“Sensory Overload” is Elon University’s first site-specific theatrical performance

The a person-time only overall performance of the unique creation of “Sensory Overload” is premiering tonight. Written and directed by sophomore Matthew Bobzien, this website-unique exhibit usually takes audience customers all over campus to working experience the play in genuine time, as if it ended up genuinely unfolding on a university campus. 

Site-specific theatre breaks the barrier among phase and audience, immersing the audience specifically into the unfolding motion. Viewers adhere to actors from spot to site, positioning the drama in a all-natural landscape. 

This is done in get to emphasize the “real world” facet of a show, according to Bobzien. “Sensory Overload” requires put on a faculty campus, and Bobzien felt that creating it web-site specific was the most natural route to consider.

“I want the audience to have that personal romantic relationship with the actors and with the characters so they can see, oh yeah, my pal truly has done this in this place or in a location very similar to this, to additional increase the true message to the exhibit,” Bobzien stated.


In which: At the back again of Inman Admissions
WHEN: Nov. 16, 6:30 p.m.

“Sensory Overload” is just one of Elon’s 1st web site-distinct productions. There have been several dance performances in the earlier that have been website-particular, but this is viewed as by Bobzien to be the to start with inside the accomplishing arts division on the theatre facet.

Cast and crew rehearsed for the earlier two months, working via locational logistics and planning for the cold weather conditions of opening night time. From the starting of the system, Bobzien and his technical director, sophomore Jordan Smith, diligently considered accessibility and weather conditions disorders.

“I experienced the exact same things to consider I would for any show,” Smith stated. “Things like generating positive the audience can see the actors, producing confident that they can listen to them Ok, making sure that any paths that the actors journey never interfere with anything.”

On the other hand, Smith also had to think about the brick walkways and recurrent stairs located on Elon’s campus.

“There are paths to most areas that can be obtainable with wheelchairs,” Smith mentioned. “But that was a thing I was keeping in head to make confident that, even if we have a route that could go down stairs, we’ll have an alternate route if essential.”

Bodily accessibility was not the only issue Smith and Bobzien had to think about. A single of the central themes of the play is mental wellbeing and passionate obsession, showcased in a scene that entails fragrance and cologne becoming sprayed. Both of those Bobzien and Smith had to consider probable allergies and made the decision the greatest course of motion was to give sufficient warning on both of those the web-site and right away in advance of the scene.

This presence of perfume and cologne is created to give the audience the similar sensory “overload” the key character, Mark, is feeling. Bobzien described the clearly show as a information about mental wellbeing and remaining mindful of attainable harmful behavior.

“I want to emphasize these unhealthy behaviors of passionate idolization as effectively as the underlying topic of mental wellness and overcommitting on your own,” Bobzien said. “These themes are taking place so shut to us and materialize every solitary working day on our campus.”

Sarah Cadol, the direct actress participating in Mark’s enjoy curiosity Samantha, explained the importance of the web site-specific location to receiving this message from the present.

“Because it is web-site unique, it’s not about entertaining and remaining aesthetically entertaining, but additional of just immersing the audience in the exhibit and in the globe the figures are living in, and it feels a lot a lot more practical and raw,” Cadol reported.

The overall procedure has been collaborative, according to equally Cadol and Bobzien. Bobzien has been working on his script for more than a 12 months with input from NewWorks, a scholar group concentrated on permitting pupils to write, make and produce their personal complex and theatrical productions with comments from the club. NewWorks also helped generate “Sensory Overload.” 

Some of Cadol’s authentic content is included in the present, these kinds of as a song she wrote for a single scene and a speech she wrote for an additional. Though Cadol was supplied a script with her character, she reported she feels as nevertheless she’s been in a position to have a big enter into how Samantha is obtained.

“I’ve gotten to create a character from scratch,” Cadol reported. “It’s been definitely worthwhile.” 

With the website-distinct element in head, the solid and crew of “Sensory Overload” strongly endorse warm wintertime coats, hats and other wintertime garments. At ease strolling sneakers and earbuds are also suggested. The display runs for just about two several hours, with just a couple of indoor scenes.