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Interactive, virtual theater game looks at homelessness in a new way

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Homelessness is not a game. But a new production at St. John’s in the Village’s Rattlestick Playwrights Theater is using a game format to help foster a greater understanding of the issue.

“Addressless,” which opened Jan. 13, is an online-only experience. There is no in-person audience.

Created and directed by Martin Boross and written by Jonathan Payne, “Addressless” is an interactive, “choose your own adventure” theatrical game in which audiences encounter firsthand the complex challenges of homelessness.

Much like in “Dungeons and Dragons” or other role-playing games, audiences are asked to follow a character and make a series of decisions over the course of the game, such as: Will their character sleep on the street or sleep in a hostel? Will they ask people for money or try to find work?

While some decisions might earn the character money, they might also take a toll on their life expectancy and physical well-being.

“Addressless” speaks to the issue of homelessness in New York, while aiming to shift conversations around homelessness, promote a deeper understanding of the difficulties faced by those living without a fixed address, and fight against prejudices.

The show runs until Feb. 13, on Saturdays and Sundays at 5 p.m. and Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m. For tickets ($20 to $30) click here.

Friday shows (Jan. 21 and 28 and Feb. 4 and 11) are pay-as-you-like, with a $1 minimum.

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