The Speakeasy Society is an LA based immersive entertainment company creating intimate and epic experiences in unexpected places.
We create 360-degree worlds providing escape through total engagement - crafting a shared experience where audience interaction becomes a vital aspect of the performance.
The Speakeasy Society, named Best Emerging Immersive Theater Company of 2015 by the LAWeekly, was officially formed in a first floor women’s bathroom at CalArts in 2012, where longtime collaborators Julianne Just and Genevieve Gearhart, along with newcomer Matthew Bamberg-Johnson, created “The Weird Sisters,” a witch-centric adaptation of Macbeth that gave audience members a very up close and personal experience of the classic narrative.
From there they took their work to a variety of venues and forms, including a dinner party in a private residence (Kitchen/Sugar/Bullet/Blank), an interactive adaptation in a hidden pub at a local brewery (Ebenezer: An Immersive Christmas Carol), and a private conversation created for an audience of one at a local restaurant (The Stronger). Continuing to explore narrative in immersive productions, the company has embarked on a several year journey creating The Johnny Cycle--a three part production loosely based on Dalton Trumbo’s novel “Johnny got his Gun”. Part I: “The Quick and the Dead” ran at the American Legion in Pasadena to great acclaim and was listed by LA Weekly as one of the 2015’s Five Times LA Theater Felt Bold.
Most recently, The Speakeasy Society created an original work inspired by the writings of Washington Irving called “The Hollow” which featured the audience as townspeople attending the annual autumn festival of Sleepy Hollow. Guests were invited to dine on a three course meal surrounded by characters and story before being led down separate paths of dark discovery in the furthest corners of the bar as the town faces its own reckoning.
While the company and their list of collaborating artists has lengthened, the goal remains unaltered: they work to change what it means to “go to the theater” in Los Angeles one performance at a time.
The Speakeasy Society has received institutional support from Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment. Currently, they are collaborating with Two Bit Circus, a renowned technological entertainment company, to develop an immersive dinner experience utilizing new technology that imbues every audience member with a unique character.