Bricolage's 'OJO' takes theatergoers on adventure

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From the folks who brought you the massive Downtown theater event known as "STRATA" comes "OJO," a world premiere immersive theater experience billed as "the next generation of travel."

It must be a popular destination, because "OJO" is sold out for its run Saturday through June 15 as part of the Three Rivers Arts Festival.

Bricolage is becoming synonymous with immersive theater through The Fifth Wall program, designed to "break down the barriers between scripted storytelling and current events in the world at large."

In June, artistic director Jeffrey Carpenter created the Pittsburgh Legends Tour for the Americans for the Arts Convention, hosted by the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, and the company's collaborative "STRATA" project was featured on the cover of American Theatre Magazine last July. For "STRATA," visitors were be sent to a Downtown street to begin an adventure through 30 rooms amid three floors of a former fitness building.

"OJO" participants -- 56 spread over six performances a day -- are asked to report to the "travel agency" at a Downtown Liberty Avenue address.

"The experience is designed to give people an entirely new perspective on the concept of visual art and as such much of the experience will literally take place in the dark," said Mr. Carpenter, who at the end of this month will moderate a panel on immersive theater for the Theater Communications Group national conference in San Diego.

"Gab Cody will be joining me as a panel member to talk about 'STRATA' along with companies from New York and Chicago," Mr. Carpenter said. "Our specific panel will be focused on the different ways each company approaches the question of how to engage an audience."

The aim is to give yourself over to the experience.

Here's a snippet of the come-on for "OJO" via Bricolage:

The texture of rain. The sound of the sun. The expanse of your mind.

Immerse yourself in a spontaneous adventure. ...

Because it's never to late to see the world.

If openings arise due to cancellations, dates and times will be posted on Bricolage's Facebook page and on Twitter, @bricolagepgh, and you will be directed to a registration form.

For a sneak peek, go to http://theglobesquatters.com/ojo-at-bricolage-in-pittsburgh.


Sharon Eberson: seberson@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1960. Twitter: SEberson_pg.

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