As a general warning, there are potential spoilers in this review of Candle House Collective’s MISSING. You have been warned.
All you have to do is listen. Listen to the sounds of a woman’s heartbreak over the phone. She just wants someone to talk to. Someone who will listen to the life-changing event that happened to her thirteen years ago.
It’s hard not to reference your own experiences. You reflect on your life. On the “good old days”. Try to remember where you were thirteen years ago, before COVID-19 and your current life stresses. You join in with the caller in feeling deep nostalgia and grief. You can never go back. You can only go forward.
Candle House Collective‘s MISSING is the remote mobile immersive you’ve been waiting for. Creator Evan Neiden creates a beautifully sad yet uplifting story about rebuilding one’s life after a horrendous tragedy. Audience members can expect to connect with an anonymous caller over the phone for approximately 40-60 minutes. An intimate space is created as you begin to connect with a vulnerable voice, portrayed by Riley Nelson, on the other end of the line. She begins talking about something personal that she hasn’t shared with many people. Immediately, there is something special about your call. However, the emotions she shares resonate on a human level that everyone has experienced. The direction given to Nelson by John Ertman is impactful as well as sensitive, especially in light of experiencing a statewide quarantine. There is something particularly cathartic about processing feelings about grief, loss, and nostalgia with a stranger.
It is important to note that this experience is highly immersive. Participants are interacting directly with the caller throughout the entire experience. Although participants are only required to listen and respond when prompted, the more you participate the higher the quality of the interaction. If I were to do the experience again, I would have asked more questions to assist more in the unfolding of the narrative.
Regardless of how much you interact with the caller, the experience will make an impact on you and get you thinking even after the call is over. There is a common myth referenced within the call that adds a deepness to the experience. Although I did not recognize the fable at the time, after the call I learned how the message of supporting one another as the key to survival adds a rich new layer to the experience.
Overall, MISSING is a very apt remote immersive experience that capitalizes on our collective uncertainty in the midst of a global pandemic. Candle House Collective’s remote immersive experiences are the perfect escape from your day-to-day routine that you can experience safely from your home. Tickets can be purchased to Candle House Collective’s MISSING here, https://candlehousecollective.com/tickets.