Thea Awards Recipients

Thea Awards 2021

Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement - Live Attraction Spectacular

The Bourne Stuntacular, Universal Studios Florida, Orlando, Florida, USA

This groundbreaking attraction immerses the audience in the world of Jason Bourne, the international spy on the run who has lost his identity but not his razor sharp instincts and incredible (and lethal) physical capabilities. Combining live stunt performers, large-scale, high-resolution media, special effects, and massive show action set pieces in incredible synchronous choreography, the show seamlessly blends these elements to achieve a thrilling theatrical and immersive experience.

The attraction begins with a well-designed queue and preshow which sets up the story context, informing the audience they have been recruited as part of a “Situation Analysis Team” which will track the movements of rogue agent Bourne. The “team” enters a “virtual Surveillance Room” (the main theater) where they will track the movements of Jason Bourne as he tries to escape nefarious forces which are pursuing him. The upstage wall of the large stage is actually a 3,640 sq. ft., high-resolution LED wall, which allows for instant transformation of the show’s environment and locale. Live performers interact with the digital media (including digital performers) in ways that make it difficult to perceive the line between live and digital.

The show moves at lightning pace, switching instantly between The CIA Mission Control Center and several exotic locales where Bourne is being pursued. Each scene is augmented by the physical set pieces closely registered in position with the digital background. During the action of each scene the POV of the audience changes, with scenery and background moving to create powerful illusions of cinematic motion. Physical stunts and environmental effects such as fire and wind add to the dynamics of the show.

The show concludes with a high speed chase with two full sized physical cars which rise on lifts from below stage and rotate and move with incredibly complex motion and precision. Used in conjunction with live performers, in theater effects and the full screen digital environment, the exciting scene climaxes in a spectacular and fiery crash. From beginning to end, the audience gets to “live” an action movie spectacular that’s truly memorable.

This live attraction raises the bar on the stunt spectacular to new levels with a high level of sophistication and imagination. While several of its elements, such as live performers, digital backgrounds, and special effects have all been used in previous shows, this show combines them in dynamic ways that create one "wow" moment after another.

  • The large, high-resolution video screen fills the periphery of the viewer and presents a full range of completely different scenic environments, moving instantly from one to the next.
  • The synchronous movement of the show action set pieces, and particularly the physical vehicles, is technically sophisticated and impressive, with some of the fastest movement and accuracy of motion ever achieved in this context.
  • The quality (and resolution) of the media advances the ability to blur the line between physical and digital environment as well as live and digital performers.

All of these technical elements, and others, are executed at the highest level. But the effectiveness of the show is ultimately due to the creative staging which uses the technical elements in dynamic ways. Using fast paced “editing “and stage illusion, the show is a nonstop series of one new environment changing instantly into another. The cinematic quality achieved by the choreography of digital camera and physical stage movement brings the audience into the action and moves their POV right into the scene to thrilling effect. The high level of technical achievement and the creative application in creating a spectacular, immersive experience makes the Bourne Stuntacular a worthy recipient of this honor.

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