period. “Near Death Experiences” and “Devastating Newses” are the specials for the evening. I will allow you into the space to enjoy these mixtures as early as xxxx. I strongly encourage you to arrive early to situate yourself to have the full experience.
Looking forward to seeing you,
If the above intrigues you and piques your curiosity, then THE CATASTROPHE CLUB may be right up your alley, or in the literal sense, you may go down for this.
The above is the message you get emailed the day before when you sign up for this site-specific experience.
Once you’ve committed, you are immediately transported and it’s now the year 2025. Beware though, you have seriously incurred an infraction just by paying attention, just by being curious, just by wanting to know more than you already do about who you currently are and about where you came from. Your curiosity about the time before the great flood and the great freeze, what was human life like, has led you to cross a line that you can never step back from.
Ruth is a scientist/anthropologist who has been assembling fragments of the forgotten past and utilizing those pieces has created a world of SIMS in order to watch and understand how humans from the past must have lived and thought. It has become her life’s secret work to recreate the olden people (she has to do it all hush-hush because people from 2025 have been stripped of much of the humanity that brought forth the world’s calamities, as a preventative measure, thus the secretiveness). It’s all so fascinating to her as, although humans have survived the biological annihilation, 2025 humanoids have been stripped of most memory and feeling. The SIMS we all are watching is an assemblage of friends that took place right before the world catastrophes began, sort of a cynical last days celebration that happened before the unthinkable took place.
Ruth is our guide sorting what she has discovered, explaining where she can, discovering for herself, observing and getting drawn into the action of the SIMS taking place all around us as we all watch the simulation.
There is an intimacy to the experience as the audience is seated in and around a small underground lounge area (do try one of the specially created drinks for sale) and the last-days simulation takes place in the whole space.
The story is compelling on its own, but even more so in the environment of the playing space. It is a true ensemble experience with all the actors dancing, with clarinet accompaniment, through a heartfelt script by Devin Burnam that delves into the foibles of a dying existence that knows it’s too late to go back.
“Keep the light on for me as long as you can.”
THE CATASTROPHE CLUB
Written by Devin Burnam
Directed by Shaun Bennet Fauntleroy
Produced by Christopher Domig, Janelle Garcia Domig, and Sea Dog Theater
Audience members will enter the world of the play on the day of the show when they will be emailed the location of the secret meeting point which is a short walk (2 minutes) from Bleecker & Lafayette. From there they will be given the venue’s location. (Please note that the venue is not handicap accessible and there is one flight of stairs.)
Approximately 90 minutes with no intermission and no late seating.