The Big Promenade – an immersive audio tour in Zaryad’ye Park

Sharing some photos from the immersive audio promenade I’ve directed and co-written back in May.

This is an original performance in the “audio-promenade” format, created for kids and teenagers, visitors of the Big Picnic event of the Russian School Students Movement. The show combined elements of a guided tour, interactive show, and an immersive experience. The navigation of the audience is made audibly: a voice in the headphones tells when to turn left, right, go down or go up the stairs. 

The participants with their headphones on were listening to the story, walking around the park, making assignments including dancing, feeling the vibes of the underground city, meditating between the trees, finding hidden treasures, discovering the geography principles. 

With a passion for mixing science and entertainment in her projects, I’ve invited a famous astronaut, scientist, and motivational speaker Sergey Ryazansky to become the voice of the final scene of The Big Promenade. Sergey Ryazanskiy, former captain of International Space Station, Ph.D. in Biology, Hero of Russia, became the first science and space celebrity to collaborate with immersive theatre in the world.

My method of working with the visible urban environment, combined with the audio narrative and sound design, works like Augmented Reality and spurs the listener’s natural imagination along the entire route. For example, Zaryadye Park is not a fenced-off area, which is located right between several busy transport highways. Sound effects helped the audience get the feeling of being in the wilderness. 

Such a simultaneous impact on different levels of perception creates a powerful emotional effect, stimulates listeners to try unusual tools for contact with the environment and each other, and in the long run teaches them to flexibly analyze information. 

At the final stop of the show, I’ve created an interactive map of Russia. The kids had to pin their photos to their hometowns, located on the map. By the end of the show’s run, the map was filled with happy faces from all around the country. This social practice made hundreds of kids visualize the connections between distant cities in a vast country, and strengthen the bond of the community of young explorers.

Kids from all over the country came to Moscow for workshops and activities, more than 1000 people visited The Big Promenade within 2 days of the event.

I want to thank all of the team: producers, writers, sound design, actors, guides, and admins. And a special thanks goes to the scientist and astronaut Sergey Ryazansky, who was one of the voice-over actors for the project. That’s a great honor!