A photo of the playwright Drew Paryzer
by Drew Paryzer
In person: Friday, March 24 at 7:00 p.m.

The Usses (working title) is a “playable play” about a group of hunter-gatherers at the dawn of agriculture, and the fluctuating relationships they forge with the natural world—which is itself “played” by audience members wearing interactive VR headsets. The Usses explores how new ideas influence and change our environment, our relationships, and our potential futures…by conjuring a moment in time when almost anything was possible.

From Drew: “There are two juicy questions animating this project for me. The first is: can I write a play that opens a new (and hopeful) mythological space in our distant past, via integrating the nascent storytelling medium of VR? The second question: can I find an approach to theater-making that uses narrative design structures from gaming to bring audiences deeper into a living story? I can’t wait to dig into these questions at the Playwrights’ Center!”


Three audience members will experience short interactive VR experiences during the performance — based on where they sit in the audience. Their participation will impact the narrative trajectory of the story. These audience members will be informed before the show starts, and given the opportunity to change seats if they don't wish to participate. Also: what happens within the three separate VR experiences will be everyone in the audience will be able to see what's happening inside the goggles!


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