Has anyone here ever been to Sleep No More
in New York City? My sister and I based our first Summerween party two years ago, lightly based on Manderley, the SNM bar. We did a haunted hotel with the look of Manderley. I just got back from my recent trip to NYC and SNM and I'm inspired all over again. SNM takes place in a space that looks like a 1930's hotel and bar. It has approx 100 rooms and they are all intricately decorated. The production is based on Macbeth, with references to Rebecca and Hitchcockian vibes. I'm obsessed once again and I want to recreate the experience for friends, but the scale of the space and expertise of the actors are impossible to replicate. But I can do something inspired by, doing it on a much smaller scale. I'm hoping someone in here has been. I'd love to bounce ideas off of you.
You can click the above link to get an idea of the set. For this new party, I can use some of the previous decor items. On top of just getting the look right, I want to add more of the experience. Here in lies the problem. SNM has expertly trained actors with years of experience and training. I'm trying to figure out how I break that down to my level. At our first party, my sister and I, and two friends took on character roles of the people who lived and ran our
hotel. We all came up with our own characters that worked well together, but it was mainly improv (nothing too thought out). We did well the first 30 minutes, but guests arrived late, and only 1 or 2 guests got to experience the more intense spectacle of our interactions with each other.
In SNM, the actors loosely act out scenes of Macbeth, but its not linear. They are constantly moving around (over several diff floors) and you often catch a scene here and there and you're trying to put all the clues together as to what is happening. It's kind of a choose your own adventure experience.
In addition to all of their performances during the production, all the actors have private spaces throughout the hotel. They choose diff audience members, pull them into those spaces and act out diff all kinds of things. They are called 1 on 1's and are pretty much coveted by returning fans of the show. Basically because its just you and the actor, and they are more intense and emotional.
I've even thought about creating 1:1's for those of us who will be acting at the party. Maybe concentrating on more on each having a 1:1 and making the guests, in some way, work to get those. Whether they have to do something to get a 1:1, or maybe they just wander into the "right" space and we whisk them away. If possible, I'd like to replicate that, omg, Adrenalin rushing, "what's happening" feeling you have at the show.
How do you get your guests excited about participating? Have you had success with participatory events, like scavenger hunts, games, etc..
Do your guests like to "participate" at your parties? In the past, I've had some that wouldn't even dress up. But I have some that are really into theater and some that love haunted houses. I'm just trying to figure out how to mesh it all together.
My goals right now are:
Figure out when to do the party. Just had Summerween. It doesn't have to be Halloween for me, it could be later. I have even considered a Valentine's Day themed event, but just as creepy as something on Halloween.
Get the space I want
Start collecting the needed decorations. More apothecary items.
Come up with a manageable interactive experience that is like SNM, but doable with 4-5 actors
Can you do Macbeth inspired with 4-5 actors? Or, do I come with an equally creepy narrative that has 4-5 actors and what is
I love the witches of Macbeth, but Macbeth doesn't really work without Macbeth himself and someone for him to kill.
I'm really excited about decorating the space. The hotel we did before was awesome and turned out well. We covered the walls in black patterned plastic, and had tons of red lights. Light played a huge roll in transforming the space all over the house. This time I'd love to incorporate mirrors, as they play a big role in SNM. I need to be on the lookout for them. Also, I'd love an old, old record player. I saw one at a flea market a couple weeks ago and it was perfectly old and scratchy when it played music. I should have gotten it
SNM has a huge apothecary room and a taxidermy room that would be fun to do. They have bars and detective rooms, and candy rooms - so many rooms to choose from for inspiration.
Any suggestions are appreciated. Its going to be quite a task to pull off.