Interactive zombie hunt brings vampires and new technology into the mix

 Sarah Omran and Rowan Jang. Emily Cooper photo, Elizabeth McLeod makeup.

Sarah Omran and Rowan Jang. Emily Cooper photo, Elizabeth McLeod makeup.

Have smartphone, will travel. Vancouver’s Virtual Stage has teamed up with a local tech company for a new production that will allow participants to use their handhelds to fend off a horde of the undead.

Zombie Syndrome: Dead in the Water is a mashup of zombies and vampires, and follows last year’s successful Virtual Stage show that brought aliens into the mix. Here’s more of what you can expect from the new production, which runs Oct 4 – 31 on Granville Island.

In Zombie Syndrome: Dead in the Water, teams of up to 18 people will “travel by land and sea in a race to confront a monstrous hybrid of zombies and vampires,” according to a press release.

The adventure begins with an investigation into the disappearance of a Special Forces operative, who was hunting down a former government geneticist. Meanwhile, a suspected vampiric psychopath is believed to be responsible for a string of recent murders and the sudden appearance of zombie-vampire mutants across the Lower Mainland, as well as for keeping a number of empty condos in downtown Vancouver for investment purposes (haha, just kidding about the last one!)(as far as we know).

The audience must determine the whereabouts of the Special Forces dude to ensure his mission to stop psycho dude is completed.

Participants will need to install an app first, though. The new app interacts via Bluetooth with location-based iBeacons (some kind of new Apple thing) embedded into each of the show’s seven sites. The location-based iBeacons will boost interactivity by triggering clues on audience members’ smartphones, helping teams battle the forces of darkness.

The brand new app runs on both iPhone and Android phones that are running Bluetooth 4.0 or higher (also known as Buetooth Smart or Bluetooth LE), plus the following minimum requirements:

1) iPhone – iPhone 4S or above running iOS 8 or higher

2) Android – any android running KitKat 4.4 or higher

Sarah Omran. Emily Cooper photo, Elizabeth McLeod makeup.

Sarah Omran. Emily Cooper photo, Elizabeth McLeod makeup.

This is the fifth year for Zombie Syndrome, which has used smartphones since its 2012 start in Yaletown. Virtual Stage will be the first theatre company in Canada to integrate Apple’s new location-based iBeacon hardware in a show.

For tickets and more info, visit According to the website, “The exact starting location on Granville Island will remain undisclosed until the day before the mission, when audiences will be contacted via e-mail with their top-secret rendezvous point.” Watch a trailer here.

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