As far as immersive plays go, Quince, a novel production mounted inside the Bushwick Starr's new theater (a former dairy plant!), is a pretty solid and creative one.
The 90-minute show is a coming-of-age story that centers around Cindy, a teenage Mexican American with an overbearing mother (Maria) getting ready to imminently celebrate her quinceañera, a traditional 15th birthday celebration. Throughout the play, Cindy is also in the midst of exploring her queer identity, her transition to womanhood and her relationship to her Latin American roots. Yes, that's a lot.
Other characters include Maria's brother Salomon, whom Cindy comes out to, and Father Joaquin, a "seemingly decent priest," according to the New York Times.
Perhaps most interestingly, ticket holders are asked to be part and parcel of the storyline, which is partly performed in Spanish as well. A Mexican food cart takes up residence outside of the theater right before the show and guests are encouraged to buy meals that they can then eat during the performance on tables decorated specifically for Cindy's Mexican celebration.
There are three stages scattered throughout the space, so performers are constantly in the midst of the audience, making them feel part of the production. In a way, ticket holders become Cindy's family members and party guests.
Running through June 26, Quince has already proven its worth. In the summer of 2020, Brooklyn-based ensemble The Team mounted a shorter version of the production for a few outdoor performances at the People's Garden in Brooklyn.
This version of the play is presented with One Whale's Tale, the company that writer Camilo Quiroz-Vázquez and director Ellpetha Tsivicos actually belong to.
But that is not all: an open-air adaptation of the show, this one dubbed QUINCE en la Plaza, will be mounted for a one-night-only performance at Hearst Plaza at Lincoln Center on July 17.