Vigilance Theater Group produces immersive theater
There is a theater experience where guests become part of the show.
“Welcome to Moonside” is a production of the Vigilance Theater Group where there is no stage, no curtain.
You, who attend, will be asked to assist evil spirits who are from a place called Moonside. Some of them want you there while others wish you were gone.
Sound like a challenge?
Then come to the former site of the Lava Lounge on Pittsburgh South’s Side at 8 p.m. Thursday through Sunday through Sept. 8. Opening night is Thursday. The space is limited to 20 and tickets are $50. The production runs roughly an hour and 20 minutes. The time can vary because there is some improvisation.
The show is inspired by Earth-bound video games, said Renee Rabenold, the director and co-founder. She said attendees will see actors and actresses dressed in neon outfits.
“We say come in with an open mind,” she said. “We try to make it accessible to both introverts and extroverts. If you choose to engage, what decision will you make? There are no wrong decisions.”
As described on its website, Vigilance was founded in 2018 as “an immersive theater group dedicated to creating intimate, experimental productions.” It draws inspiration “from high art and pop culture alike and is determined to explore the boundaries and possibilities of the growing immersive theater movement.”
“There is a spooky factor and some of it is creepy intriguing,” said Rabenold, of McCandless. “Immersive theater lends itself to that. It’s both a haunted house feel and a theater experience.”
Pittsburgh has become a hotbed for this kind of work, said Sean Collier of the South Side, one of the founders of the theater group.
“It’s a niche way of creating theater,” Collier said. “It invites guests to be a part of it. We are theater where the audience is an essential character. You are in a world of play. You play yourself and there is a reason you are there, to help these characters.”
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 412-320-7889, [email protected] or via Twitter .