ASIA Sumas Mountain students Dariane Hillen and Zoey Preist-Dumas show off their zombie portrayals.  Kelvin Gawley/Abbotsford News

ASIA Sumas Mountain students Dariane Hillen and Zoey Preist-Dumas show off their zombie portrayals. Kelvin Gawley/Abbotsford News

‘Save the world from the zombie apocalypse!’ — escape room at ASIA Sumas Mountain

Solve interactive puzzles to find The Cure

A science experiment has gone horribly wrong. Infected students roam the school halls, devouring each other and lusting for more brains and flesh.

It’s a full-on zombie apocalypse and only one person can stop it – you.

This is the scenario presented to guests at The Cure, an escape room experience put on by high school students at the Abbotsford School of Integrated Arts (ASIA) – Sumas Mountain.

Groups will be tasked with finding the ingredients for the antidote to the zombie infection, as they follow clues that take them from room to room in the school.

In groups, 20 students have spent weeks devising the narrative, riddles and puzzles for each in a series of rooms. Many are drama students familiar with writing theatrical scenes and plays but the escape room format has presented a unique challenge.

“If one idea doesn’t line up with the next group, then it doesn’t work and you’ve got to (talk to) that other group to figure it out, and if it messes up the rest of their idea then they have to work with the next group to figure it out, and it’s a long line of not ripping each other’s heads off figuring out how to write it,” explains Robyn Pigeault.

The Grade 11 student has been writing, arranging the set and organizing zombies for The Cure.

ASIA Sumas students have made haunted houses during the Halloween season in years past but for 2017, “they wanted to step it up,” Pigeault says.

Students drew inspiration from professional escape rooms they had attended themselves, including Countdown in downtown Abbotsford.

But The Cure adds something more.

“It’s even more interactive than the escape rooms here in Abbotsford because those are just – you’re in a room with puzzles; there are no actors or anything,” says Grade 11 student Meghann Rothwell.

The actor, who plays a zombie in The Cure, recommends patrons come to the event in a group with whom they have good communication “because you have to put all your ideas together to figure it out.”

“It’s difficult to do it with your family,” she says, laughing.

The students developed the project with help from teacher Ray de Kroon and artist-in-residence Andy Thompson, an actor, writer and producer who has advised students throughout the planning and rehearsal process.

“Get up off your couch and get interactive and save the world from the zombie apocalypse,” Thompson says. “Nothing’s more fun than putting yourself in the situation of the Walking Dead and having to overcome the forces of evil.”

The Cure is not recommended for children younger than 12 and may require entering confined, dark places, crawling and kneeling.

Groups of 10 or fewer can try their luck every half hour from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 27 and from 3:30. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28.

Tickets are $10 per person and can be purchased in advance at eventbrite.ca. Call 604-850-5207 for more information.


@KelvinGawley
kelvin.gawley@abbynews.com

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