Stage Door News
Toronto: Outside the March and Theatre Direct present kids experience “Mundance Mysteries Playdate” August 10-September 4
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Leading Immersive Company Outside the March has partnered with Theatre Direct and TO Live, two of Toronto’s most exciting voices in Family Programming, to create Mundane Mysteries: PLAYDATE Edition—a week-long, personalized detective experience designed to offer kids and families a memorable, connected experience this August. This new initiative is adapted from OtM’s award-winning telephone-based experience The Ministry of Mundane Mysteries which has offered over 600 individualized mystery stories to participants in 114 cities worldwide since its debut in April. By pairing kids up with friends and classmates over the phone and offering a week’s worth of additional creative enrichment activities, The Ministry aims to solve one of the biggest mysteries of our moment—how can we have safe fun shared experiences with our friends this summer?!
“Over the course of the pandemic, we have seen the power of connection and adventure that The Ministry has offered audiences and families,” says Ministry Co-Creator and OtM Artistic Director Mitchell Cushman. “This summer, kids are far more isolated at home than ever before, and so it just made sense to reinvent Mundane Mysteries as something that children of all ages could participate in with their friends - like a multiplayer video game, except no one has to stare at a screen, because it’s all over the telephone!”
“Theatre Direct is thrilled to be collaborating on this innovative piece that will deliver excitement, suspense and larger than life characters to young people and their friends,” says Theatre Direct Artistic DirectorLisa Marie DiLiberto. “By joining in and being part of the action, there’s no doubt kids will look forward to these daily calls.” Josephine Ridge, Vice President of Programming for TO Live, adds: “At a time when screen technology can sometimes feel like the only way we can connect, this piece is refreshing. Outside the March has once again taken the lateral path and come up with a clever and different way of looking at our situation. We are delighted to be working with them and Theatre Direct, as part of our commitment to bringing quality experiences to a new generation of arts audiences.”
A remote, immersive experience to enjoy from home, Mundane Mysteries: PLAYDATE is an improvised narrative experience that unfolds over a week’s worth of short daily phone calls, Monday to Friday, at the same time each day. The Ministry’s intrepid private investigators will work with young gumshoes (aged 5 - 13) to identify their own personal mystery caper and then work together over the course of the week to solve the case, using the investigative power of good conversation. The PLAYDATE function means that each ticket ($70) can be used by up to two households, who will be connected on the same phone call, allowing friends from different bubbles to experience the show and play the game together. Households that would rather experience the show alone can do so for a reduced price ($50), by using the promo code SOLO at checkout.
In addition to each phonecall, participating families will also receive companion enrichment materials each day developed by Theatre Direct, allowing young sleuths to continually expand the story while offering families additional structured activity throughout the week.
Outside the March first opened the phones of The Ministry for Mundane Mysteries at the beginning of April, and in its first sixteen weeks of operations The Ministry has solved over 600 personalized cases for individual households—in 16 different countries across the world. Experiences for audiences 14+ will be ongoing in August, with tickets currently available for the week of July 27. 100% of all box office collected, over $40,000 so far, has gone directly to the actors participating in the project, all of whom had lost employment due to COVID-19.
Partnering with Theatre Direct and TO Live builds on Outside the March’s previous work with Summerworks for the “Summer Passport” series, a recently-completed four weeks of free programming bringing the experience to even more international audiences and offering performances by deaf performers entirely in ASL for deaf audiences.
For Mundane Mysteries: PLAYDATE, we are thrilled to have TYA-stalwarts Christol Bryan (Eraser) and Herbie Barnes (The Arts Squad) joining the ensemble, a cast that will also include: Christy Bruce (Blind Date), Jamie Cavanagh (VideoCab), Shannon Currie (The Jungle), Colin Doyle (FANGBONE!), Sheri Godda (Second City), Liz Johnston (Nickelodeon’s Star Falls), Amy Keating (The Flick), Connor Low (Bad Dog Theatre), Francis Melling (Wexford Plaza), Anand Rajaram (Buffoon), Jonathan Shaboo (Steppenwolf Theatre), Jillian Welsh (Baroness Von Sketch).
Tickets for are available to book now at www.mundanemysteries.com
About Mundane Mysteries: PLAYDATE
Created by: Nick Blais, Katherine Cullen, Mitchell Cushman, Anahita Dehbonehie, Colin Doyle, Sebastien Heins, Amy Keating, Griffin McInnes
Performed by: Christy Bruce, Jamie Cavanagh, Shannon Currie, Colin Doyle, Sheri Godda, Liz Johnston, Amy Keating, Connor Low, Francis Melling, Anand Rajaram, Jonathan Shaboo, Jillian Welsh
Directed by: Mitchell Cushman & Griffin McInnes
Artistic Consultation by: Lisa Marie DiLiberto
Enrichment Materials Development by: Pragna Desai
Ministry Visual Design by: Nick Blais & Anahita Dehbonehie
Ministry Jingle by Britta Johnson, Arranged and Mixed by Adam Sakiyama