This Friday, the Radisson Hotel at USC will be home to an immersive, intimate theatrical experience. Produced by Center Theatre Group in association with Playwrights Arena, “The Hotel Play” is a profound new work combining the talents of several authors including Paula Cizmar, Velina Hasu Houston, Jennifer Maisel, Nahal Navidar, Julie Oni, Janine Salinas Schoenberg, and Laurie Woolery.
In this groundbreaking piece of theatre, we are introduced to a high school class of 1992 gathering for their 25 year reunion. With different characters in different rooms throughout the hotel, audience members will travel from room to listen to each of the characters thoughts, plights, and regrets. The play is said to culminate in the ballroom of the hotel in which “confrontations spark and truths are revealed,” as quoted by the play’s official website.
Though not much information is given on the plot of the play, the set up is quite intriguing and fairly uncommon to have this type of immerse audience interaction that one might associate with a “haunted house” or theme park attraction. The idea of making the audience move with the characters and travel to each individual room to see them perform has most recently been used for the popular New York play, “Sleep No More” which has garnished stellar reviews and has remained open since 2011. This technique is perfect for engaging the audience members of today by making them stay physically active while still remaining involved in the story. With the producers making audience members sign a waiver before they enter, “The Hotel Play” is a landmark theatrical event not to be missed.
“The Hotel Play” runs through April 16 and stars Brenda Banda, Moises Castro, Angel Star Felix, Durant Fowler, Melissa Greenspan, Stevie Johnson, Tamika Katon-Donegal, Natasha Liu, Mariana Marroquin, Joanie Marx, Keyla Monterroso Mejia, Ryan Moriarty, Elmira Rahim, Dorothy Sinclair, and Cary Thompson. Tickets may be purchased at playwrightsarena.org.
Written by: Travis Hayward