UBC Botanical Gardens become the sight of Hidden, a slasher-style murder tale in the woods

ITSAZOO presents the bone-chilling, site-specific horror event Hidden, October 22 – November 13, 2016 at UBC Botanical Garden. Inspired by slasher-era movies such as Friday the 13th and Halloween, Playwright and Co-Director Sebastien Archibald and award-winning Director Chelsea Haberlin will take participants on an experiential journey. Armed only with flashlights, intimate audiences of 13 people will tread deep into the forest to witness the grisly tale of the Lost Lovers Murder Tour.

“There is something primevally frightening about the woods at night. It triggers something in our imagination and minds that links us back to our earliest ancestors, as they huddled around their fires,” says Chelsea Haberlin, Co-Artistic Producer and Director of the upcoming work. “With Hidden, we take this primal fear and mix in the contemporary fascination with voyeurism. In an age of Making a Murderer binge-watching and unlimited access to strangers’ lives through social media, we flip the equation on its head. While audiences begin the experience as the observer, they very quickly become the observed.”

The production begins with audience members loading into a van belonging to The Lost Lovers Murder Tour and setting off toward their destination. As they travel into the woods, their tour guide shares the gruesome story of a murder that took place in the forest exactly 20 years ago – and of a restless spirit who still walks the woods. Upon arrival, the tour begins to offer a dramatic re-enactment of three university students’ final hours – but quickly takes a terrifying and unexpected turn for the worst.

The show is performed promenade-style, with scenes taking place in different locations and the audience being led from one to the next. The production makes extensive use of one of the Botanical Garden’s most unique features: the Greenheart TreeWalk. This 310m long aerial trail system consists of nine platforms linked together by a series of single-file bridges. Audiences will experience portions of the show from various platforms, as the scenes unfold on the ground below.