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FreeFall moving back inside in June

Bill DeYoung



Eric Davis and Emily Dupré in "The Turn of the Screw" at freefall in 2019." Photo: freeFall.

The black box at freeFall Theatre, where for more than a decade many of St. Pete’s most imaginative productions have been staged, has been sitting dormant for more than a year.

From October to May, freeFall put on shows in the parking lot, on a specially-made stage, utilizing new technology so that audience members – seated in their vehicles – could see and hear better.

That’s all about to change, with the arrival of The Rose and the Beast, opening June 25. It is an elaborately (of course) staged version of Francesca Block’s novel, utilizing visual storytelling, theater design, multimedia, and augmented reality.

Inside, in the black box. In the air conditioning.

This is not back to business-as-usual, putting on one play, in one room, for one audience. Covid-19 safety precautions will remain in place.

Block’s acclaimed book re-imagines nine classic fairy tales – the beginning, the middles and the ends – in clever and disarming ways.

The freeFall adaptation has the black box divided into nine separate chambers. Each audience of 36, divided into groups of four, will walk through and experience each mini-play, one at a time. They will then be rotated to the next one.

The nine spaces are designed by Tom Hansen, Rebekah Lazaridis and Steven K. Mitchell. The experience will also feature an original score by Michael Raabe and Amanda Eland.

Tickets are on sale now.

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