Fort Worth — Stage West is pleased to be one of several theatres nationwide to offer In the Box Entertainment, a unique set of virtual experiences, created and produced by Adirondack Theatre Festival and Bloomington Playwrights Project, beginning September 10-12, and running through February 9-20, 2021.
The first ever of its kind, these experiences include a from-your-couch cruise, hands-on-insane magic shows, an interactive hunt for a criminal, and a “wine and canvas” night gone wrong. All shows are ticketed live performances that will entertain audiences from the comfort of their homes.
Producing Artistic Director Chad Rabinovitz says, “Our goal from the start was to create entertainment that isn’t a consolation prize for not having live theatre, but instead to develop an iteration of live theatre that benefits specifically from being digital. We’re not putting our art form on Zoom, we’re creating an art form for Zoom. Imagine signing up for our Living Room Cruise Lines where we send you a Cruise in a Box,” explains Rabinovitz. “It’ll arrive in the mail (the real, physical mail) prior to your scheduled departure. In it you’ll find things like a pocket fan, a Hawaiian lei, a tiny umbrella to put in your drink, a passport, an ocean-scented candle and other important items to set the mood. Your ticket is your boarding pass to an exclusive live Zoom room where our ukulele-playing Cruise Director welcomes our guests and gets you ready for travel. As you set sail for your first tropical destination, you might find yourself tasting a local delicacy from your upcoming port. Along the way, there’s plenty of shipboard entertainment to experience as our Cruise Director introduces you to singers, magicians, comedians, jugglers, and more. Or perhaps Shipboard Bingo is more your speed, where you can relax and stamp those bingo cards (which we’ve provided) as the artificial wind blows across your face. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget, especially since there’ll be a towel animal (that we’ll teach you to make) waiting on your bed later that night!”
The full season of performances will be branded as IN THE BOX ENTERTAINMENT presented by ATF & BPP. All shows will include a box mailed to the ticket holder prior to the show which will fuel their at-home experience.
Each show is $50 for the box and the Zoom event, and $35 for the event only.
In addition, In the Box includes an option for Film Festival in a Box, in which audiences can choose from over 100 short and feature-length films to see, and the box includes typical film festival swag. This “film fest experience” schedule will exist from Thursday through Saturday. For those wanting to watch whatever they want, whenever they want it, the full catalogue of films will be available “on demand” for Sunday. The cost for Film Festival in a Box is $75 for the event (includes all films) and box, and $45 for the event only (includes most films, but not headliners).
The full lineup is:
MAGIC IN A BOX: VIRTUAL REALITY
September 10-12, 2020
You’ll take part in this ground-breaking LIVE Show from the comfort of your own home, where world-renowned mentalist (and current contestant on America’s Got Talent), Max Major, will literally get inside your head through the screen. With an uncanny ability to predict thoughts and control the actions of others, this “real-life Sherlock Holmes,” leads at-home audiences through an intimate and fully interactive journey - together they discover the power of virtual connection made possible through hypnosis and mentalism.
The intrigue kicks off before the show even begins when each participant receives a special package in the mail - the contents of which cannot be revealed until Max gives the word…
FILM FESTIVAL IN A BOX: ADIRONDACK FILM FESTIVAL
October 15-18, 2020
Film selection is currently underway, led by Programming Director, Jessica Levandoski, and will be announced in early September. Festival blocks will be created for the short films, as in previous years, by theme (e.g. Laugh Therapy, Sweet & Sour, A Shot in the Dark, Tasting Menu, etc.) But this year these blocks may be combined with box items to enhance the experience. AFF Kleenex may accompany a drama block or a scented candle will help set the mood for a romance block.
CRUISE IN A BOX: LIVING ROOM CRUISE LINES
Set sail for an unforgettable, high seas staycation on the world's first ever Cruise in a Box! Your ticket doesn't just buy you passage on this not-so-nautical adventure, we'll also be mailing you a special "SHIPment" - filled with everything you'd expect from a luxury cruise liner; plush towels that we'll teach you to transform into animals for your cabin, ocean-scented candles, a little umbrella to shade your favorite tropical drink, and so much more! Then, you'll join your Live Virtual Cruise Director for a night of world-class Shipboard entertainment and variety performances as you sail across the globe – all from your own couch!
MYSTERY IN A BOX: MANHUNT
January 12-23, 2021
You buy a ticket. You're delivered a box. Inside the box, you find a variety of objects, along with an invitation... beckoning you to solve a mysterious puzzle. You accept the invitation, and are connected online to a detective who needs the clues in your box to start connecting the pieces... but... the pieces to what? As the plot unfolds into a night of twists and turns - along with virtual live performances that plunge you deeper into a world of noir and intrigue - you realize this is about much more than random items in a box. You begin to wonder: in this virtual game of cat and mouse... who's chasing who? And why is one of your objects a clock that's slowly counting down? And... perhaps most importantly of all... what happens when it hits zero?
PAINT IN A BOX: PAINTING FOR ONE
February 9-20, 2021
It's time for Andy and Laura's Painting for Two - the BEST paint-by-numbers instructional show on public access WBPP! By signing up for this week's show, you've received your canvas and paints in the mail, and you'll be following along with Andy and Laura to make it a masterpiece in a night where wine and canvas meets live theatre. One small change: Laura isn't here. She's gone. But... Andy's here, live... from the living room they once shared... and he's ready to make this blank canvas into a stunning piece of art with YOU! Also, due to budget cuts, we may need him to host a few more shows throughout the evening... also the future of the station may be at stake. But... it'll be fine, right? Yeah... yeah it'll be... fine...
Writers for these interactive scripted events are:
Hank Greene (Cruise/Mystery/Paint) is an award-winning playwright who made his professional debut with the BPP as a writer on The Blizzard in 2012. He has returned to Bloomington as a frequent collaborator on works such as Vintage Scenes, Death Metal Family Radio Hour, and the Reva Shriner Award-winning Knights of the Sales Office, which also appeared at ATF. Other works include Arumforn (or Yiddish for Journey) (developed with The New Colony’s Writers Room), One and Two Makes Universe, and his most recent piece, Benjamin Harrison Chased a Goat, was commissioned by Art for Lawrence’s Theater at the Fort in Indianapolis. As a performer, he is a former member of the critically-acclaimed sketch comedy trio Vienna Juvenile, with whom he performed on stages across the country.
E.J. Cameron (Cruise) has lived in Chicago for eight years, where he has graduated from and performed at The Second City, iO and Comedy Sportz. He was a recipient of The Second City Training Center’s Bob Curry Fellowship in 2016 before joining the cast of the e.t.c.’s 43rd revue, Grinning from Fear to Fear and e.t.c.’s 44th revue. Prior to moving to Chicago, E.J. received his BFA in Acting at Columbus State University (not Ohio!) and performed with multiple troupes. He is represented by Paonessa Talent and is an avid pro-wrestling fan who loves the color purple. Follow @Ej_Cam19 on twitter and Eeeezeejeeezus19 on Instagram.
Emily Goodson (Mystery/Paint) is a playwright and librettist working in the Midwest. Her musical Spun (with Jeremy Schonfeld) was a 2017 finalist for the National Alliance of Musical Theatre, and is currently optioned for a 2021 off-Broadway production through Indie Theatricals. Her other musical Calling All Kates (with Jeremy Schonfeld) has also received numerous productions, most recently at the Adirondack Theatre Festival in the summer of 2019. As a recipient of the 2019 Lincoln City Fellowship through the Speranza Foundation, Emily developed the book and concept for Sticks & Stones: A New Musical Featuring the Work of Neko Case. As both a librettist and lyricist, she is currently developing a piece called Kuliling (with Ed Gatchalian) to open in July 2020 in Makati, Philippines. Other musical projects include Greta (with Jeremy Schonfeld), Hide & Seek, and The Unmothering of Little Fish. As a playwright, her play Besties! has been featured at the Northern Writers Conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan and the Tea Light Reading Series in Boise, Idaho. Her one-act Lady Bits was produced at the Indianapolis Fringe Festival in the Summer of 2012. Other non-musical writing projects include The Meltdown, The Blizzard: 30 Plays in 60 Minutes, and The Blizzard Sells Out: 30 Plays in 60 Minutes. To date, Emily is proud to have received hundreds of rejections from some of the most prestigious companies across the United States.
Founded in 1994, Adirondack Theatre Festival (ATF) is a professional not-for-profit summer theatre located in Glens Falls, NY. ATF strives to challenge, entertain, and nourish its audience through the development and production of new and contemporary musicals and plays. During its 26-year history, ATF has launched more than 35 world premieres and produced 25 new play workshops. Each summer ATF produces a nine-week season of theatre for an audience of more than 9,500 using professional artists from New York City and across the country. Its summer season includes four mainstage productions, a new play workshop, two cabarets, and a children’s dinner theatre. ATF is the only professional summer theatre in the Capital District, Saratoga and Adirondack regions of upstate New York solely committed to producing new works. ATF also operates the Adirondack Film Festival, now entering its 5th season. Serving over 4,000 patrons in one weekend, the film festival brings in major stars from the industry and showcases more than 100 films across multiple screens in Downtown Glens Falls.
The Bloomington Playwrights Project is the only professional theatre in the entire state of Indiana focused solely on new plays. Over the last 40+ years, BPP has developed and produced more than 500 new plays and musicals. Many BPP shows have reached significant success, including recent hits like: Kalamazoo, which has been published by Dramatists Play Service and performed across the country, Rap Guide to Culture which had a successful off-Broadway run, and Ugly Lies the Bone that was produced off-Broadway by Roundabout Theatre Company.
BPP has been has been privileged to develop and produce works by hundreds of playwrights including such well-known writers/performers as: Dan Castellaneta (Voice of Homer Simpson), Marc Summers (Double Dare, Food Network), Jesse Eisenberg (Academy Award nominee), Jeff Daniels (Tony & Golden Globe nominee), Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games), Greg Kotis (Tony winner), Paris Barclay (Two-time Emmy winner), Jon Marans (Pulitzer-Prize finalist), Erin Levy (Emmy winner), Alex Brightman (Two-time Tony Award nominee), and countless more.
BPP is the home of two annual playwriting awards, including the prestigious Woodward/Newman Drama Award in honor of the many incredible dramas created by Joanne Woodward & Paul Newman. The award was initially started and supported by Joanne Woodward and the Newman’s Own Foundation.
Chad Rabinovitz is the only artist in the United States simultaneously serving as the Producing Artistic Director of two theaters devoted to new works: Adirondack Theatre Festival (Glens Falls, NY) & Bloomington Playwrights Project (Bloomington, IN). In addition to producing new works, Chad has directed more than 100 productions across the country, focusing primarily on new and contemporary plays and musicals. He is also currently the Producer of the acclaimed Adirondack Film Festival, Managing Director of the Bloomington Academy of Film & Theatre, and Producer of a visual arts festival, Arts Fair on the Square.