side view of woman's silhouette in front of a sheer purple curtain, opening a door, and the words "the boundary" on the right hand side.
The Boundary: A Life and Death Experience opens Sept. 1 in Hampden.

Submersive Productions is debuting a new interactive theatrical experience called “The Boundry: A Life and Death Experience” on September 1. The production is an original, site-specific, immersive show focusing on themes of death and grief.

“The Boundary” invites the audience to “tour” the research facilities and showroom of a new startup (called “Boundary”) which claims it has developed technology that allows clients to pre-plan and customize their afterlives. The plot involves the “mysterious and sudden disappearance of the lead scientist, which leaves the remaining staff reckoning with loss while struggling to keep the company afloat,” according to a media release.

Characteristic of Submersive’s style, roughly twenty performers and visual artists collaborated to create “The Boundary,” rather than utilizing traditional author, playwright, and director roles.

“This started out as a Covid project,” said Kim Le, who originated the concept that became “The Boundary” and is one of five core team members that helped shape the show. “People were losing loved ones that they could not even visit, let alone mourn in person with family and friends. Our culture already had difficulty reckoning with our own mortality and I wanted to think about how to get people talking about that.”

Ursula Marcum is Submersive’s co-artistic director, and “The Boundary” core team member.

“So many members of our artistic collective have been a part of building this world, too many to list here,” said Marcum. “And we’re so grateful. Many of the contributors serve multiple roles on the production, and all are encouraged to participate in areas outside their designated role.”

“The beauty of The Boundary is that it invites you to explore your own relationship with death, grief and loss as you are willing and able,” said Josh Aterovis, another member of the core creative team. “But there’s still a lightness about it… and a lot of humor. Humor was the only way we could get through it, really, and that comes through in both the design and the performance.”

According to the press release, “Submersive has formed a reputation for taking on dark topics by approaching them with humor, sensitivity, and wild imagination.”

Glenn Ricci is also Submersive’s Co-artistic Director, in addition to being a core team member.

“When we returned to making full-on immersive experiences earlier this year with Katalepsis, we were heartened to see a real hunger for what we do. That show took on themes of loss and isolation through a far-future science fiction lens. Death can be difficult to grapple with, but we’re approaching it from a lot of angles.” said Ricci. “As with all our work, The Boundary tries to meet the audience where they are. We create a world and a set of conditions and from there the journey is largely up to them.”

The experience runs around 75 minutes, with an assortment of start times available for each evening. “Participants enter in ‘focus groups’ of up to seven individuals and are encouraged to participate at their level of comfort. The top-secret location of the Boundary labs is accessible, but it is recommended to contact Submersive Productions for accommodations and special instructions,” reads the press release.

Prices range from $25 to $56, and are based on one’s ability to pay. The site states, “All audience members will be treated the same. Please select a price level based on your means.”

“The Boundary” experience is located in Hampden.

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