On Saturday August 13th, 2016,
I had the great pleasure of joining the prestigious utopia Penumbra. It was clear to me that Penumbra was not all it seemed to be when I arrived. We had half an hour of merriment until we were split off into different sects and divisions of the city. The next two hours would be a “S*** Show” as one civilian put it. And oh boy was it an adventure. Check out my blog here and my other post about Hanson’s Shoe Repair here (Publish date: 8/17/16).
When Shadows Fall: Penumbra is a first person theater experience put on by Pseudonym Productions. After experiencing it myself I would most liken it to Live Action Role Play (LARPing).
When Shadows Fall is fun interactive story line where you actually get to be a part of the story! It’s centered on a Utopian city that only takes in new “Outsiders” every so often. Through a twist and turn of events you must solve a dastardly crime.
In short, you pay about $65 to be locked in a themed 15,000 sq.ft. warehouse designed and decorated as the city of Penumbra (sequel to The Republic). Although it was a small budget project it was immersive enough to bring you into the story. The actors kept character the whole time, and did well to keep the story flowing. There was minimal swearing and some mature themes. I would recommend it for older teens and young adults. However, the people you will meet there are great, friendly, and altogether very interesting.
I will say as you travel to this undisclosed location (you won’t receive the address until the day of) you enter the sketchy side of town. My friend and I got more and more nervous as we got closer, but rest assured it is a legitimate establishment residing on the shady side of town.
My suggestions for a great time would be:
1.) Be early. They say come half an hour early and they mean it. Sarah and I got there at 7:28pm and doors opened promptly at 7:30pm. Say what you will about nerds, but at least we are punctual.
2.) Read the website ahead of time. There is a wealth of knowledge on the website from story background to characters and descriptions. All of them are helpful and useful in game.
3.) Make an effort to meet people and say hello. When you arrive early you are given a period to hang around a study and meet other players. Take advantage of it. It’s super fun to meet new people and it can prove to be quite helpful in game.
4.) Be creative. “You are always given an option” is a statement that comes up frequently. The actors will guide you in the way you should go, but don’t be afraid to play a character, ask questions, and make dramatic statements. The actors and other players will feed off your energy and it makes for a more interesting experience.
5.) Don’t bring anything that doesn’t fit in your pockets. You are not allowed to take pictures inside the game or use your phone (frankly you’ll be too busy to do either). You won’t need anything in game whatsoever (they mention to bring your ID but you can leave it in the car). There are NO lockers or places to stash your things. Fortunately one of the attendants was kind enough to hold my phone, ID, and keys.
Although minor, I will caution those with anxiety and similar mental illnesses. It is an extremely fun and playful experience, but the setting is dimly lit, sometimes hot (from all the movement), has loud noises, and can sometimes be chaotic with people running and screaming about. Don’t let this stop you though! I think you will enjoy the experience!
At the end of the day it was a fantastic way to meet fellow nerds. A tinge expensive, but worth it. I would go back to see if I could alter the story line even more now that I’m familiar with the format.While I was there I did meet other players who had been there three and four times, and they really enjoyed each experience. I really hope in the future the production company gets a larger budget so they can bring the immersive decorations into higher quality. Check it out, and try a one of a kind experience! It’s only here for a short period!
Check out this picture from the night!