MEET OUR THEA AWARD RECIPIENT FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT: IMMERSIVE LIVE EXPERIENCE
Particle Ink: Speed of Dark Las Vegas, Neveda Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement-Immersive Live Experience Overview
Particle Ink takes the guest into the vivid story of an artist and his wife who lost their child, and must face their inner fears and sorrows, to rediscover joy through art. The venue is off the strip in Las Vegas, in an industrial area, in what looks like was a mechanic’s garage. The show starts with the garage door opening. As guests enter they discover various spaces with a riot of homebuilt sculptures and art. We are introduced to the main character - the father - at the crib of his lost child. A tiny spark of magic and imagination appears and proceeds to transform into the delightful sprite of a child, in what they call the “2.5th dimension”. From this point the show takes to every surface in street art fashion, with projections and clever handoffs and interactions. As the couple struggle to reclaim the four keys to joy, the scenes flow from room to alcove to walls and floors with acrobatics, performances, puppetry and hip hop dance. Partway through the show a new larger room that is revealed, in which the darker moments, a big battle and the joyful finale occur. In two moments of pause, the audience is invited to roam around the space and play with interactive art installations: AR mysteries in a container, digital spray paints on walls, digital mirror dance, etc. The total experience is approximately 60 minutes. There are two shows per night.
What sets this attraction apart?
Incredible magic in such a humble and small space: Compared to any pro venue, this is literally a show in a garage, and while it shows its humble origins with pride, it quickly transcends that with magical moments. The same spaces are used multiple times; and even as the action winds up happening in several spaces that the audience has already seen, projections and surprising staging reveals them in a completely different way, and with multiple hidden uses. Very engaging for the audience: The audience has to move from set to set, and variously roams, stands, sits on benches or on the floor. The set design is rich and eclectic to begin with, but the media totally transforms it. In many cases taking simple accidental objects like a piece of conduit and turning it into a stage for a virtual character. Surprise and delight is a key part of this touching show. Media cornucopia: The show features an astounding amount of original media. This original animation almost always contains moving characters and transformations, which makes it an almost 60 minute street art animated feature - strikingly styled and highly interactive with the performers. Lots of simple but effective gags like lighted props are timed to media for touching story moments, and reactive media supports the actors’ performance perfectly. Many other tools play smaller parts such as local lasers. The energetic, young and highly emotional soundtrack composition is supported by a powerful and clear audio system. Finally the fun interactives that the audience plays with are solid support to help the audience participate
How long did the project take to complete?
The project has been in development since 2016 and this is the first full mounting since its inception.
Did you experience and roadblocks?
The pandemic was particularly challenging, but we were able to pivot from our initial plans to launch in NYC in Fall of 2020 and mounted the inaugural portal into the Particle Ink metaverse instead in the Arts District in Las Vegas 2022.