This June, Hidden Realms, a new immersive experience company based in Los Angeles, presents Ascend: When Myths Fall, Heroes Rise at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Ascend is a fully immersive and interactive experience that aims to make the audience the heroes of their own story.
In Ascend, the gods of four great mythological pantheons (Greek, Egyptian, Maya, & Chinese) call on the audience, their lost demigod children, to save them from an ancient threat. However, some of the gods have their own plans for this rising power. Throughout the night, audience members will go on quests to find the truth about the gods, compete in divine challenges and ultimately decide how this story ends.
Ascend is one of the first shows to blend gaming with interactive theatre in a way that allows audience members to build the narrative. Audience members interact with actors on quests and partake in various challenges such as archery and mummification that propel the story forward. Not only are there multiple completely different endings based on the audience interactions throughout the night, but also individual characters’ fates depend on the choices the audience makes. Ascend creates a world where participants do not just observe the events occurring around them, but have active control over the narrative.
“Our goal is to position every audience member to become the hero of their own story,” says director Jack McCarthy. “There is no right or wrong way to participate, and the show is a replayable experience that allows participants to follow—and create—alternative plot lines.”
This production of Ascend at the Hollywood Fringe is the second iteration of this event, the first being a one-night-only event at the University of Southern California in March 2019, which reached an over 300-person audience. Ascend’s production team has designed, produced, and directed experiences from traditional theatre to escape rooms both locally in Los Angeles and nationally. Now, Hidden Realms is bringing Ascend to the Hollywood Fringe Festival to share this experience with the greater LA area.
The audience enters the world from the moment they buy their tickets. Each audience member will receive an invitation from Hermes and be asked to complete a short personality quiz revealing their godly parent, as well as what special power they have inherited, which they can use throughout the production.
Ascend performs seven times throughout the month of June, with preview on Friday, June 7th and opening on Saturday, June 15th. For more information please contact Ashley Busenlener at [email protected]
About Hidden Realms
Hidden Realms is a LA-based, immersive experience company dedicated to creating worlds where participants can become the heroes of their own stories. Ascend: When Myths Fall, Heroes Rise is its first performance at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. You can follow Hidden Realms on Facebook and Instagram @hiddenrealmsimmersive to learn more.
About the Director
Jack McCarthy is a director and producer hailing from Los Angeles. He has directed at various theaters across the country, including The Adirondack Theatre Festival, Southern Rep, Bloomington Playwrights Project, and Pasadena Playhouse, where he also assisted Tony-nominated director Randy Johnson. At fifteen, he founded his own nonprofit theater organization, GIFT, with the mission to bring live performance to hospitalized individuals unable to experience it regularly. He continues to serve as GIFT’s Executive Producer in New Orleans and the California Bay Area, where he also lectures on the importance of the arts at universities and high schools. In addition to theatre, Jack directs immersive themed entertainment experiences. Notable directing credits include: Stage Kiss (Paul Backer Production Award), Heathers (National Youth Arts Best Direction Nominee), Into the Woods, The Oregon Trail, The Illusion, and The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. Immersive Themed Entertainment Credits: Demon Rising, The Witching Hour and Alohomora: Unlock the Wizarding World. Education: University of Southern California BA Theatre Directing, BS Business Administration. British American Drama Academy, London. Contact: [email protected]