In Otherworld Theatre Company’s Murder on Horizon: An Immersive Sci-Fi Noir, the cast and crew have devised an immaculate hyperspace straight out of a video game. The story begins when audiences step inside the theater, and the ensemble welcomes them into a new world. They’ve been transported onto the space station Horizon, situated in a distant future where humans are technologically modified to reach peak performance. After interacting with several fantastical inhabitants, they find they’re part of Detective Symin Stone’s (Michael Darmon) investigative team, who have been called to Horizon to solve the murder of cutting-edge scientist Val Tramel (Taylor Fryza).
Murder on Horizon: An Immersive Sci-Fi Noir
Through 5/1: Thu 7 PM, Fri 7 and 9:30 PM, Sat 5, 7:30, and 10 PM, Sun 2 PM; Otherworld Theatre, 3914 N. Clark, otherworldtheatre.org, $50 adult, $24 children up to 16.
The attention to detail behind each element of the Horizon universe is superb. The ensemble, under the direction of Otherworld artistic director Tiffany Keane Schaefer, has created fully realized characters and does an excellent job of displaying their desires, eccentricities, and relationship to the case at each point of the show. The story is well-paced as the detective leads the team through the space station’s bar, lab, and greenhouse that look like they were pulled from a science fiction film. Each space serves the plot well and enhances the suspect’s interests as the detective completes interviews with each one. Since the characters’ placement in the world feels authentic, and the mission remains clear, the stakes feel high, and the audience involvement feels meaningful.
Each performance is limited to only eight audience members, who are up and working for nearly the entire 90-minute runtime. Everyone has the opportunity to play an active role in the story if they choose. A willingness to embrace the intrigue and jump into the action certainly levels up the experience.