Below is an interview that ARGNet’s own Michelle Senderhauf conducted with Tom Salamon, co-creator of Accomplice: New York, Accomplice: The Village, and Accomplice: Hollywood. You can find details on participating in Accomplice at AccomplicetheShow.com.
MS: What made you decide to do theatrical performances in the wild rather than in a traditional theatre setting?
TS: A lot of the inspiration came from just loving to people watch in NYC, and all the quirky, crazy people that you see on any given day. We thought that if we could figure out a way to develop characters that would blend into the woodwork of the various neighborhoods, and have a way that our actors could identify our audience but not vice-versa, we could create an effect that felt like the city was filled with extras in our little story. We were also watching a lot of the reality TV of the day, and were interested in the sociological aspects of it, and thought that we could emulate the feeling of being on one of those shows for our audience.
MS: Where did the idea for Accomplice come from?
TS: My sister (co-creator Betsy Salamon-Sufott) and I were on a walking tour throughout lower Manhattan a few years ago. While we were seeing all of these cool, out of the way spots, we found the tour guide boring, and thought that there might be a more exciting way to experience these locations. We thought we could design a program where people would get dropped into the middle of an adventure throughout the city. And while there were various gaming events that incorporated quick bits with actors, I don’t think anyone had really taken the time to structure a story and cast legit improv actors, and give them room to breathe and be funny and engaging, and have a narrative unfold that the audience would be in the middle of.
MS: After signing up for an Accomplice performance, what should the customer expect? Do you have any suggestions on how to get the most from the experience?
TS: Come to have fun and play along – the cast loves it when you participate. You’re not role playing, you’re just being yourself, so have fun with it and get involved. Also, a group of 10 is the best way to attend because you’re with all of your own people, but if you don’t have 10 it’s no problem – you’ll be paired with others – just work together!