Monthly archives: March, 2015

Two months ’til beta test

Over the weekend, The Republic hit another major milestone: 2 months until we open!

Well, technically, it’s now just under two months until our 2-week “beta test,” as we’re calling it. We’ll be debuting The Republic experience at the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival.

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There, we’ll hold two weekends of performances before our true official debut in late May.

The Orlando Fringe Festival is an annual event that’s home to all sorts of wild productions, so we will fit in perfectly. We’ll be enlisting the help of Fringe attendees to test out our highly interactive experience so we’re ready for the masses to follow.

We’ve reached that 2-month mark right on schedule, ready to begin building our massive themed environments and continue rehearsals in those spaces, preparing the immersive experiences you will step into. There’s no doubt the next few weeks will fly by and you can continue to watch it all unfold right here. And we’ll have some more exciting news within the next few days for a couple even earlier opportunities you’ll have to preview our performance.

In the meantime, please keep contributing to our Kickstarter, which is moving along steadily toward reaching its goal at the end of this month!

 – Ricky Brigante / Rogue: Hypnos

“Face Off” artists officially join The Republic team to create original characters

With top theme park designers leading the artistic direction of The Republic, there’s no doubt our team is loaded with talent.

Today we are officially announcing the involvement of two more incredibly creative people: Eric Garcia and David O’Connell. You might know Eric and David from the hit Syfy TV show “Face Off,” on which they showed off their incredible skills as makeup effects artists.

Hear from them, along with The Republic creator Sarah Elger, in the video below, which also offers a first glimpse at one of the sculpts they’ve been working on for us.

“I am excited to be working on this project! It is something I have never heard of before and has such great potential,” said Garcia. “It will be fun to see how people interact with the characters we develop.”

As with every aspect of this project, the more money we have, the better we can make it. Your contributions to our Kickstarter will help fund materials needed for Eric and David to fully realize their visions for our performers to be enhanced by their effects during each night’s experience. You will literally come face-to-face with their creations. So please support our Kickstarter campaign to make their makeup even better!



We’re thrilled to have Eric and David join our team and will be sharing more updates from them as their work progresses.

 – Ricky Brigante / Rogue: Hypnos

New Kickstarter rewards revealed as we reach one-third funding

Today we reached a double milestone for our Kickstarter crowd funding campaign: one-third funded and one-third of the time gone!

Our 30-day campaign is 10 days in and we’re exactly on track to reach our goal having received 33% funding with the latest contribution.

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But the pace has slowed in recent days, so we sat down to come up with some new incentives to tempt you all to support the creation of this incredible experience. Building off the most popular reward thus far, the $70 ticket + one-on-one experience combo, we’ve come up with even better rewards for you:

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED: After the experience, you can meet and interact with members of The Republic team, discussing the adventure and learning answers to your questions. Includes admission for 1 player to The Republic + meet-and-greet opportunity post-show.

MORE INTENSE: Take on the most “extreme” role in The Republic. Be the first to enter, instantly rewarded with the most intense and interactive opportunities throughout the experience. You will be challenged. Includes one ticket.

If you’ve already backed our project (thanks!) and one of these new rewards sounds better than what you chose, you can still modify your contribution. Or if you haven’t yet, head back over to our Kickstarter and give us a nod! Your contributions will immediately begin funding our build including lumber, special effects, costumes, makeup, and much more.

Thank you for your continued support of The Republic!

 – Ricky Brigante / Rogue: Hypnos

The Republic experience officially moves into its home

On Sunday, one hour before rehearsal was set to begin, we received some big news.

Sarah (The Republic creator, for those who haven’t been following along) quickly alerted our performers that our usual rehearsal space was unavailable for the evening and instructed them to meet at a mysterious parking lot address nearby. Then we led them on an exciting adventure…

The keys to The Republic’s warehouse space are officially ours – 3 weeks earlier than expected.


Our performers were just as elated as we were to call this 18,000 square foot location home.





They even slipped into character for one final group photo. (Your first glimpse, perhaps, at who these actors are portraying, even in their casual clothes. But you won’t know find out who these characters are until you come see the show.)


Securing this location is a huge part of what your Kickstarter contributions will go towards. It’s definitely not cheap to rent such a large space for so many months, but absolutely necessary to put on a production of this scale.

After much celebrating, we immediately held our first rehearsal in our new warehouse. And from this point forward, every bit of work we do on The Republic will be in this space.




We will begin building imminently, which means this blog is about to get a whole lot more interesting.

 – Ricky Brigante / Rogue: Hypnos

Music of The Republic from composer Greg Nicolett

We are fortunate to have Hollywood composer Greg Nicolett on board to create the musical score that will play throughout The Republic experience.

Greg’s work has been heard in “The Vampire Diaries,” “Smallville,” “Eureka,” and even that crazy awesome Shia LaBeouf YouTube video. Yes, that one.


Music is an incredibly important part of this production, setting the tone of each scene. And you have already heard a small sampling of Greg’s work for The Republic in our Kickstarter video (or if you haven’t seen it yet, watch/listen below):

That particular music was just a test track to get a feel for what the score of The Republic will sound like. In addition to Greg’s score, I will personally be creating the sound design for the experience, working on all the necessary sound effects, moments, mixing, and editing required to make our highly designed environments not only look real, but sound real as well.

While Greg is a completely capable musician, able to compose and record our score on his own, we’d all prefer if we could hire some talented musicians to work with him. And that’s one of the many areas where our Kickstarter campaign comes in handy. With your contributions, we can pull together a small orchestra to record Greg’s music, making The Republic an even richer experience.

And one of the rewards we’re offering on Kickstarter is a copy of Greg’s score in collectible packaging.

So please head over and back our project to make our music even better!

Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing some very surprising news from The Republic. Don’t forget to come back to see one of the most exciting updates so far…

 – Ricky Brigante / Rogue: Hypnos

Our rehearsal routines are anything but routine

As we inch closer to opening in May, we’ve upped our rehearsal nights to three per week, gathering our incredible performers together to run through the many elaborate scenes of The Republic, little by little.

But there is nothing ordinary about our rehearsals, acting more as a workshop to develop concepts with our performers rather than simply directing them with orders.

Lately, we’ve begun each session by allowing some of our performers to warm us up with fun and useful exercises, many derived from the world of improv acting.


I have been filming all of our rehearsals for review amongst the design team afterward and to share with our performers to build upon each scene’s iteration.


The bulk of our rehearsals involves stepping through every action of whichever scene we are focusing on for the evening, led by The Republic creator Sarah Elger.

This week, we’ve been covering –well, never mind. We don’t want to reveal too much about the events that will transpire inside The Republic experience. Let’s just say it has gotten pretty intense.


Finally, we sit down for a post-mortem to get everyone’s thoughts on what went well, what didn’t, and what we can strive to achieve the next time. The Republic is truly a collaborative project, with absolutely everyone involved encouraged to be open and honest with their opinions to make a better overall experience for you, our players.



Not every rehearsal follows this exact pattern and there are always unexpected moments of entertainment, like this week’s spontaneous dancing and surprise stilt walking.



Of course, there is much more to creating The Republic than rehearsing with our performers, so in the coming days and weeks we will also dive deep into the creation of visuals, sets, sounds, music, costumes, makeup, interactions and more right here on the Production Blog.

In the meantime, please continue to follow and contribute to our Kickstarter project. It is the only way to receive the ultimate experiences when The Republic opens in a couple months.

 – Ricky Brigante / Rogue: Hypnos

Kickstarter milestone + a building request

Late yesterday we were incredibly excited to see that our Kickstarter project – less than 4 days running – has already hit 25% of its goal!


(Well, technically 24.9%… but close enough!)

Thanks so much to our generous contributors, especially the one lucky person (so far) who will be spending an evening with The Republic creator Sarah Elger up in her control center, towering over the show as it runs.

That is one of the many unique experiences we’re offering exclusively through Kickstarter, available in limited quantities.

As the funds start to add up, we are moving into our next phase of the project: building. We’re moving into our warehouse soon and are planning the massive set build ahead of us. Most importantly, we need lumber!

So if you or anyone you know happens to have a lead on inexpensive lumber, either through deals, surplus, or even sponsorship for us, please email with details.


Thank you for all your Kickstarter contributions so far. With 26 days still remaining, we look forward to blasting past our goal and launching some exciting stretch goals to make The Republic even more amazing.

 – Ricky Brigante / Rogue: Hypnos

Prop acquisition in the most convenient location

The 18,000 square-foot downtown Orlando warehouse The Republic will soon call home presented us with an exciting opportunity this past weekend.

The current occupants of the warehouse had filled it with a huge assortment of furniture, electronics, and other home goods – all of which they were selling off before moving out.


To fill The Republic’s 25+ individually unique spaces, we’re going to need a lot of props and set pieces. This sale was a perfect opportunity to acquire a great deal of what we intend to use. It’s also a perfect example of how funds contributed via our Kickstarter campaign will be used, not only to buy props but also to pay for use of the massive warehouse space itself.

Many other shoppers arrived to the sale early Saturday morning, so we quickly assembled our team to select which pieces will be best for our show – Sarah Elger, Phillip Burgos, Nathanael White, Benjamin Pile, and myself were there to hand pick which items fit with the various themed environments of The Republic, rapidly marking them off with blue tape.







Once we’d finished picking out items we ran through the numbers, negotiated a bit, and it was a done deal.


We walked away with the most convenient prop acquisition imaginable, having to simply move our purchased pieces to another area of the warehouse, ready for us when we move in soon.


Naturally, we’ll need a lot more than a few candlesticks, dressers, and filing cabinets to fill the intricately designed spaces that will make up The Republic experience, but this was a great start.

There are still many more props to purchase (along with many other expenses), so please contribute to our Kickstarter crowd funding campaign to help support us:

Keep checking back for more exciting updates from the warehouse as we get closer to moving in. We may even have a very interesting opportunity for you to check out the space before we even start building…

 – Ricky Brigante / Rogue: Hypnos

Escape Rooms: Team building through new experiences

We aim to create innovative experiences. The Republic will be unlike any other form of entertainment around.

But during this process we also enthusiastically embrace others’ projects as well. We’re happy to support other local attractions while utilizing those experiences to strengthen our design team and perhaps even learn a thing or two.

Though The Republic is most definitely not an “escape room,” we do thoroughly enjoy that emerging attraction genre. It seems new escape rooms are appearing every month.

In recent weeks, we have visited Escapology and It’s a Trap – both fun Orlando area escape rooms. Escapology relies on intricate design to heighten its experience while It’s a Trap calls on improvisational actors, humor, and a strong sense of story to keep their guests engaged.



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And then just today, Universal Orlando opened a limited time attraction with USA Networks called DIG: Escape the Room, which was a fun and engaging time as well – that we just barely finished in time with 27 seconds to spare.

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These attractions have helped our team learn to work closely together to get tasks accomplished while also being quick on our toes to deal with whatever obstacles present themselves.

And those are some of the many traits we are requiring of our performers in The Republic, as we will not be able to predict how our players (that’s you) react to and interact with our experience.

 – Ricky Brigante / Rogue: Hypnos

Kickstarter update + press release

Less than 12 hours into our newly launched Kickstarter campaign and we’ve already reached 6% of our goal, topping $500! We offer a big thank you to everyone who has contributed so far.


It seems our $70 reward is the most popular, offering both a ticket to The Republic experience plus a personal one-on-one encounter during the show, available only to Kickstarter contributors. There is a limited number of these spots available so get them while you can!

Whether you can contribute or not, please continue to share our Kickstarter page across Facebook, Twitter, and any other social networks. Word of mouth is just as important as any funds you can give.

Today we also blasted out our first press release detailing what The Republic is all about – and hyping the Kickstarter project, of course. Here it is…

The Republic Immersive Theater Experience to Debut in Orlando, Launches Kickstarter

The Republic to premiere in Orlando as innovative new immersive theater experience in May 2015; Combines theatrical performance with interactive gaming elements; Independently created by leading theme park designers; Launches Kickstarter to raise production funds.

ORLANDO, FLA. (Monday, March 2, 2015) – The Republic today announces a Kickstarter crowd funding campaign to bring an entirely unique theatrical experience to Orlando. Launching with the Orlando Fringe Festival in May 2015, The Republic will immerse guests – called players – in a fully designed, interactive world inhabited by intriguing characters. Players will take on an important role in this conflicted society with their actions dictating how the rich story ends.


Created by top theme park attraction designers as well as experienced writers, artists, musicians, engineers, actors, and more, this high energy, up-close performance will truly be unlike anything Orlando has seen.

Backers of The Republic’s Kickstarter project will receive exclusive rewards including unlimited access to the experience, behind-the-scenes tours with designers, and plenty of collectible takeaways.


Inspired by Greek mythology, Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis,” and Plato’s literary work, the story of The Republic experience places players inside a society ripe for revolution, where citizens are born into social status but band together to overthrow an overbearing government while risking banishment to the Labyrinth.

Breaking the traditional stage-audience boundary, The Republic is an immersive theater experience that surrounds viewers with the performance, allowing audience members to move under their own free will, engaging directly with performers, sets, props, and other interactive features throughout.

“I want to empower people to not just sit back and be a passive audience member, but get out of their seats and explore, learn, react, and respond,” explained The Republic creator Sarah Elger. “I like getting people out of their comfort zone to push them as a person and test themselves in a risk-free environment so that they can see their own potential.”

The Republic is not a traditional stage show. It’s not a haunted house. It’s not an escape room. It’s not a theme park ride. It’s also not confined to any emerging immersive theater standards. It is something entirely new. Boundaries will be pushed as players are asked to embody a role and become part of the story. Throughout the experience, players will be watched, deceived, touched – possibly even kidnapped.

The Republic is being created by a group of likeminded professionals who share the common goal of pushing the world of entertainment forward. Elger has assembled a team of theme park attractions designers, artists, writers, engineers, and musicians to make her vision of this exciting new kind of experience a reality.

“The Republic has an incredible and dynamic team from a wide range of disciplines that is really helping me to push this project further than I could have ever imagined,” said Elger. “I’m in awe of their creativity and openness to explore all possibilities within this elaborate world we’re creating.”

Production is already underway on The Republic, well into design and rehearsal phases. Kickstarter funds will assist in paying for the 18,000 square-foot warehouse space in downtown Orlando, lumber and building materials, sound and lighting equipment, special effects, makeup, costumes, actors, musical score development, and many other costs.

“With help from Kickstarter contributions, we will be able to grow this production into an exciting experience you cannot even imagine,” added Elger.

Fans are encouraged to follow along on The Republic Production Blog at

For more information, visit Like The Republic on Facebook at, and follow us on Twitter @TheRepublicORL. Join our society on social media using #TheRepublic.

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About The Republic

Immersive theater meets gaming in this innovative, interactive performance experience. Step into a fully designed world inhabited by intriguing characters and take on an important role in our conflicted society. Your decisions dictate how the rich story ends.

You will be watched. You will be deceived. You will be touched – emotionally and physically.

Created by theme park attraction designer Sarah Elger, The Republic is being brought to life via the talents of artists, writers, musicians, designers, engineers, and performers each utilizing their skill sets to offer a completely unique live experience featuring:

– More than 25 fully designed, immersive spaces across 18,000 square feet
– Interactive elements that will change your very surroundings
– Elaborate, engaging story delivered by improvisational performers who will get up close and hands on
– Original musical score and soundtrack to immerse you in the world
– Multiple endings, dictated by your actions, offering a different experience with every visit

More exciting updates to come this week!

 – Ricky Brigante / Rogue: Hypnos