Photo Courtesy of E3W Productions

The heaviness is undeniable. The air is thick with the sorrows of a family in grief. A woman lies motionless in a glass box surrounded by loved ones in black. Her body is placed deliberately in the posture she will lie in for eternity. Heavy. You are here to pay your respects to Grace, your revered piano teacher. Quickly you see the dysfunction of the family and feel out of place watching as a chaotic scene ensues. Each family member is affected differently by his or her loss. Grief has a funny way of bringing out desperation in people.  They grasp to make sense of what appears to be a senseless tragedy; the loss of someone that brought so much vitality to their lives. Anguished and wrought with pain, their bickering sheds light on how grief can be a selfish process that doesn’t honor the deceased at all. In the end, it doesn’t matter who you were. It only matters what affect you had on the lives you touched.

Following the hit experience In Another Room, E3W presents Bitter At The End, an hour and fifteen minutes long immersive event with horror elements. Participants enter in groups of seven, however, E3W utilizes a fair amount of one-on-one scenes during the show. Each audience member receives an individualized experience allowing participants to attend the show multiple times.  One of the major highlights of Bitter At The End is the narrative. The show is incredibly well written and includes a diverse cast of talented actors and actresses. Characters can be viewed through the lens of representing one of the seven deadly sins, which adds a layer of depth that can be appreciated on multiple levels by fans of theater. Thought provoking and emotional, Bitter At The End invites participants to explore their existential fears and hopes.

Attendees of Bitter At The End should expect to experience a powerful and moving reflection on grief that calls into question the impact one makes on the lives of others. E3W provides a good use of space although set design is not highly featured in the show. The first third of the show dedicates itself to character development, which lays the foundation for the scenes to follow.  Due to the expert navigation of the E3W team in creating an evocative experience that explores grief processes, this not a particularly feel-good show. Participants are likely to leave this event feeling reflective and curious to connect with others regarding their experience of the character interactions.

Bitter At The End is a worthwhile dive into human processes relating to grief and loss with an impacting message for participants to consider as they return to their daily lives.  Due to E3W’s well-deserved popularity, tickets for their two-week run are almost sold out. Tickets can still be obtained through Brown Paper Tickets for a limited time.

Photo Courtesy of E3W Productions
Shannon McGrew
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