Reverie Studios & ‘larp’
The kind of “larp” or “live action role playing” that Reverie Studios creates and produces falls into a specific category in the world of larp. Even our use of “larp” versus “LARP” is intentional, as we wish to normalize the word and in some ways redefine it to our audience, especially as it pertains to the United State’s view of what that means.
At Reverie we write larps that are in the “Nordic” tradition, as defined at Nordiclarp.org as “immersive, collaborative and featuring an artistic vision”. In short, we want to create and foster artistic experiences that transcend typical theater and leave a lasting impact on the participants, enriching their lives and allowing them to step, albeit briefly, into the shoes of someone else.
Where are you based and where do you hold your events?
The company is based out of the Greater Boston area and the surrounding smaller cities. The venue and the nature of the larp depends on the story we are trying to tell. We pick a place that fits the event and then write the story that accommodates that venue, as we are focused on ‘what you see is what you get’ and immersion.
What is ‘immersive theater’ or ‘larp’?
Immersive theater and larp are interchangeable terms, but represent different ways to present the same information. The word ‘larp’ or ‘live action role playing’ is an acronym and term that connotes something slightly different from ‘immersive theater’ but they both get at the same thing: you are a participant of a story experience rather than merely an observer. The nuance is in how some may interpret the emphasis on the systems of play. While many larps have complex rules for solving challenges within the game, immersive theater places that decision within the participant’s control by allowing them to decide what best fits their personal story narrative. Both terms have their strengths and weaknesses depending on what types of interactions the participant believes they may have.
The goal, overall, is to provide a visceral experience that allows a participant to feel the play and to understand it, but more importantly to change its outcomes. Allowing deep emotional connections to the story unlocks so much potential to explore nuanced themes and for a participant to walk away with a meaningful understanding of the events that happened.
What kinds of larp (live action role playing) do you do?
We run and produce intense larps that deal with altering perception of reality in the ‘Nordic larp’ model of immersiveness, collaboration, and artistic vision. The themes of the events we have run and plan to run are usually dealing with grief, existential questions, responsibility and what happens when authority loses control.
How long have you been doing this?
Reverie Studios is new (2016) but the design team is not. They have been working in this medium for more than two decades, and were motivated by an experience all of the organization members shared together in New Orleans that opened them up to completely new ways of organizing and running larps. The team’s expertise ranges from running full production larps to managing administrative systems for a national club and designing from the ground up multi-year stories with intricate arcs.
Why are you doing this?
Reverie Studio’s desire is to unite with a larger movement happening in the world of immersive theater and larp, to provide high quality events in the United States and to design great stories. It is the belief of the Reverie Studios team that this point in time is an ideal one to make dreams happen to engage with European partners, as well as domestic US groups looking to achieve great things. Reverie has had success with this, helping to run the seminal ‘End of the Line’ in Berlin for ‘Berlin by Night’ convention, and participating in High Level Games Convention as one of the principal design teams.