Reboot by Walking Shadow Theatre Company
Over the past 15 months I have experienced very little theater. For obvious reasons, in person theater was not an option. Theater makers were creative and there were some great online options, recordings and streaming of past shows, and live zoom theater. But at the time I didn't feel compelled to watch any of it. I like so many of us, was filled with zoom fatigue and to watch theater on a screen only seemed like a cruel reminder of the in person connection that we couldn't have.
But now thanks to science and technology, vaccines have made more in person connection possible. And now that there are options for in person theater, it seemed that I was finally ready to experience and enjoy some of the virtual options available.
One such option is Reboot by Walking Shadow Theatre Company. They brand it as an online play with puzzles but it is so much more than that; it is part theater, part escape room, part choose your own adventure, with a side of a moral dilemma. This is not Walking Shadow Theatre's first foray into a play with puzzles or a theatrical online escape room, so they seem to have the art down pat. The puzzles are engaging, require teamwork, but your hosts are there to gently guide you along if you need a little help.
Within Reboot you are a cyber criminal who has a history of breaking into corrupt institutions. You have been contacted by Agent Halo (Jamila Joiner) from the Defense Department with a proposition, help her out with her current investigation and she will let you and your fellow robin hooding cyber criminals (audience members) go. But of course, like any good show, things are not always as they seem and over the show's run time of approximately 100 minutes your brain will be stretched by more than just puzzles.
We have all changed so much since March of 2020. Our relationship to others and how we connect, build trust and communicate both in person and virtually has changed. At one point during the show we were all asked to grab an item of emotional significance and place the item on our heads (you just had to identify the object, not the significance, luckily you weren't forced to be too vulnerable with strangers). The items were all so different, there was a watch, a picture of a pet, a pez dispenser, I held a book. As I held that book I thought about my son who was born over the pandemic and whose name could be found on that book's cover, and I couldn't help but ponder what the stories behind the other items were as well.
Reboot is a unique and engaging theatrical experience, and for me a great introduction back into Twin Cities Theater. I am usually not someone who seeks out interactive theater, but the experience was fun and engaging, and didn't put you on the spot too much. The show was written by Derek "Duck" Washington with puzzles by David Pisa. The very talented cast includes Jamila Joiner, Gregory Parks, Suzie Juul, Charla Marie Bailey, Ari Hoptman and Leo Searcy Jr.
Tickets are currently on sale through August 3rd.
*Images and photos curtsey of Walking Shadow Theatre Company