The amazing rotating company of Alex Chmaj & Lyle Sterne’s wild ride, UVX, have shared some of their thoughts on being part of what is called “a paradigm shift in entertainment.”
With a live show, a film, video feeds, improvisation, audience participation, free gifts, and an audience voting system that changes the WHOLE things every night, what else can it be!
Chris Ogren and Yurika Ohno, who play movie theater ushers “controlled” by the shadow corp, LUX, explain the ride!
Tell us about yourself as an actor.
CHRIS: Hi! I’m an NYU educated, LA-area native whom New York Theatre Guide has called “a focused actor with a powerful enthusiasm on stage” (as Carlos in “The Runaway”, Fringe 2016). I’ve acted alongside Broadway veterans, appeared in the Public Theater’s “Twelfth Night” in Central Park, and of course am currently performing Off-Broadway in “UVX featuring Holmé”. Alongside acting, my other skills include American Sign Language, Shakespearean verse, and dancing/singing. You can view my past film roles at chris-ogren.com/videos.
YURIKA: I am a NY based theatre and film actor, originally from Kobe, Japan. Some credits include The Adventures of Minami (by Leah Nanako Winkler), White Pearl ( by Columbia@Roundabout), Rashomon (Japan Performing Arts) ,Twelve Angry Jurors (Alpha NYC Theatre) etc. I speak English, Japanese and Chinese, which gave me more variety of roles I can play!
How was it to be part of a new “intermersive” experience. What’s different about it? Is this the wave of the future?
CHRIS: The pure scale of this experiment is something to be gawked at. Knowing what could happen during the show, but not knowing what it’ll be and with whom, is a huge exercise in improv that deserves to be seen. Giving control to the audience also creates this intense explosion of experience content onstage that has only begun to get explored as a genre.
YURIKA: I have never done this type of show!!!! At first, it was very confusing and I was worried because I need to be ready and available. But it is very exciting and challenging. Not only the audience does not know what is going to happen, but neither do we actors! Absolutely it is the new style of performing arts.
How do you imagine UVX will change the face of independent theater… or will it?
CHRIS: If others can get wise to the untapped potential of the style, we will definitely see copycats. Who knows what theirs will look like, but it will be entirely unique!
YURIKA: I think it makes people to see theater as more casual and fun, rather than difficult or something out of your interest. And it will involve the audience, so it is active experience for audience, too. This will draw more attention for new type of audience who wasn’t interested in theater before.
What’s next for you?
CHRIS: All of my energy is currently invested into UVX, but I will have a 15 minute short show I’m premiering in November about an Oprah-esque talk show host potentially ending the world on live TV. Like Undiscovered Countries (https://www.facebook.com/undiscoveredcountries/) to get the official info once things are solidified 😉
YURIKA: Please check out my website for updates. youilxiang.weebly.com