Challenging Theater Experience “Kills” Each Viewer Then Asks Them to Reflect on Life
San Fransico is hosting the ReImagine: End of Life event this week and one of the highlights of their program is an immersive theater called Second Chance by the LavaSaga art collective. The experience asks the question:
What if facing our death allowed us to live more fully?
Immersive art is an interactive form of theater largely popularized by the now famous Sleep No More experience in New York City. Although immersive art can take many forms, the core of the genre is to get the audience actively involved in the theater experience. Second Chance has collaborated with 50 San Francisco Bay Area artists including end-of-life doulas, trained counselors, musicians, lighting and sound designers, narrative writers, and more creatives to build an elaborate and highly personalized experience. We spoke with the creators of Second Chance who explained what participants can expect.
Second Chance leads 10 strangers at a time through a transformed multi-story building in the Mission in San Francisco to confront tough questions about mortality, regret, values, and ultimately give them a second chance at life before releasing them back into the real world.
When participants arrive, their belongings are politely taken from them as they enter a white room with the other attendees. The group accepts individual cups filled with an herbal concoction representing the beverage that metaphorically kills each participant in order to begin their immersive theater journey.
The following two hours are filled with virtual reality simulations, areal acrobats performing just feet from participant’s heads, beautiful live music performances, and introspective challenges with complete strangers. This is intended to be an emotionally challenging experience with the ability to transform individual outlooks on life and so the group has hired trained counselors to be on call, in the next room over, to assist struggling participants if they indicate for help.
Second Chance takes place on April 20, 21 and 22 in San Francisco and tickets are $77. We think this would be a unique experience for funeral industry professionals who can buy tickets and RSVP for Friday’s event here.
Second Chance is apart of ReImagine: End of Life, a week of over 100 events in the Bay Area exploring big questions about life and death. Read more about ReImagine here.
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