Lucky Plush Productions pairs the aesthetics of retro video games with a turbo-charged line-up of Chicago dance, theater, music and comedy performers for the company’s next major work, The Map of Now, a radically new, interactive digital festival premiering June 25 and 26, 2021.
This festival-style event will be hosted on an interactive online platform called Gather.Town, through which audience members (as avatars) can choose their own adventure on a digital map of Chicago that highlights the richness of Chicago’s performing arts ecology in four performing arts venues across geographically diverse corners of the city. Each venue will be mapped out in a way that accurately represents the physical space in a retro game-like world (think Mario Bros), and when you find a seat in the venue, you can click on interactive objects that link to performances recorded in the actual venues.
Participating venues will provide space and/or other resources for artists to film their work in advance, which will enhance the audience’s feeling that they are seeing the work in the actual venue.
In addition to highlighting Chicago’s diverse artists & venues, the event will explore community connectivity in a brand new way. When an audience member’s avatar gets close to someone else on the map, there’s a video chat function that allows them to engage in passing conversations, allowing them to catch up with people they haven’t seen in a long time. People can also watch performances together or sign up for guided tours to watch a curated selection from each venue.
Tickets are offered on a sliding scale $5-$50 and go on sale Tuesday, May 18th. Ticket buyers can sign up for entry time every half hour between 5pm & 7:30pm. Once they enter, they can spend up to two hours as they wish, exploring venues and performances on their own or they can join a pre-curated tour led by a virtual guide.
On Saturday night, June 26th, starting at 8:30pm, Lucky Plush will celebrate the end of the run with an added live Zoom post-show dance party.