We’ve lost track now how many times Seattle Immersive Theatre has extended their hit, sold out show DUMP SITE by Julia Nardin. It’s something like five or six.
What we do know is that the show has been running since late April. And that it’s damn good. And that it’s now running thru July 26. Really – that’s it. It can’t extend any further after that.
Interestingly – some Portlanders have been turning up at the undisclosed SoDo warehouse where it’s on. And another Oregonian came from as far away as Eugene to see it. We have it on good authority that all of those intrepid travelers were pretty thrilled with what they found.
If innovative, authentic live performance is what you live for, this show will be one of your 2015 highlights.
And this time they’ve added on not one week, as they did in each of the two previous extensions, but two. So there are now eight additional dates available running through July 5.
This show from Seattle Immersive Theatre has been going since the end of April. Word has spread, and now demand from the audience is building.
I don’t know about you, but when something is good, I’m willing to travel for it. And I usually have to go a lot farther than 160 miles. So what you have right now is the chance to see something that could change your whole idea of how theatre can be delivered relatively close by. Did we mention it’s also a stunning gothic Northwest thriller? Paging David Lynch…
It is very cool to see a self-producing outfit like SIT originate a project like this and have it go on to be wildly successful in an open run format. What it tells you is that the audience is hungry for the real thing. If you can create the good stuff, they’ll be there. If you can’t, even $20 or $12 or $5 tickets on Goldstar won’t attract them. Because it’s not about price – it’s about quality. Create an experience you can’t get anywhere else – and the audience will beat down your door.
In a landscape where the very largest regional theatres often struggle to sell tickets for $20, audience members of all ages are gladly shelling out $35 for the chance to see this immersive theatre experience by Julia Nardin (writer), Gin Hammond (director) and Paul Thomas (producer).
Actually strike that. As an audience member in this original production, you don’t “see” the show. That’s what you do in traditional theatre, where the audience all sit in chairs. In #DumpSite it’s more like you’re in the midst of the action. You “experience” the show.
There are only 20 tickets a night, guaranteeing that you’ll have an unforgettable intimate experience. But unfortunately that means that as word spreads, there aren’t many tickets available. Which is why the thing keeps selling out five minutes after each extension.
This is entrepreneurial theatre at its very best: artists with skin in the game making real artistic and business decisions – because it’s their time and money on the line. That’s part of why the experience is so good and authentic.
As you may know, we have a highly sophisticated TEWS (Theatre Early Warning System) that we bought on one of those military surplus sites. Better it fell into our hands than the PDX Police Department’s arsenal.
With the benefit of this ingenious technology, which gives ample and early warning of good things on the horizon (even when they are still months or years in the future), we are able to put the word out well in advance when we see something coming up you should know about. The whole point is to make sure you don’t miss something.
We like to think we have a pretty good track record of making early calls about upcoming blockbuster shows.
We called this one six months out. (Third Rail’s NOISES OFF in December 2013)
And this one eight months out. (The double shot of ALL THE WAY and THE GREAT SOCIETY by Robert Schenkkan at Seattle Rep in December 2014)
And this one. (The original installment of Lauren Weedman’s THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF PORTLAND in April 2013)
And this one. (Soho Rep’s production of OCTOROON by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins in March 2014)
All those shows went on to be sell out sensations – several setting all time box office records.
Ok, ok. On the last one, point taken. It doesn’t take a fancy machine and a roomful of quant jockey geniuses to predict that a show at Soho Rep is going to sell out.
We don’t steer you wrong. Do we?
We have a history of being able to call them in advance. In fact, until I find some evidence to the contrary I will hereby strengthen the claim and say: We have never yet been wrong on one of these.
Now we’re not saying that our global media presence itself makes these shows successful. We’re saying we know what the audience likes. And so when we see something coming that is going to shower shock and awe of the dramatic kind over the landscape (i.e., become a hit) – we sound the alarm.
Well, lo and behold. We have been right YET AGAIN.
If you’re a bit of a fanatic about something – food, wine, soccer, art – chances are you’ve been known to travel to get more of the very best of whatever it is you like.
Good stuff is worth traveling for. Not that you can’t get good stuff at home. But sometimes there’s something about going to experience a really, really good item in its native habitat – if and when it exists.
So here’s another ping to remind you that if you like theatre, one of the most exciting shows I’ve seen in a long while ANYWHERE is on right now at an undisclosed warehouse in Seattle’s SoDo (“south of downtown”) neighborhood. And that’s #DumpSite by Julia Nardin at Seattle Immersive Theatre.
The good news: It’s the kind of dramatic live experience that will put the hair back on your chest and a skip in your stride. Have you been dining at Olive Garden for your theatrical fare lately? Then eating from this rich local menu may come as a bit of a shock to the system. Yes, the theatre can still be this good. So good that 20 somethings are shelling out $35 a night to go.
The bad news? It’s almost sold out.
Word (as word is wont to do when there’s something good going on) has spread. And shows are selling out. Only 20 audience members a night get the chance to enter the world of Reed Pickering and his sister Charlotte.
Admittedly, I’m a bit of a fanatic, and have now made the trip north to see #DumpSite twice. It is definitely worth the trek. But you could also bundle in numerous other shows to make for a longer stay in the Jet City if a theatre kamikaze strike for a single show seems extravagant.
Need to shake up the system? Looking for something new and exciting?
The location is a secret (it’s somewhere in Seattle’s SoDo), the story is murky, and you will be wearing a mask. A mask that looks like a bird’s beak.
There’s a washed up horror writer, his sister, their recently deceased father, a missing teen (or six), boxes full of… something, and the drip drip dripping, moss-covered woods of the Pacific Northwest.
And that’s about all you’re going to know before you embark on the latest interactive experience from Seattle Immersive Theatre. The company’s DUMP SITE by Julia Nardin opened last night in an undisclosed Seattle warehouse.
Forget TWIN PEAKS 2. Get your PNW gothic needs met right here.
We could tell you more, but then we’d have to kill you. And given that numerous people have already been killed, what with opening the show and all, there just isn’t enough time right now to bury any more bodies.
You’re young and hungry – an up and comer – and you want to create a new theatre company that will actually attract an audience.
So how do you do that?
By offering an exciting product. Something new, something different.
Something we the audience must MUST! have – by any means necessary.
There is no “crisis of the audience”. The audience is smart. And busy. They’re not coming to a lot of traditional theatre because they know damn well how [redacted] boring it is. Watching a moderately poor rendition of play x, y, z sounds to them only slightly more appealing than being dragged behind wild horses over volcanic tuff.
With a sun burn.
During mosquito season.
But when there’s something exciting on offer – something the audience wants – BOOM! They appear.
One of the main problems theatres have is their fixed location. As in real estate, it’s all about location. If the theatre is in a bad location or isn’t an evocative space, the audience isn’t that interested.
One way to sidestep that landmine? Have no location. Go rogue.
You read and watch what they’re doing and what they have – it’s pretty darn exciting.
Here’s their next show, DUMP SITE:
“While planning his father’s funeral, washed-up horror novelist Reed Pickering discovers evidence connecting him to the disappearance of a local Seattle teen sometime in the early 80s. With help from his sister Charlotte, he must find a way to separate fact from fiction and confront the grisly truth about their childhood by unearthing the skeletons of their father’s past. Seattle Immersive Theatre invites you and up to fifteen participants to join Reed in this densely-plotted investigation into the nature of obsession set here in the dark heart of the Pacific Northwest.
DUMP SITE performs at an undisclosed, secret location inside Seattle city limits. An address and directions to the venue (free parking available) will be emailed to you following your ticket purchase, one week prior to your scheduled performance.”
WHAAAAAAAAT THHHHHEEEEEE [redacted]!!!
Give me this. Now. Immediately. ASAP.
So get up there sometime during the month of May and check it out.
If it works?
You don’t have to make up something new. Just get a writer and do what they do.