It’s A Wonderful Life: Interactive Theater

St. Croix Sensory is proud to partner with the Zephyr Theater in Stillwater, MN to deliver a new twist on a holiday classic, “It’s A Wonderful Life”.

In light of COVID-19 precautions, the Zephyr theater understood there was a need to deliver an alternative to the traditional theater experience this winter. Instead of people physically gathering in a theater venue, they proposed an idea that would bring interactive theater right to the doorstep of each patron: An Interactive Radio Play Box.

Each box contains a CD or flash drive with a recorded radio broadcast of the “It’s A Wonderful Life” and a series of individually numbered pouches the listener is instructed to open upon the prompting of a bell. Intended to play with all of the listener’s senses, the props included everything from miniature apple pies to individual confetti snow storms. And of course, a sampling of scents intended to make each participant feel like they are visiting Main Street, Bedford Falls.

St. Croix Sensory provided the theatrical scenting for the Zephyr production. In each Interactive Box, particpants discovered six different scent vials with aromas specific to a scene from the storyline of “Its a Wonderful Life”.

St. Croix Sensory’s project lead, Ben Lamb explains, “We chose scents based what would be meaningful to create a time and place for the audience”.

Scents included: Gardenias (Mary’s garden), Violets (Violet’s perfume), pine (Christmas Tree), fresh cut grass (summer dream sequence), industrial (Pottersville Main Street), and wet wool (George’s wet sweater).

St. Croix Sensory has been assisting theater directors in the art of theatrical scenting for over fifteen years. In 2014 they were a finalist in the Art of Olfaction Award for the Minnesota Film Festival’s production of “Crime and Punishment”. Since then, St. Croix Sensory has enjoyed an ongoing partnership with the Haunted Basement as well as other local Minnesota theater companies. They look forward to the next opportunity for creative partnership in this innovative environment.