The show’s about to start, so be sure you have your phone ready.
That’s the deal with “Headgame,” a fast-paced event that falls somewhere between a night at the theater and a relay race. The show’s creators call it a “competitive theater experience,” and that sounds about right.
Audience members are divided into teams upon arrival and listen to audio tracks on their smartphones for instructions about a series of competitive challenges. Though it’s all very fast-paced and a little crazy (in a good way), it’s all highly choreographed, with sound and light cues accompanying the action.
“It’s a very heightened game. It’s not like a trivia night out. In an unintimidating way, you are center stage," explains creator Zackary Grady. "Most audiences sit in a dark house and watch the fun lights onstage, but in our show you have light cues hitting you."
Though there isn’t really a plot to follow here, versions of “Headgame” are arranged around different themes. The one coming to American Repertory Theater’s Oberon Club on July 14 is about relationships. The challenges could range from flirting with the bartender to going on a 60-second blind date.
Attendees are urged to up the fun by bringing friends — some of whom may end up on the same team, though others could turn into “Headgame” opponents — but loners are welcome. And it still may be a fun time for those who are perfectly happy leaving center stage to someone else.
“There’s not many wallflowers in this game,” says Steven Tartick, one of the producers, “but if you’re somebody that likes to sit back and watch, it’s still so much fun. If you’re a go-getter who likes to take on every challenge with all your might, it’s designed to let you do that, too.”
“Headgame” is at American Repertory Theater’s Oberon stage on Thursday, July 14 at 8 p.m. Tickets: $25 cluboberon.com.