In interactive theater, the audience is just as much a part of the action as the actors, and could actually be considered an extension of the cast itself. Honolulu’s Pure Theatre group (formerly Cruel Theatre) provided different scenarios to the 5 audience members, giving them an identifiable costume and a part to play.
Taking it to another level, a 25 member troupe of ‘interactors’ in Orlando recently devised and produced an entire four day interactive narrative custom-tailored for Kurt Bauerle, a local lawyer.
“And through it all, Bauerle/Parker – the only player not in on the narrative’s basic structure – had to make behavioral choices that would determine the course of the adventure. However he elected to respond to any given situation, the interactors had to go with it – though some choices would clearly make their job easier than others.”
Interestingly, both performance groups assigned a fictional identity to the audience member or members. Equally interesting is the fact that Jeff Wirth has worked in the past with Haxan Films’ Mike Monello, who most recently was involved in Audi’s Art of the Heist ARG. Art of the Heist also used elements of interactive narrative, or spontaneous theater, in its real-life events where the ARG players interacted with the game characters.
While having a game individually custom-tailored to ones’ tastes is probably out of the league of most people (unless your last name is Van Orton), it’s important to note that the concept of more interactivity between cast and audience appears to be a growing and viable trend.