Bricolage's 'STRATA' offers unusual theater experience

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On a wall in the Pittsburgh Cultural District, next to a bright red advertisement for Pittsburgh CLO's "Annie," another poster features two contented faces in a state called "iConsciousness." On top of the faces were a decaying skull and a mask, along with the word "LIES."

The advertisement, and the so-called "anti-campaign" responsible for defacing it, heralds a new type of theatrical experience in Downtown Pittsburgh: an immersive urban adventure in which audience participation affects the outcome. "STRATA," presented by Bricolage Production Company Wednesday through Sept. 1, promises "to deliver cutting-edge proto-corrective treatment to attain cleaner, brighter, happier living."

The anti-campaign, which may have connections with members of the "STRATA" creative team, protests that "life is not a test."

Jeff Carpenter, artistic director for Bricolage, says participants will be notified by email of a secret Downtown address where an agent will be waiting. The agent will escort participants to a refitnessing center to begin a journey "where you will encounter challenges that you will be in control of," Mr. Carpenter says.

More than that, he won't divulge. But he did say that he hopes participants leave talking about art and commerce, pharmaceuticals and Scientology, and capitalism and the Occupy movement.

Or, as the welcome email suggests, "Do not look at birds."

Find "STRATA"-related tweets at @BricolagePGH and @LIESpittsburgh. "STRATA" is a two-hour experience; sites and times may vary. Tickets are $60 or $40 for students and seniors at or 412-471-0999.


Benjamin Mueller:, 412-263-4903.


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