When I first bought an Oculus Quest, I was amazed by the reality put in my head by THE LAWNMOWER MAN finally coming true. I mean, sure, there was a lot less murder involved in real life, but it was still great to be immersed in a world that was not my own. I was thoroughly impressed by VADER IMMORTAL, a three episode “game” that allowed me to live my own Star Wars fantasy. But even though I loved every minute of that, I still felt like something was missing. It was great to interact with Darth Vader, but I wasn’t reallllly interacting with him. He was pre-programmed and just doing what he was supposed to do.
Then along came THE UNDER PRESENTS. While, yes, technically along the same lines, THE UNDER PRESENTS was the closet to immersive theater that I could get in my own living room. And especially lately, with all of us stuck at home, THE UNDER PRESENTS became a nice getaway from reality. While their TIMEBOAT offering is a brilliant, three-act play that I have been through countless times, it was really their “multi-player arena” where I fell in love with it.
In addition to rotating, pre-recorded variety acts very few minutes, the folks behind THE UNDER PRESENTS also brought a live actors into the fold. When I was lucky enough to catch someone in there, the results would be anything from a grand adventure to the edges of the world or as simple as cracking jokes with a drunk skeleton. Beyond that, they started staging weekly live variety shows, with plenty of audience participation, that really helped pass the time during COVID quarantine. They really created something special here, and as a lover of immersive theater, THE UNDER PRESENTS captures everything I have missed about live productions.
And all of this lengthy introduction is just to show my excitement in what Tender Claws, the team behind it, announced today: THE UNDER PRESENTS: TEMPEST.
THE UNDER PRESENTS: TEMPEST will be a live VR performance based on Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, bringing it to Oculus Quest and Rift starting on July 9. This interactive reimagining of the play will run approximately 40 minutes, with multiple ticketed showtimes available daily through the end of September for $14.99 per show.
The show follows an actor sheltering in place in the Hollywood Hills, lamenting that they were due to play Prospero in a stage production of The Tempest until COVID-19 hit, and takes the audience through their dreams of what might have been. As the experience progresses, the lines between real and virtual and truth and fiction blur as audience members are “cast” as Prospero’s spirits to realize an interactive, virtual version of the story.
With a rotating cast, and multiple performances running simultaneously, no two performances of THE UNDER PRESENTS: TEMPEST will be the same.
And trust me when I say, if you have never been within The Under before, you are in for a treat…I urge you to not only see this, but also check out the entire “game” after as well.
Ticketed showtimes will be held throughout a 4-hour window (4:00pm – 8:00pm Pacific on weekdays, 11:00am – 3:00pm Pacific on weekends) every day from July 9 through the end of September. Tickets are available as an in-app purchase within The Under Presents.
To learn more, visit them online at: https://tenderclaws.com/tempest
To explore The Under Presents on the Oculus store, please visit: https://www.oculus.com/experiences/quest/1917371471713228/