Emersion: Asheville's Immersive Theatre Event

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Emersion: Asheville's Immersive Theatre Event

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Image from "Something's Not Right," Jan 2016. Photo: Audrey Goforth

The fall emersion happens this weekend, October 14th through 15th, at artistic director Grayson Morris's 100-year-old Montford home at 43 W. Chestnut St., Asheville 28801. An interactive walk-through performance, emersion's theme is Plato's Allegory of the Cave. Tickets are $10 at the door and are first-come, first-serve starting at 8 pm. Audience members will be taken in one group at a time.

Morris has been creating immersive worlds in her home for the last ten years, and this series opens those worlds for the curious public. These events are planned three times yearly, and the first was during the nearly-snowed out Fringe Festival 2016. According to Morris,

I am a multi disciplinary artist but one of my main disciplines has always been fort art (or installation art if you want, but specifically fort-based installations). I never outgrew my childhood love of building small spaces to crawl inside of. Throughout the years of living at The Chestnut House I have built many different kinds of forts out of found materials and had small parties in them–usually with food and libations, often enough with wigs, pets, and puppets.

I love all art forms but more than any others I love immersive theater and performance art. Last year I found myself finally living alone in the large downstairs part of my house and I thought, this is it: time to create my “art house”– time to actualize my dream of creating different interesting spaces in the rooms of my house and populating them with performers. And so in January 2016 I debuted my art house, emersion, at the Asheville Fringe Festival. I lost money and had a very small turnout due to snow, but in May we came back with a vengeance, selling out the show a week before opening night.

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In the process of creating emersion, I have to share so much of myself, my space, my stuff, my life, and I have to surrender to a scary goal: trying to produce my life’s work (a complicated show on a shoe string budget) without really knowing how it’s going to turn out. I have been overwhelmed with the outpouring of interest and support from my friends and acquaintances who have helped with the many many hours of work and brain power it takes to pull the show off. It is the hardest thing I have ever done, at times the bane of my existence, and also my very favorite thing in the world.

​Over the course of the evening, audience members will walk through emersion's immersive theater performances and art installations, which have been created by different artists throughout the home. According to the press release, "Audience members will journey through the rooms of the house and have different visual, auditory, sensual, and emotional experiences in each room."

Grayson Morris is a multi-disciplinary artist and performer who also teaches classes at NYS3 in Improv, Puppetry, and Standup. You can find more information about her and emersion at graysonmorrisart.com 

Facebook event details are here.