The Immersive Theater Pro Committed to Supporting Actors
After meeting fellow actors Brendan Duggan and Parker Murphy at Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More, Zach Martens made the decision in spring 2021 to go all in on starting a new immersive theater: OddKnock Productions. The Denver-based company’s goal is to create works that are exciting, interactive and a little bit bizarre — but not just for the sake of being weird. “The audience is experiencing something that’s silly and offbeat, but also deep, moving, full of heart, and terrifying all at the same time,” Zach told No Proscenium. Equally important to the theater’s mission is supporting the artists essential to each production. “Everyone who is on the weekly pay schedule — stage management, performers, Oddknock admin — is getting paid the exact same amount,” he said. So far, so good. OddKnock’s interactive performances have gotten rave reviews from critics and actors, transporting audiences to new worlds (literally) and inviting them to contribute to the narratives, creating magical moments that can only happen live.
OddKnock’s From on High welcomes audiences into an absurd corporate environment with an obsessive work culture. Audiences enter as new employees of BANR at the start of a new work week, and they’re free to explore the eccentric ‘80s office, interact with in-character co-workers, and uncover the depths of devotion the company requires. OddKnock debuted in 2021 with a free, five-part series called Test Kitchen. The troupe spent two weeks writing, building, and rehearsing — and whatever they had after that time was performed for one weekend only. Then they started over again. The latest work, Good Bones, is an immersive dance production that follows (literally) an older woman at a housewarming party as she uncovers varying elements of her psyche. Cast members perform behind lightweight curtains as audiences of around 50 people roam through the space.