Be part of the action at these immersive theatre shows in New York
Discover all the immersive experiences you can attend in New York right now, from a long-running, spooky Macbeth adaptation to a Roaring Twenties party.
The best theatre makes you feel like you've entered another world without ever leaving your seat. But sometimes, watching that world unfold from a distance isn't enough — and that's where immersive theatre comes in. Immersive shows dissolve the barrier between performers and audiences, inviting you to become part of the action.
These shows vary in degree of immersion — some just involve following the characters around, while others allow audience members to make choices that inform the plot. Immersive shows can also differ by dress code — you may or may not be encouraged to dress to theme. Almost every immersive experience, though, completely transforms its venue into the world of the show. And those settings are as varied as any other type of theatre, from nightclubs to old-fashioned mansions to old hotels and more.
Discover all the immersive shows in New York below, and check out our guide to what to expect and prepare before attending immersive theatre.
Here Lies Love
Immersive theatre is rare on Broadway — the traditional proscenium theatres aren't exactly equipped for audience/cast intermingling. A total overhaul would be in order. But the team behind Here Lies Love undertook the challenge, converting the cavernous Broadway Theatre into a nightclub for David Byrne and Fatboy Slim's disco musical about the rise and fall of the Filipino Marcos regime. Imelda Marcos is famously a disco fan and was a longtime fixture of the New York disco scene, which inspired the premise of this musical that premiered off Broadway in 2013.
Audiences have the option to sit in traditional seats, but those that opt for standing tickets on the dance floor will feel like they're at a club, moving and grooving along with the performers and the music. While this setup is fun, it also invites audiences to think about how easy it is for power-hungry people to seduce the public with charisma and song-and-dance — literally, in the case of Here Lies Love.
Get Here Lies Love tickets now.
Sleep No More
This immersive experience has been a New York staple since 2011 when the abandoned 1930s-era McKittrick Hotel reopened to the public as a theatre venue. (Okay, that's a fictional backstory for the former warehouse complex, but it's much more thrilling.) Shakespeare meets Alfred Hitchcock at Sleep No More, a noir, movement-based retelling of Macbeth.
Audiences don masks and enter the five-story building that's yours to explore. Follow the characters or wander around on your own — you never know what or who, you might find in a hidden corner. The event is three hours long, but the show resets every hour so that you can experience multiple different characters and storylines on one visit. Afterward, the lobby turns into a functional bar and jazz club where you can enjoy a post-show drink.
Get Sleep No More tickets now.
Photo credit: Here Lies Love on Broadway. (Photo by Billy Bustamante, Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman)
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