Postindustrial, Welcome to Moonside, By Carmen Gentile

September 1, 2019

Welcome to Moonside

Writer and playwright Sean Collier has a new production hitting the stage in Pittsburgh through Sept. 8


Story by Carmen Gentile // Photos courtesy of Sean Collier

“Welcome to Moonside” (see show details below) is an example of what Collier, 34, calls “original Immersion theater,” where “the audience is physically and narratively occupying the same space” as the performers. 

Theatergoers will recognize this style of off-the-stage performance as akin to “Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding,” a nationwide sensation that inspired this net generation of immersive theater where audience contact and improvisation are integral to the performance … and the fun. 

Without revealing the plot, Collier says the play is a “political thriller about ghosts” with dark undertones and humor that’s performed by an all-female cast.

The production is the latest creation of the Vigilance Theater Group, a small company working on original, immersive performances in Pittsburgh. Along with Collier, the company was founded by Renee Rabenold, Dana Custer, and Ariella Furman. 

How to check it out: 
“Welcome to Moonside” opened Aug. 22 and runs through Sept. 8, Thursdays through Sundays, at the former Lava Lounge, 2204 East Carson St., in the South Side. Performances start at 8 p.m. Check-in time is 7:45 p.m.

Tickets are available at

Carmen Gentile

Carmen Gentile has worked for The New York Times and CBS News, among others. His book, "Blindsided by the Taliban," documents his life as a war reporter and the aftermath of his brush with death after being shot with a rocket-propelled grenade while embedded with U.S. Army forces in Afghanistan.

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