AUSTIN, Texas — The COVID-19 pandemic has encouraged many businesses to get creative with their approach. The Paramount Theatre now has a show created with coronavirus safety protocols in mind.
Art Heist is an interactive walking theater experience where the audience tries to solve a mystery.
The experience is based on a true story of a robbery that took place 30 years ago: two thieves dressed like cops, broke into an art gallery, and over 81 minutes, stole 13 works of art totaling $500,000,000 in value.
Attendees walk from one location to the next to meet actors who are embodying five of the main suspects in the case. The audiences get to ask each actor questions, and the actors improv their answers in character.
The co-writer and co-director of Art Heist, TJ Dawe spoke about a few challenges for the show, including improvising answers and that he's been directing the show from Canada.
"Most of the actors are local from Austin. I'm not. I'm coming to you live from Vancouver, B.C. So we were rehearsing across international borders and at a long distance and with the time zone difference," said Dawe.
The rehearsals for the show were done exclusively through Zoom meetings and iPhone videos. All the effort is put in so people feel safe taking part in live entertainment.
"People have been starved for this, whether people consciously realize it as they're doing it. There's this sense of like it's fun to talk to new people. It's fun to get immersed with people interacting in this way, in a way we just haven't been able to do since mid-March," said Dawe.
Art Heist will be at Paramount Theatre through October.
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