Spend Some Time Locked In a Room With a Zombie
The only way out is to solve a series of puzzles.
Imagine being locked inside of a room without the key whileÂ a zombie, chained to a wall nearby, slowly creeps closer toward you as the time on a clock ticks away. Gradually, the monster comes within reaching distance, the slack on the chain loosening every so often, as you frantically try to map your escape.
Thatâ€™s the premise behind a new “Murder Mystery Theater”-like production set up in Charlestown, where teams of people are tasked with relying on each otherâ€™s problem-solving skills to figure out a series of riddles so they can locate the key to their freedom, before the undead breaks free. â€śThe catch is, every five minutes a buzzer goes off and the zombie is released another few feet, and at the end of the hour, the zombieâ€™s able to reach all the participants in the room,â€ť said actress Michelle Sisco, who helps run â€śTrapped in a Room With a Zombie.â€ť
The interactive theater performance, which is now in 10 cities across the country, came to Boston in May, and since then has hosted shows for large groups of friends looking for an alternative to a night at the movies, and companies trying to strengthen communication skills between coworkers. â€śOne of the main purposes of this is to use it as a team building exercise,â€ť she said. â€śOr just a casual outing.â€ť
Comparing the program to reality TV shows like Fear Factor or The Amazing Race, where participants have to race against the clock and quickly plough through a series of mind-bendingÂ conundrums, Room Escape Adventures, the company that runs the zombie challenge, says the excitement and adrenaline gets people to think critically under pressure. The shows generally run on a limited basis throughout the weekends, but the company also takes specific requests for weekday events if a company is trying to plan an outing for employees.
The scenarios for each individual event vary depending on who the actor or actress is, Sisco said, and some zombies are â€śdefinitely scarierâ€ť than others. â€śEvery actor has a different spin on it. Mineâ€™s very energetic, very high energy,â€ť she said. â€śWithout giving too much away, the zombie will try to go after people. The way that a zombie will kill the participants, if you get too close, they will reach out and grab them.â€ť
Performers also take on the role ofÂ an observer, making sure that those locked in the room don’t break any rules, and clearing out their bodies if they come in contact with the undead. She said while the exercise might sound easy, the success rate for getting everybody out of the room alive has been low. “It’sÂ only about 33 percent,” she said. “Solving the puzzles relies on people withÂ different types of logical reasoning skills, mathematical skills, and visual skills. It’s good when you have enough people in the room because you get to watch each person withÂ a different strength.”
Sisco wouldnâ€™t provide photos or reveal how the room is set up, but she said since the production company made its way to Boston last month, the weekend shows have been packed due to popularity. â€śPeople really seem to be enjoying it,â€ť she said. “I have learned there are as many ways to solve a problem as there are problem solvers. It’s fascinating to me to see how people will try and figure out aÂ particular clue.”
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/arts-entertainment/blog/2014/06/05/trapped-in-a-room-with-a-zombie-boston/