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Immersive theater show ‘My Life Among Killers’ at Film Biz Recycling

Spend Halloween in the company of serial killers

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Spend the spooky season with some real monsters.

“My Life Among the Serial Killers,” a new theater performance running Oct. 30–Nov. 2 at Film Biz Recycling in Gowanus, will offer audiences an immersive look at the darker side of humanity. The show is based on the career of forensic psychologist Helen Morrison, who personally interviewed dozens of serial killers and spent decades studying the evil urges that drove them to kill, explained one organizer.

“Imagine spending every day for 50 years with the most challenged and sick monsters imaginable,” said Jacob Patorti, director and co-founder of the Viewpoints Workshop, which is staging the show. “Morrison’s constant mission since the ’70s has been to find out who these people are, where they come from, and why they kill.”

Audience members will spend most of “My Life Among the Serial Killers” on their feet, following one of Morrison’s many deranged subjects throughout the labyrinthine space of Film Biz Recycling, a unique warehouse containing thousands of film and theater props discarded from past New York City productions.

“We’re used to going to a Broadway theater, sitting down, and watching a show through a humongous picture frame,” said Patorti. “What’s exciting about the immersive theater experience is you’re immediately placed in this amazing atmosphere and then you’re free to explore it at your own pace.”

The killers, guards, therapists, and victims that filled Morrison’s life-long career will all be represented as characters by the actors of the Viewpoints Workshop, and their disparate stories will play out simultaneously throughout the venue. Audience members will decide for themselves which killers and victims they want to follow.

For instance, ticket-holders might choose to track the insane career of American murderer and body snatcher Ed Gein, whose victims ended up as macabre furniture strewn around his house. Or they can delve into the dark deeds of one of history’s most notorious sickos, John Wayne Gacy, who ultimately claimed the lives 33 teenage boys — that we know of.

Or, you could follow both. In an interesting twist, ticket prices for each day’s three performances are staggered throughout the day, with the earlier showings costing more. Because of this, audience members at the first two stagings are encouraged to head back for subsequent cycles and experience different parts of the show they might have missed the first time around.

“You might see a character write a note, put it in a suitcase and go about his day. So, the first time through, you might follow him to see where he goes, but the next time, you could open up the suitcase and see what he wrote,” said Patorti. “There’s always something new to see.”

“My Life Among the Serial Killers” at Film Biz Recycling [540 President St. between Third and Fourth avenues in Gowanus, (347) 384–2336, www.vanderbiltrepublic.com/vw]. Oct. 30–Nov. 2. First showing 7 pm, $60. Second showing 8:20 pm, $50. Third Showing 9:40 pm, $40.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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