It’s Walking Dead season, and if you’re anything like me, the zombie apocalypse has been a mainstay conversation topic amongst family and friends. Have you ever wondered what you would do, where you would go, who you would help, what unique weapons you would use to combat the undead horde? Through the magic of live interactive theatre, I got to experience the undead come to life in a live interactive play!
The Zombie Syndrome is an interactive live theatre experience where you and a group of friends are dropped in the epicenter of a zombie apocalypse. You assume the role of a zombie hunter tasked with a Resident Evil-esque mission to track down the root of the zombie outbreak, and ultimately save the world from this catastrophic event.
The talented crew from The Virtual Stage Arts Society does an exceptional job bringing the modern cliché ridden zombie flick to real life, with a mixture of ingenious improvisational acting, atmospheric lighting, convincing special effects, make-up, costumes, props, and an amazing plot with twists scary enough to raise your pulse just as high as your very first date. If you’re a die hard fan of survival horror, you will have no problem immersing yourself into this world reminiscent of George A. Romero’s Day of the Dead and The Walking Dead. The crew takes every advantage of the dreary midnight port setting outside The Sandbar on Granville Island to create an atmosphere full of horrors that, much like a good horror movie, will leave you cautious of every passerby and weary of what’s around every corner.
The Zombie Syndrome has 5 years under it’s rotting belt, and every year it adds a twist in the notch. The Virtual Stage reaches out annually through social media to garner input on what twist to add to the plot of the production, not only making every year truly a genuinely fresh live theatre experience, but raising the bar of the constantly evolving genre of interactive theatre.
In the tradition of constantly evolving the level of interactivity, the neartuit app was introduced to allow the audience to advance the story via puzzles and clues sent directly to their cellphones. This effectively creates an edgy, fast paced, and constantly flowing narrative.
I would recommend checking out The Zombie Syndrome to anyone, whether you’re a die hard gamer, a fan of cinema, or just someone looking for something fun to do. Even if you’re a theatre nerd like me, who sees it as an opportunity at creative self expression, an escape from the mundanity of student life and an opportunity to learn and grow through actively engaging in performance art, it’s an experience not to be missed.