This weekend only, visit the Afterlife Job Fair – a brand new, Zoom-based show from Phoenix Tears Productions. Afterlife Job Fair is the fourth show taking place within the company’s original Posthumous universe, exploring the world of digitized souls and commercialized afterlives. This virtual production provides a unique, immersive experience for live theater enthusiasts, performance art lovers, or anyone looking for a fun night in.
Earlier this week, I was thrilled to be invited to a special press preview of Afterlife Job Fair. Thank you, Phoenix Tears Productions, for inviting me out!
About Phoenix Tears Productions
But before we dive into the Posthumous universe and, more importantly, the Afterlife Job Fair; let me introduce you to Phoenix Tears Productions! This exceptional, woman-led theater company specializes in immersive storytelling and innovative performance methods. As a follower of Phoenix Tears, I’ve had the awesome opportunity to experience both of their creative theatrical styles. In 2020’s Infected, 2021’s Horror in Headphones, and 2022’s The Witches, Phoenix Tears’ cast led audience members on a terrifying journey through realistic, 360° soundscapes while actually moving through physical environments.
By contrast, Afterlife Job Fair and its preceding Posthumous counterparts utilize a very different medium – Zoom video conferencing software. Conceptually created in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, these shows use a specially designed storyline, engaging characters, and audience participation to build a believable world that is accessible through the lens of your computer. Because the central plot involves digitized afterlives and virtual interactions, the experience is no less immersive than an in-person performance.
After watching my first Phoenix Tears’ Zoom show in 2020 I wrote, “As a fan of live theater, I’ve been skeptical of Zoom shows and virtual outlets promising a performance experience. Posthumous, however, has convinced me that it is still possible to produce quality, engaging productions in a digitally distanced world. With the appropriate premise and setting, I was completely immersed into the experience and just as engaged as I would have been in a physically present performance.” And this is still true for this year’s Afterlife Job Fair. Phoenix Tears Productions excels at creating immersive environments and captivating stories – no matter the medium!
About the World of Posthumous and Afterlife Job Fair
As I previously mentioned, Afterlife Job Fair is a continuation of the Posthumous story – a series of Phoenix Tears’ Zoom-based shows exploring the world of digitized afterlives. In this universe, those wishing to avoid the unknown can have their consciousness and memories uploaded into the system for assimilation into their virtual utopia. While previous chapters have focused on a single post-mortal company (Posthumous), there are multiple organizations providing these services. Afterlife Job Fair is the audience’s first chance to really interact with these other companies and their associated characters.
It’s important to note that, while Afterlife Job Fair takes place within the Posthumous timeline, previous knowledge or experience with this story is NOT necessary. The plot stands alone from other Posthumous tales, and there are enough new concepts and characters that all audience members have an equal opportunity to enjoy the show! However, if you would like a little more background on these storylines – check out my previous coverage of the Posthumous and Cold Case: Recovery!
Afterlife Job Fair
In Afterlife Job Fair, audiences are introduced to Posthumous’ main post-mortal business competitors: Repose, Dream On, and Bright Reaper. As the title suggests, these companies are hiring and in need of talented professionals to achieve their organizational goals. During this job fair, audiences get an in-depth look at the company cultures, corporate politics, and interpersonal dynamics that make afterlife work so interesting!
Afterlife Job Fair: How It Works
As with all Posthumous-world productions, audience members play an active role in the story and overall outcome of the show! Participants act as job seekers, visiting the various company “booths,” asking questions, and learning about their open positions and work environments.
At the start of the show, guests will receive a short Zoom tutorial and introduction to the story. After meeting the Job Fair receptionist, audience members will have several minutes to visit all of the company representatives and decide with which organization they would like to work. I really enjoyed the self-driven aspect of this part of the performance as participants were able to freely move from company to company. Participants could even exit the “booths” entirely and interact with the receptionist instead.
After a few minutes, however, time is up – and it’s time to make a decision. Which company best fits your personality and skill set? After filling out a bid sheet describing their chosen company and position, audience members will be paired with a post-mortal employer!
The second part of the job fair consists of a “Mock Work Day” where participants can get a feel for what it might really be like to work with their assigned organization. Depending on a person’s on-the-job choices and level of show participation, they may be given special tasks or puzzles that can actually change both the individual experience of the production and the overall direction of the Afterlife Job Fair story. There are actually 5 potential endings – and the audience’s actions will directly influence which one ultimately occurs!
Freaky Thoughts: Afterlife Job Fair
As a huge fan of Phoenix Tears Productions and their incredibly immersive performances, I really enjoyed Afterlife Job Fair! The choose-your-own adventure style of the show coupled with an ever-changing landscape of characters, storylines, and even audience size created a unique experience that simply can’t be repeated. Because of the responsive nature of the cast and plot, no two trips to the Afterlife Job Fair are exactly the same!
Besides the impressive world-building and alternate show endings, Afterlife Job Fair is full of engaging characters and interesting personalities. All of the actors are skilled in improvisation and react to audience questions and comments in genuine and enjoyable ways. I really loved getting to know the different company representatives and learning about their work ethics and corporate attitudes.
Afterlife Job Fair is an innovative and enchanting performance, allowing audiences to explore the fascinating world of digital afterlives. It’s a distinctive and exceptional theater experience, and I highly recommend checking it out this weekend!
How to Get Your Ticket to Afterlife Job Fair
Afterlife Job Fair will run for one weekend only: January 6-8. General admission tickets are $15. If you’re interested in a more enhanced experience, consider a VIP ticket. For $25, guests can guarantee their company of choice, encounter extra character interactions, and receive access to a special post-show talkback session with Afterlife Job Fair‘s cast and creators.
You can buy your tickets on Phoenix Tears’ website, and don’t forget to use the code AFFECT for 20% off!
Know Before You Go
- Pay attention to the chat feature. Other audience members and actors will use it to communicate essential information, and your participation may affect your experience.
- You will need to know a few basic Zoom functions. However, at the very beginning of your job fair experience, you will receive a short tutorial on the software. Don’t worry if you aren’t already familiar with the Zoom interface.
- Eliminate distractions. This is a virtual experience, but that doesn’t make it less engaging or immersive than an in-person performance. Hire a baby sitter. Give the dog a treat. Tell your family to stay out of your room (or buy their own ticket for a separate device)! Do what you need to do to focus on the show and participate appropriately.
- You are on a mission. This show is about more than simply conversing with the actors as they tell a story. You are integral part of the show’s plot. You need to be prepared to accept tasks and acquire vital pieces of information.
- Be respectful, but don’t be afraid to speak up. In order to get the information you need, you have to ask questions and interact! Of course, be mindful of the scene situation, but don’t be afraid to play the part you are given.
- Have fun! More than anything, this show is an opportunity to explore a fascinating fictional world and situation. Enjoy it!