Student Play “Purgatory” Provides Experience of Danger in Safety

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Daniel Amsel

If you think theater is boring, you clearly haven’t heard about University of Utah and soon-to-be Actor Training Program graduate Daniel Amsel’s “Purgatory.”

“Purgatory” is nontraditional in nearly every way. It is part of a new medium of theater just beginning to take root. This medium can be seen in “Sonder,” which was recently performed at Eagles Hall. Both are immersive performances, allowing audiences to decide what they see and when, while actors act on.

Amsel’s attempt at an immersive theater is devised from Dante’s “Divine Comedies.”

“The abstract of heaven and hell and our notions and expectations of those places are what drives the drama of the piece,” Amsel explained.

Amsel has decided to combine technology and theater and even the audience to create this new piece. “Purgatory is an experience combining both immersive theater and virtual reality,” he said. It breaks the fourth wall to draw the audience in and form a connection that promises to be very intense.

One warning, though. “The show is experimental, so the danger of the unexpected is alive in the room,” he said. Those brave enough to go might just find a totally new and unique experience that exists nowhere else.

The show will be held in PAB April 19-22 beginning at midnight each night. While attendance is free, interested attendees must sign up.

“Prepare for a dark show in a small space,” was Amsel’s advice. If you plan to attend, you had better register fast as only 15 slots are available per show.

m.slack@dailyutahchronicle.com

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