The Bloody Bathory Project 2018 was a wild act of ambition and abandon. We hit the ground running in December of 2017 and didn't look back till we were open in February of 2018. It was an intense, terrifying, and wholly rewarding experience - that we are about to do all over again!
Our audience served as our Jury in Elizabeth's trial because we want them to make up their own mind about this legendary woman - and in turn, feel responsible for her fate. Nothing is more exciting to me in immersive theatre than leading an audience member to make a series of their own choices - maybe on the other side they will learn something about themselves, as well as the characters.
In wanting to tell Elizabeth's story of a fragmented woman, trying to be at peace with who she is and stave off the royal forces turned against her, we had to find a way to make this organic and immense story flow seamlessly between characters, scenes, and timelines. One of the biggest challenges was how to make a text based immersive show, that was meant to overlap and split off into a spiderweb of story, work for a wandering/curious audience. We knew that every audience member would never get to see every detail of the story, so rather embrace the variety and uniqueness of each individual perspective. Everyone saw something different - everyone had a different story - and therefore had a different opinion. These differing opinions lead the members of the jury to discuss things together - to debate Elizabeth's innocence. Everyone wanted to make the right choice. But there is no right choice. We can never truly know her - or anyone else - not truly. How can we make such a large decision without all of the facts? But they did, every night - the audience voted for her guilt or innocence, and then were lead away with the mysterious figure of Bathory behind them, watching them go.
I love this show. It grows and morphs and evolves deeper each time we return to it. Elizabeth is my favorite mystery.
~Molly H. Donahue, director