The horror genre has always encouraged social, economic, and political discourse. It doesn’t have the boundaries of political correctness and it doesn’t have to be kind; it only needs to be honest. We The People can use horror as a self-reflective lens in which to drive growth, change, and awareness.
There is a need “for fairness of perspective in the most extreme environment,” says Will Puntarich, Co-Founder of Shock Theater, a New York art collective that creates immersive experiences unlike anything else in America. They emphasize that the real world is scarier than any haunted house, and they explore this concept through their simulations.
This year, Shock Theater has been focusing on Eye for Horror, a photograph and video experience that puts audiences in extreme situations, from funny to horrible, and documents their reactions in real time. The show is improvisational, with only a loose story, and guests and actors driving the narrative.
Having completed five successful events since March, Shock Theater is planning several more through December – including partnering with The Shadows Haunted House in Buffalo, New York, for a special summer show, We the People. In this new experience, guests will play Trump supporters campaigning in the 2020 election and everything falls apart from there.
However, Puntarich doesn’t want people to get the wrong idea. This isn’t a pro- or anti-Trump experience. He says, “Trump is basically an atmosphere; this show is about the people living in that world and something happening that could or could not be prevented. It is the simulated real world.”
Rodney Montgomery, owner of The Shadows Haunted House, adds, “I think I come from a politically moderate standpoint and Will is very clearly anti-government, which makes the show interesting because you, as a guest, get to see things from both sides. You won’t be shouted at by democratic social justice warriors, or be force fed pro-life, pro-gun rhetoric. You’ll be immersed completely in both camps, and will understand why the polarization of this country is so toxic. That’s why this show is important as an art piece, and a commentary on the modern political climate.”
We the People debuts on June 30th at The Shadows Haunted House, and is roughly an hour and thirty minutes of your own personal horror movie.
You must be in a group of two.
You must be 18 or older to participate.
You must sign a waiver, have proof of health insurance and a valid ID.
Message Shock Theater through Facebook for ticket purchases, and take a look at their videos to make sure this event is for you. Your experience begins when you receive a Craig’s List ad looking for models.