What would it be like to experience a cinematic story from the perspective of the extra in the film?  Dave Hanson’s newest immersive work Check Mate explores that exact question at this years Kansas City’s Fringe Festival.  Only 30 people will be admitted to each performance of Check Mate.  Each audience member receives a new identity as either a member of the Security Team, the Science Team, or a gallery of Rich and the Powerful.  The audience member may – in fact – be part of something in which the entire story hinges.  
“This is the most complicated show we’ve done to date and that’s saying something,” writer and director David Hanson says of the new show.  The company has previously produced Bird in the Hand which was stages as three plays on three balconies occurring simultaneously and interacting with each in Union Station and AUDIENCE – staged originally at MTH and then again at City Stage where four simultaneous duets created a verbal symphony.  The main difference this year is that Check Mate is both immersive AND interactive.  
“When we did the test read, our audience clearly told us they wanted more interaction and more to do,” Hanson continued.  “So we put it into this piece.”  The result is something that may be a first for the Kansas City market.  However, in the end, the piece is also a compelling science fiction story.
A brilliant young scientist was able to crack the fabric between alternate realities and ran away – devastated by the results. Based on a single, tantalizing clue, a wealthy industrialist forces the scientist to force the curtain open. An event the scientist swore would never happen again. So scientist and industrialist wage a war for the soul of time, and only one will survive with the ultimate Check Mate.
Check Mate will be at Arts Tech (12th and Holmes) with performances Sunday, July 23 at 1 PM & 3 PM; Tuesday, July 25 at 7 PM & 9 PM; Friday, July 28th at 7 PM & 9 PM.

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