McCloskey ’14: ‘An Amazing Theatrical Experience’

Chris McCloskey ‘14 – Well it has been decided. I will never be coming back to Indiana (especially Crawfordsville). Of course, I’m contractually bound to come back (and sitting in the airport to do so), but if I had the option I would be very happy to stay because New York is the place for me. This has been a week of amazing theatre and amazing theatrical workshops that concluded with one of the most jaw-dropping, mind-numbing shows a person could ever see. To say you “see” the show is hardly fair though.

Sleep No More  (the final round of theatre for THE 303) is this absolutely amazing theatrical experience that has the capability to change your life in so many ways. For me, it has led me into another direction that I could take my theatrical career. Sleep No More is an erotic, psychopathic, oddly alluring retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet put on by a British theatre company called PUNCHDRUNK.  The, perhaps, strangest thing about the experience is that you don’t just sit and watch the story unfold. Instead, you are thrown into a random chunk of the story and left to wander the whole entire hotel (the famous McKittrick Hotel from Hitchcock’s Vertigo).

You can either explore the 100,000 sq. ft. of the hotel (rifling through drawers, opening random books, etc.) or you can follow the character as they tell you the story (without a single spoken word). This type of theatre developed by PUNCHDRUNK is a new thing called “immersive theatre” and it invites the audience to become a voyeur who explores every facet of the entrancing story. Going into the show we were warned not to talk, to be bold, and expect the unexpected. Reviewers claim you can have a range of experience from erotic to terrifying and I can definitely say that is true (erotic for me *fist bumps*).

This show was the best way to end an amazing experience in NYC. I am completely thankful to have been afforded the chance to explore New York and (surprisingly) look forward to writing a paper on Sleep No More.  And so I say au revoir, until next time friends.

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