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An immersive theatre event where YOU are the protagonist.
An immersive theatre event where YOU are the protagonist.
An immersive theatre event where YOU are the protagonist.
196 backers pledged $16,111 to help bring this project to life.

About

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The Mortality Machine

$16,111

196

With two weeks remaining in the campaign, we excited about what we can do now that we've met our minimum funding. In particular, we want to talk about the actual mortality machine... the prop that will be the centerpiece of our production. We also want to talk about our partners, Wildrence, and how their expertise is what will make the Mortality Machine a truly professional experience.  However, most importantly, we want to talk about the true goal of the Kickstarter…

If we hit $15,000 of funding, we will be able to extend into February 2019.

An extension means more ticket sales without an increase in fixed costs, so an extension lets us do the following things:

  • Pay our team of designers and creatives more. Right now, we have people working well below market rate and we want to show our appreciation.
  • Offer low-cost tickets available to local non-profit organizations, to make The Mortality Machine accessible to low-income theatre-goers.
  • Promote live-action roleplay as an artistic medium to the New York City news media.

In addition, the money earned will be put directly into the production, adding the “finishing touches”:

  • We’re working with both a fabricator and physical computing specialist to build the actual mortality machine. With the additional funding, we’ll be able to turn it into a true multimedia experience, with interactive and functional elements not yet seen in any larp. 
  •  Wildrence, our venue, is owned and operated by two architects who also are the scenic designers for The Mortality Machine. Jae and Yvonne are experts who have amazing ideas on how to transform their state-of-the-art space into a full, 360-degree illusion. Additional funding would let us bring all their ideas to fruition.
  • The money from the stretch goal would allow us to up our ephemera game… hiring a professional properties designer and local artists to create intricate and detailed props you’ll be able to handle during The Mortality Machine.

To help motivate you to help us, we’re adding several rewards, all focused on out-of-town supporters.

  • Visiting New York City, but not during the run of The Mortality Machine? Come visit a rehearsal. Shadow our choreographer, Lara Marcin, as she works with our talented cast, and get to personally meet the performers.
  • Want to design your own experience? Tommy Honton, our designer, will offer you an hour of design and consultation to help you create your own immersive experience.
  • Can’t make it to New York City, but really want to participate in a Sinking Ship Creations larp? We have a reward where Ryan Hart, our narrative lead, will fly out to your city and run a larp for you and your friends (venue not included).

$15,000. That’s our new goal. Help us make it! Let’s Build The Machine! 

We believe that the most powerful stories occur at the intersection between the mundane and the fantastic, happening when you have a connection to your everyday life as well as to your fantasies, your dreams, and even your nightmares. Our goal is catharsis: we want to draw out an emotional response from you, perhaps one that’s too frightening or dreadful to undergo in real life, so you can safely delve into that response and grow from the experience. 

The Mortality Machine is an immersive theater show in New York City that combines live-action roleplay and site-specific dance to allow you, the “audience,” to become the story’s protagonists. You’ll make meaningful choices that have unique consequences, and confront and reflect on your own views about what happens after death.

We’ve all experienced loss, grief, and fear of death. The Mortality Machine allows you to explore those by stepping into the role of a character in our world and investigating a basement laboratory where that character lost a loved one five years ago. We’ll immerse you in the 360-degree illusion of an otherworldly place and, as you solve the mystery of the Machine, you’ll begin to encounter our concept of the afterlife. This afterlife isn’t just one that you see and hear, but one that communicates with you through movement, and that you can affect and change by how you respond to it.

Most importantly, you’ll make choices, and those choices will have consequences not only for you, but the people around you. You’ll work with them, and maybe even against them, to create a story that is as much yours as it is ours. No two experiences of The Mortality Machine will ever be the same.

Jason Knox and Lara Marcin, photos by Liz Paulie, additional design by Allegra Durante
Jason Knox and Lara Marcin, photos by Liz Paulie, additional design by Allegra Durante

No, you don’t have to. If you prefer, you can roleplay, explore, watch the other participants and dancers, or solve the puzzle of the machine instead. But if you want to experience every aspect of The Mortality Machine, a lack of training or proficiency in dance will not impede your ability to do so.

No prior experience with roleplay, or even immersive theater, is necessary to participate in The Mortality Machine. Our design goal is to make the event an extraordinary experience for first-time participants and veteran immersive theater goers alike. If you are an experienced roleplayer, dancer, or immersive theater goer, you’ll encounter some familiar opportunities in a new way. If you walk in from the street and have never participated in anything like this before, there will be guides in place to ensure you have the tools you need to explore the setting of The Mortality Machine at the same pace as more experienced participants.

If you have other questions or concerns, please check out our FAQ.

To learn more about what we’ve done in the past, check our our demo of last May’s Project Ascension.

Sinking Ship Creations is a New York City immersive theater company that creates and produces live-action roleplay experiences. We believe in well-told stories and rebuking the audience/actor divide. We seek to expand the common conception of “immersive theater” and support other creators as they do the same. 

When this team came together, we realized the opportunity we had to tell an immersive story like no one ever has before, by combining live-action roleplay with dance. That’s what inspired The Mortality Machine.

We at Sinking Ship Creations chose this as our artistic medium because it allows individuals to connect with others and create stories that are personal to every person involved. Participants take the extraordinary settings we craft - such as a cyberpunk bar in a dystopian vision of New York, or a Halloween party in an alternate dimension - and bring elements of their own, lived experiences to make sense of them. 

Dance creates art using bodies and movement, elevating and refining those fundamental components of the human experience. And like in musical theater, where audiences accept the actors breaking into song to express states of heightened emotion, immersive theater audiences already accept contemporary dance as a fantastical... and perhaps even supernatural... element of an interactive performance.

Sinking Ship Creations is a professional company that pays all our designers, fabricators, and performers. The revenue generated by your contribution goes directly to pay for their work, and towards renting space at one of the top immersive venues in New York City.

Risks and challenges

Our number one challenge is that no one has ever done this before! We’re trying to integrate multiple mediums (live-action roleplay, site-specific dance, and even a dash of escape room design) into a unique immersive experience. We’re working with dedication and experience, but without a precedent, and it’s going to take a lot of work.

Fortunately, we have a great team. Our lead designers were drawn to this project for the opportunity to push the boundaries of their respective forms.

Ryan Hart, our narrative lead, has over 13 years of storytelling experience in live-action roleplay, having told stories for groups as small as seven and as many as 1,000 participants.

Lara Marcin, our choreographer, brings a professional dance background to our efforts to use dance as not just an artistic medium, but one of communication as well. Her experience ranges from The Chainsmokers’s 2017 U.S. tour to the Winter 2018 release of Nightday Collection, the fashion line of Chinese-American EDM artist, Zhu.

Tommy Honton, our design lead, is the creator of the Stash House in Los Angeles and the Museum of Selfies, along with dozens of other games and experiences.

We’re all experienced at delivering on time and on budget. Project Ascension was a $20,000 production that came in less than a hundred dollars under budget, maximizing value without breaking the bank. All of our projects have premiered on time, and as you can tell from our trailer, we’ve already done a lot of work on The Mortality Machine. We’re excited to debut this event, and hope you’ll join us at the premiere in January 2019!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Thank You Gift

    In addition to a public thank you, backers receive a digital copy of the song featured in our trailer, Terra Warman's "Clementine".

    Includes:
    • Digital Copy of Terra Warman's "Clementine"
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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Out-of-Town Support

    Developed for people far from New York... we'll send part of the experience to you: a found-footage style recording of an actual performance. Includes previous rewards.

    Includes:
    • Digital Copy of Terra Warman's "Clementine"
    • Found Footage Recording of one of the performances
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Ephemeral Reward

    Help the Mortality Machine out with a specific need, and get a chance to make a specific design choice! Includes previous rewards... learn more: https://bit.ly/2O26yPP

    Includes:
    • Digital Copy of Terra Warman's "Clementine"
    • Found Footage Recording of one of the performances
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    Limited 9 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Design Consultation

    Excited about The Mortality Machine or immersive theatre in general? Not able to attend but want to learn our secrets? Working on a project and need some help? We'll offer you an hour of design consultation with Tommy Honton, our designer. The session will be over Skype, unless you're in L.A. - then you'll meet with Tommy in person.

    Includes:
    • Design Consultation
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    Pledge $51 or more About $51

    Visiting New York? Attend a Rehearsal

    Not from New York? Visiting in 2018 but won't be around for the show? Join us for a rehearsal. We'll coordinate with you to meet the cast, most likely during a dance rehearsal. You'll have to give us a week-long window of availability, but we'll coordinate for you to meet the actors, learn about the dance and design elements, and have a one-on-one with one of the designers.

    Includes:
    • Attend a Rehearsal
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Early Bird Tickets - Limited Quantity!

    Our early bird tickets are for our first weekend of performances, January 9 - 12, 2019. You'll have the opportunity to redeem your tickets in our online store. A limited number of people will be the first to see The Mortality Machine!

    Includes:
    • Early Bird Ticket (January 9 - 12)
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    Limited 39 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $110 or more About $110

    General Admission

    Want to see The Mortality Machine? This includes one general admission ticket, redeemable on any day (excluding Mondays) between January 15 and February 3. Includes a public thanks on our website.

    Includes:
    • General Admission Ticket (January 15 - February 3)
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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    VIP Ticket

    VIP Tickets come with three perks - First, you redeem your tickets first, ensuring you get the dates you want. Second, you'll be invited to a talk-back with the cast and crew of the Mortality Machine. Third, we have some unique souvenirs (including the rewards from previous tiers) for you to take home after the show.

    Includes:
    • Digital Copy of Terra Warman's "Clementine"
    • Found Footage Recording of one of the performances
    • VIP Ticket (January 15 - February 3)
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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Opening Night

    A VIP Ticket to our opening night (Tuesday, January 15) and the party that follows. Includes meeting the full cast & crew, as well as the VIP extras.

    Includes:
    • Digital Copy of Terra Warman's "Clementine"
    • Found Footage Recording of one of the performances
    • Opening Night Ticket (January 15)
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    Pledge $220 or more About $220

    Date Night - General Admission

    Includes two General Admission tickets.

    Includes:
    • General Admission Ticket (January 15 - February 3)
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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Date Night - VIP

    Includes two VIP tickets.

    Includes:
    • Digital Copy of Terra Warman's "Clementine"
    • Found Footage Recording of one of the performances
    • VIP Ticket (January 15 - February 3)
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    Pledge $330 or more About $330

    Threesome - General Admission

    Includes three General Admission tickets.

    Includes:
    • General Admission Ticket (January 15 - February 3)
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    Pledge $450 or more About $450

    Threesome - VIP

    Includes three VIP tickets.

    Includes:
    • Digital Copy of Terra Warman's "Clementine"
    • Found Footage Recording of one of the performances
    • VIP Ticket (January 15 - February 3)
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Out-of-Towners Want Larp Too

    Not in New York? Want to experience a Sinking Ship Creations larp but can't afford airfare? We'll come to you. At this level of support, Ryan will fly to your hometown and run a larp (we have a number of larps for you to choose). While this doesn't include the cost of the location, we'll run it anywhere (within reason) you provide. We have events for up to 25 people... and this level of reward includes the rights to collect site fees or even sell tickets locally to recoup your investment.

    Includes:
    • Larp in Your Hometown
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    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    Dinner & a Show

    Get two VIP tickets - with all extras - and dinner with one of the designers of the Mortality Machine. We'll even let you choose if you want us to prepare you beforehand, or explain things afterwards. Includes the meal with one designer.

    Includes:
    • Digital Copy of Terra Warman's "Clementine"
    • Found Footage Recording of one of the performances
    • VIP Ticket (January 15 - February 3)
    • Dinner with a Designer
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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Producer

    This custom package includes not only two VIP tickets, but exclusive access to our rehearsal, design process, and behind the scenes meetings. This will come with access to our notes (although some materials might require an NDA) and three sessions (with drinks, if you like) with the Producer to discuss your thoughts on this unique project.

    Includes:
    • Digital Copy of Terra Warman's "Clementine"
    • Found Footage Recording of one of the performances
    • VIP Ticket (January 15 - February 3)
    • Producer Access
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    Limited 0 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)