iTheater

After Dark: In Bricolage Production Co.'s brilliant, immersive STRATA, you are the star of the show.

This won’t be a long entry. There’s little to say. Other than glowing hyperbole about Bricolage Production Company’s current undertaking, STRATA. Those put off by unabashed praise should probably bail out now.

So, then, why isn’t there much to say? Because much of STRATA can’t be described — and to get into detail about the rest would give too much away.

STRATA is not a play in any conventional sense. At no point will you sit down with an audience and watch events unfold. That wouldn’t work here — because you’re the main character. When you buy admittance to STRATA — the Strategic Training and Research Testing Agency — you’ll receive an email with further instructions, including a questionnaire to fill out, directions to a rendezvous point and a stern request that you please not look at any birds.

From there, the STRATA team will guide you through a “refitnessing” in your pursuit of “iConsciousness.” It doesn’t give anything away to say that you’ll be sent on a personal journey through a hidden downtown location, mostly alone and intimately involved in the story that unfolds. How could you not be? The story’s about you.

There are (incredibly talented and quick) performers. There are (fully realized, immersive) sets. Other than that, this couldn’t be further removed from plopping down into a chair and watching a show. If your path turns certain ways, you might even work up a sweat — in more ways than one.

Depending on how your journey progresses, the experience can be touching, disturbing, shocking, affirming, inspiring — but no matter what, it’ll land like a knockout punch. It’s a very unusual thing to find yourself wandering through a world catered to you and crafted down to the smallest detail. If you have ever wanted to live out a waking dream, this is your chance.

Beyond that, I’m determined not to give anything away. Even basic details of STRATA are captivating and mysterious, so I’m holding my tongue. (I’d point out that some other reviews of STRATA have not done so; at the risk of sounding like I’m running down the competition, I’d advise against reading too much more about STRATA, lest it be spoiled.)

So I’ll just say this (and here comes the hyperbole): STRATA is like absolutely nothing else I’ve experienced. It’s one of the most memorable evenings I can recall. Nearly a week later, I’m still trying to process it — and making plans to return. In many ways, it’s the most impressive production I’ve ever seen. If we’re lucky, live entertainment in the future will look a lot like STRATA. It’s an understatement to say that anyone who doesn’t attend is missing out — you could say that about anything. So I’ll put it this way: cancel your plans. Blow off whatever else you had on the schedule. There are nine more nights of STRATA, and nothing should keep you away.

Categories: After Dark