Immersive Theater Performances at the Pasadena Museum of History Brings Audiences to Their Feet

Published : Wednesday, July 13, 2016 | 1:23 PM

Sam Silverstein and audience in The Garden Party. Photo by John Thvedt

Who says you have to be confined to a seat to watch a play? The out-of-the-box creative minds from Unbound Productions are reinventing the theater experience at the Pasadena Museum of History through an evening of plays that brings the audience out of their seats and into the space of imaginative places.

“We are very much unique because nothing we do is inside a theater. It really is like you’re in a 3-D, 360 degree experience,” said Unbound Productions Executive Director Jonathan Josephson.

Chairman Barnes and Morgan Zenith 2 in “The Girl Who Owned A Bear.” History Lit 2016. Photo by Daniel Kitayama

“We make theater-going and active experience. You’re physically moving and you’re on your feet and forced to engage,” said Josephson.

Audiences will experience all three short plays as they are led through the Museum gardens and exhibition hall. This is a moving, walking show where the audience is immersed in the story’s world, according to Josephson.

“‘History Lit’ shines a spotlight on Pasadena Museum of History’s historic Mansion and grounds in a fresh and exciting approach that combines our cultural heritage with classic literature and engaging theatre,” said PMH Executive Director Jeannette O’Malley.

Performances include Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Two Pictures In One” directed by Darin Anthony and adapted from the short story “The Two Altars: Or Two Pictures in One” by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Katherine Mansfield’s “The Garden Party” directed by Aurora Long and L. Frank Baum’s “The Girl Who Owned a Bear.”

All productions are adapted and written by Josephson and Artistic Director Paul Millet who founded Unbound Productions with Producing Artistic Director Jeff G. Rack in 2008 and debuted “History Lit’ once before at the Pasadena Museum of History in 2012.
“There is a lot of scale and spectacle, but also lots of intimacy,” said Josephson about presenting the plays on the grounds of the Pasadena Museum of History.”

Two Pictures in One. Photo by John Thvedt

“History Lit” has since added some new additions to the performances through collaborative efforts from a professional lighting and sound design crew as well as new talent and creative direction.

“We have brought on new directors and will have new cast members join the production who will give the entire event new life and new energy,” said Josephson. “Folks who saw our show in 2012 will be treated to a new experience.”

We have been planning this for many months and can’t wait to jump back in,” said Artistic Director Paul Millet.

History Lit audiences will experience three 25 to 30 minute events as they are led through three separate areas of the museum grounds.

The plays will be fully produced inside the museum grounds’ mansion guest house known as the Curtin House, throughout the lush gardens all around the museum, and inside the Museum where the exhibit “Flying Horses and Mythical Beasts: The Magical World of Carousels” is currently installed, according to the press release.

“Our audiences have set the bar pretty high for us,” said Josephon. “We want to create theater that’s lasting and impactful.”

Unbound Productions has evolved into an Ovation Award-winning, highly regarded immersive theatre company that has produced 25 world premiere plays with more than 15,000 people have attended Unbound events since its inception in 2008, according to Josephson.

“We want to create theater that’s lasting and impactful.”

History Lit performances are scheduled to be at 7 p.m. at the Pasadena Museum of History located at 470 W. Walnut St.

Here is the season’s full run as of this writing:  Thursday, July 14; Friday, July 15; Sunday, July 17; Friday, July 22; Saturday, July 23; Sunday, July 24; Thursday, July 28; Friday, July 29; Saturday, July 30;  and Sunday, July 31.

It is important that audience members realize they must be able to comfortably walk a minimum of 1,000 paces, stand for 15 minutes at a time and climb stairs in order to experience the production.

Tickets range from $40-$60. To purchase tickets, go to

Visit for complete scheduling details.


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