Last Call Theatre’s Abandoned Is Part Role-Playing, All Interactive Theatre Set Inside Post-Apocalyptic World

Shelby Ryan Lee, Kale Hinthorn & Brit Franke in Last Call Theatre’s Abandoned. Photo by Ashley Busenlener

The world has ended with billions of lives lost. We’re refugees seeking asylum in New Babylon, the last bastion of human society in a post-apocalyptic world. Before venturing into the city, we had to be escorted by an envoy who took a stop at an outpost. Things took a turn for the worst, leaving us stuck in a predicament unless we solved it together.

Upon entering The Grave Outpost, a small settlement of what remains of Los Angeles, we were instantly handed a pamphlet to join The Death Cult, and there were plenty of promising rewards if we joined Lady Death. However, there were other settlers with their own beliefs and goals, and the cult wasn’t one of them. This resulted in tension among the different inhabitants, but I went all in for the cult, trying to convince as many people to join the cause.

Abandoned is an immersive and interactive play by Last Call Theatre, an LA-based immersive theatre company. It previously worked on Signals, an interactive show that catered to a huge group. With Abandoned, it is more intimate with a smaller group, allowing participants to have more agency. As a result, we really felt like we were part of the story as we had the ability to change the outcome of the ending. The setting and the different groups definitely reminded me of the video game franchise, Fallout, and with its puzzles and missions, I felt like I was experiencing a live-action video game world. Abandoned was a real joy and participants who actively engage get more out of the experience.

Jason Pollak, Michael Di Nardo, Elena Scaringe-Peene in Last Call Theatre’s Abandoned. Photo by Ashley Busenlener

In the Grave Outpost, there were a few characters with different backgrounds and positions including Michael DiNardo as Chris Gabbiadini, a gardener; Elena Scaringe-Peene as Jude Vallaincourt, who handles supplies; and Jason Pollak as Anton Sticat, a mechanic; and many more. Each person has their own personality, and the travelers get to choose their own adventure as they complete tasks for the settlers and solve mysteries.

I was drawn to The Death Cult thanks to Brit Franke as Cullen Grey, a recruiter and ordained minister in the outpost. The community follows Lady Death, one of the horsemen of the apocalypse, and its followers were given the promise of Eternal Peace (when it’s time). We were given tasks, one including recruiting others in the settlement, and it was a lot of fun trying to convince some of the settlers to join the cult. Of course, we were competing against others in The Grave Outpost who have a distaste for cults and for Cullen, and the clock was ticking. Our actions would help decide who would be running the outpost and that in turn would help decide the fate of everyone involved. Other tasks actually had a hand in revealing a secret, and it was a nice treat to see it play out in front of our eyes.

One of the highlights of the show was seeing a love story unfold with its twist and turn. Our actions would help determine how the characters would interact with each other and what surprises await them. There were several factors in shaping the events, and the actors did a wonderful job of adapting to the different situations.

Part of the appeal of an immersive and interactive show is the set, and whether it really brings you into that world. Since this is a small production, I didn’t expect an elaborate set. For what it is, it got the job done with props here and there set inside one giant, industrial-like room with lighting helping the rest. The real meat of the experience is the interactive element with multiple outcomes.

Last Call Theatre’s Abandoned was a blast with its interactive story that can be changed by how the participants interact with the inhabitants of the outpost. Those who take part will get a lot out of their experience when they actively participate, so it’s highly encouraged.

Last Call Theatre’s Abandoned officially opens on November 4, 2022. Tickets are available here.

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