Signals, an Immersive Sci-Fi Experience, Had Us Messing with the Strange and Supernatural

A dark and mysterious figure stands before us, donning the creepy plague doctor mask. He is held captive, and he asks for our help in freeing him. Once free, he intends to exact vengeance against those who have forced him into captivity. To help him, we had to sneak into the administrator’s head office and retrieve an important item. We set out to infiltrate the office and come up with a plan to get the special item. As we enter the offices, it was chaotic all around us with workers all over the place. Luckily, the overseer isn’t at his desk, giving us time to infiltrate and collect. We were successful, but as we tried to scurry back to return the item, the doors become locked, and we were trapped in the building.

Signals, a Last Call Theatre Production

This is Signals, a Last Call Theatre production as part of Hollywood Fringe Festival 2022. This immersive theatrical experience takes guests into a sci-fi world where they can choose how to proceed with the story. The unique experience was a joy, and the level of fun for the guests depends on how proactive and engaged they are in the story.

Entertainment comes in all shapes and sizes, ranging from cinema to video games. With immersive theatrical experience (interactive plays), it takes entertainment to the next level. In New York, there’s the popular Sleep No More where you get to choose your own adventure in an elaborate production. In addition, we’re blessed with Los Angeles’ Delusion, a spooky experience where a small group discovers what horror awaits them. The concept takes a story and brings that to life with elaborate sets and actors. Guests get to be a part of that immersive experience by interacting and playing along with them in person.

Last Call Theatre’s Signals. Photo by Nerd Reactor

Temper Your Expectations

If you have done experiences like Arcane, Delusion and Sleep No More, lower your expectations for Signals. The sets and the props are not as elaborate and grand as the others. And the size of the experience is what I would consider medium compared to the larger experiences. With that said, the production team consisting mainly of Fringe veterans has done a wonderful job of making this a fun experience with interesting props, fun puzzles and peculiar characters.

There are two popular types of immersive interactive theater. There’s the more linear one where a small group embarks on an adventure all by themselves. The other involves dozens of participants as they form different groups and choose their own adventures while solving clues. (Similar to the Arcane Experience, based on the Netflix animated series.) Signals is the latter, and the teams included are Security, Research, D-Class Personnel, and Administrator.

Our group was Security, and we had a mission of helping the secret organization known as The Foundation. We proceeded to the Research area and accepted a side mission from a scientist. The mission is to test the artifact found in the archives. The strange artifact in our hands was a hat, but it wasn’t just any regular hat. We tested this on another scientist at the lab, and it made them speak pig Latin. This is just an example of the few interesting items inside The Foundation.

Last Call Theatre’s Signals. Photo by Nerd Reactor

The team says that participants can help guide the story of Signals and impact the outcome of the show. I did feel like we had a helping hand in that. For example, some of the tasks we did impact the lives of the characters in the organization. As a result, we saw drama and chaos happening in front of us. There are moments when our group was split on a solution, and we were meeting in the middle. This really makes this immersive experience very interactive.

Final Reaction

Signals was a lot of fun, and your level of fun is highly dependent on how much you put into it. If you’re the type to be passive, this may not be for you. However, if you’re more of an extrovert or are willing to step outside of your comfort zone, this experience is one hell of a ride featuring fascinating characters, interweaving stories, and supernatural elements.

About Signals

Synopsis: Signals invites participants into Site 00013, a sci-fi research station filled with anomalous artifacts and beings from other dimensions contained by a covert organization known as The Foundation. You are invited to join The Foundation as agents as they attempt to contain these things that they believe threaten humanity. Not only are there multiple different endings dependent on the audience interactions throughout the night, but also individual characters’ fates depend on the choices the audience makes. This show will have several changing branching paths for audience members to explore ensuring that each performance is a totally unique show.

Signals is directed by Alexander Whitover. The production team is helmed by creative lead Jacob Zorehkey with producers Ashley Busenlener, Nick Griffith, and Sabrina Sonner. The cast features 16 ensemble members that make up Site 00013’s admin team, research team, security, and the monsters contained at the site. The cast includes Ashley Busenlener, Riley Cole, Olivia Crews, Michael DiNardo, Kale Hinthorn, Liviera Lim, Ian Melamed, Naomi Melville, Byron Monterroso, Alexander Panagos, Jason Pollak, Philip Saguil, Haven Schneider, Michaela Skaribas, Mikey Takla, and Evan Wank.

Signals is running now until June 26, 2022 at the Themele Arts building (5481 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029). Ticket prices range from $30-$35.

For more info on Signals, please visit https://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/7406.

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