Theatre Preview: The Zombie Syndrome - Dead in the Water

Oct 3 2016, 5:25 pm

As soon as the calendar switches to October, you can expect everything to get a whole lot more eerie and theatre outings are no exception. The month starts off strong with innovative show, The Zombie Syndrome: Dead In The Water.

The interactive adventure runs October 4-31. While the experience blurs a lot of boundaries when it comes to theatre and performance, generating a truly unique and enjoyable experience for their audiences is the heart of Zombie Syndrome shows.

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Produced by theatre company The Virtual Stage, The Zombie Syndrome makes its return to Granville Island to scare and engage viewers for its fifth year. If you’ve been brave enough to venture forth on previous expeditions, you might have a rough idea of what the shows are all about, but The Virtual Stage has a history of keeping things incredibly fresh.

As its name suggests, this is the first time zombie hunters will venture both by land and sea during the show. From a purely logistical perspective, this is hugely exciting. The unpredictability of water makes it a huge risk for theatre makers but if done well, can really capture the audience’s attention.

Another switch up you’ll notice is an upgrade from your run-of-the-mill zombies. Dead In The Water features a new zombie-vampire hybrid. The new creation was decided via an audience poll, a decision that shouldn’t be glossed over. Allowing fans to guide the adventure theatre’s content shows just how much The Virtual Stage cares about making shows that audiences love.


One other key feature of Zombie Syndrome shows has been their use of technology to solve puzzles and keep the expedition actively in the hands of their audience. To further enhance engagement, this year’s iteration will see a first for Canadian theatre, the use of iBeacon technology. This technology provides extremely accurate location services of smartphones, which would provide opportunities for personalized outings.

Even with all of the new features and modes of interactivity embedded in Dead in the Water,  at its core, the show is still all about the audience. The Virtual Stage takes huge steps to make sure that not only your group, but the individual feels like an integral part of the experience. Small details, like being assigned a specialist role before you head out, transforms a generic outing into something that an audience member can really dig their teeth into. Just be sure to watch your back – something might be trying to do the same to you.

The Zombie Syndrome: Dead in the Water

When: October 4 to October 31, multiple shows every evening

Where: Secret location on Granville Island