Environmental theater, sometimes called site-specific theater, is a style of theatrical performance which strives for greater authenticity and audience engagement by staging its action in appropriate real-world settings rather than in traditional theater spaces.
Examples include Psycho-So-Matic and Downsize, staged by Chicago's Walkabout Theater in a landromat and a series of public restrooms, respectively (1); Girls Just Wanna Have Fund$, staged by Women's Project in the lobbies, escalators, and bridges of New York's World Financial Center (2); Supernatural Chicago, staged in an allegedly haunted nightclub (3); and Small Metal Objects, staged by Australia's Back To Back Theater at the Whitehall Ferry Terminal. Supernatural Chicago, currently in its fifth year of performances has become a mainstay of the Chicago theater scene that is recognized by at least one large travel site ( TripAdvisor (4)
A secondary definition of environmental theater is used to describe any production that attempts to immerse the audience in the performance by bringing the action off the stage area. For example, some acting may happen in aisles. In the case of a black box theater acting platforms may even be built between audience section. The black box theater is a relatively recent innovation consisting of a simple somewhat unadorned Performance space usually a large square room with black walls and a flat Sometimes a performer will talk to, or otherwise involve an audience member in a scene. This can be a real audience member, as in interactive theater, or an actor planted to appear as an audience member. Interactive Theater is a presentational style that breaks the "fourth wall" separating performer and audience both physically and verbally
A subset of this is promenade theater, in which there is little or no seating for audience members, who watch the action happening among them and may follow the performers around the space. (4) An example of promenade theater is the performances put on by Punchdrunk, a UK based theater company. Punchdrunk are a British Theatre company, formed in 2000 with the aim of creating performances "in which the audience are free to choose what they watch and where they go"
(1) Overnight Lows, Low Down in Chicagoist
(5) The Promenade article in Scottish Arts
The New York Post is the 13th-oldest Newspaper published in the United States and generally acknowledged as the oldest to have been published continually The Chicago Tribune is a major daily Newspaper based in Chicago, Illinois, United States, and owned by the Tribune Company This article is about a New York newspaper For the Ottawa Hills Ohio magazine see The Village Voice of Ottawa Hills.