The Halloween season is in full swing here in Southern California, and with it tends to come some new experimental theatre. It’s the type of entertainment that isn’t Halloween themed per se, but exists in a bit of a strange space where there’s great potential for you to become uncomfortable or unnerved, as you might be at a haunt.
But in this case, the ability to escape is much more difficult. With an experience like this one, you’ve committed to sharing the space/stage with some strange characters for approximately seventy-five minutes. If this sounds like fun to you, then you may enjoy a visit to the Haus of Creep, where reality and performance art blur together.
This production is described as a darkly satirical and terrifying send-up of social media-driven culture. With the growing popularity of “’grammable museums,” businesses and consumers are devouring art as a commodity. Haus of Creep sets out to remind us that art is alive, and it can’t be restricted to a little square photo without dangerous consequences.
Haus guests will spend the hour roaming an avant-garde and nightmarish playground of over a dozen installations, witnessing grand and shocking scenes as well as intimate scares. Elaborate lighting and diverse and detailed environments create a surreal world in which guests may find themselves lost – unsure of where reality ends and the show begins.
Haus of Creep tells its story with a cast of 20 provocative characters and features a sultry lounge, small dark spaces, shadow plays, deranged puppet shows and innovative analog installations by Media Pollution.
The best comparison for a show like this would be the very popular “Sleep No More” in New York City. Like “Sleep No More,” this production allows you to roam around on your own and follow the stories and characters that intrigue you most. Unlike “Sleep No More,” which is more of a voyeuristic experience, Haus of Creep requires you to interact with the characters and become part of the story. If you choose to attend, definitely arrive in the mood to be involved with audience participation.
Your group will meet outdoors and wait to be escorted inside for the show to start. What you might not immediately realize is that the performance has already begun while still outside. You’ll be standing there chatting with your friend and in your peripheral vision, you may notice someone staring at you. At first, you don’t want to make eye contact in order to avoid the awkwardness, but soon enough this person staring you down will approach. At that moment, your story in the Haus of Creep has begun.
Once inside, you have the ability to roam and explore different rooms at your own pace. But don’t be surprised if you’re asked to join a tour of the museum or apply for a job. And don’t trust everyone you speak with. My favorite room was a twisted marionette show where I was lead inside blindfolded. Throughout the evening, there are a couple of beats where all characters and audience members gather in one room in order to move the story forward.
If you’re looking for a passive night of entertainment, Haus of Creep is not for you. But if you enjoy becoming part of a story and choosing your own fate, this may be right up your alley.
Considering the nightmarish hassle of driving around downtown L.A. and dealing with parking, I would like to point out a couple of logistical points: There is plenty of parking available in a structure and the cost to park is very low. If the location and cost of parking in SoCal are a factor when considering events to attend here in Los Angeles, there’s no need to worry about that with Haus of Creep. It was a painless and easy process, unlike your experience inside.
To learn more about Haus of Creep, visit CreepLA.com.
Jeff DePaoli is a voiceover artist and producer living in Los Angeles. He can be heard as the voice of Disney Trivia on Alexa as well as the host of Dizney Coast to Coast, the ultimate, unofficial Disney fan podcast. In addition, he works as a segment producer for the Halloween and horror convention, Midsummer Scream. @JeffDePaoli