PERFORMING AMAZING FEATS OF STORYTELLING SINCE 2001
 
 

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The Last Defender

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The Last Defender

Written and Directed by Nathan Allen
Game Design by Sandor Weisz
Production Design by Lee Keenan

 

 

RUN DATES: Now booking through March 2020!
PRICES: $40 and $45
TIMES: Mondays–Wednesdays* 5:00pm & 7:00pm, Thursdays and Fridays 7:00pm & 9:00pm, Saturdays 12:00pm, 2:00pm, 4:00pm, 7:00pm, & 9:00pm, Sundays 12:00pm 3:00pm, & 5:00pm

*Through January only

 

 

THE MISSION

The Last Defender is an escape room unlike any other, created by Chicago's most innovative designers. In this cooperative game, you, the players, must work together to communicate as a team to succeed. You do this by gathering and sharing information, solving puzzles, and working as a group to make increasingly difficult decisions. All to finally complete The Defenders' final mission and save the world.

 

 

THE GAME

You become the heroes of the story in The Defenders' underground headquarters. The United States and the Soviet Union are still mired in the Cold War. We've deployed artificial intelligence alongside 8-bit arcade-style computer technologies to control our nuclear weapons. Players navigate their own paranoia, as well as the stresses of Mutually Assured Destruction to do the job of The Defenders.

 

 

The Last Defender was commissioned and developed by The House Theatre of Chicago and the Chicago Performance Lab through the Theatre and Performance Studies Program at the University of Chicago.

 

 

"It's by far the best escape game we've ever played."
Max Temkin, Cards Against Humanity Co-Founder

 

READER RECOMMENDED
"Perfect combinations of storytelling, stagecraft, and giddy theater-school camaraderie... Will undoubtedly satisfy even the pickiest problem-solving nerd"
Chicago Reader

 

FOUR STARS & CRITICS PICK
"Uniquely challenging and exhilarating!"
Time Out Chicago

 

"Ingenious interactive theater piece! ... a futurist environment where you feel like you've been plunked down in the middle of a sci-fi film."
Windy City Times

 

"Challenging and terrifically fun!"
A.V. Club

Show Dates: Jan 10 2020 to Mar 29 2020 Location:

Chicago Board Game Cafe, 1965 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago

Director:

Artists:

Audiences become the heroes playing The Last Defender!
Raves for The Last Defender

READER RECOMMENDED!
"Perfect combinations of storytelling, stagecraft, and giddy theater-school camaraderie... Will undoubtedly satisfy even the pickiest problem-solving nerd"
Chicago Reader

 

"Ingenious interactive theater piece! ... a futurist environment where you feel like you've been plunked down in the middle of a sci-fi film."
Windy City Times

 

FOUR STARS & CRITICS PICK
"An adrenaline-generating team-building exercise! Uniquely challenging and exhilarating, The Last Defender is exciting new territory"
Time Out Chicago

 

"House Theatre of Chicago is responsible for some of the least-pretentious high art in our city. There is real and well-deserved affection for this company that goes beyond niche. Like a spring-loaded door on the other side of which is the key to saving the world, they release something in us. So come play. The world needs you, defender." 
New City Stage

 

"Challenging and terrifcally fun!"
A.V. Club

The Last Defender is a game. A cooperative game where you, the players, must work together and communicate as a team to succeed. You will do this by gathering and sharing information, solving puzzles, and working as a group to make increasingly difficult decisions.

 

Where do we play?

The Escapes are in the downstairs level of the Chicago Board Game Cafe

Enter through the cafe at 1965 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago IL 60647.
Proceed downstairs to the lower level via stairs or elevator.

Cross-streets are Western and Armitage.

CTA: Right off the Western Blue Line stop.

PARKING: Metered street parking in all directions

 

Dining at the Chicago Board Game Cafe

Make reservations to enjoy the cafe before or after your escape game!

Reservations are strongly recommended for parties of all sizes.
Make reservations HERE.

A $55 prix-fixe pre-Escape reservation is available to our players. You'll get a secret link to book a table and that menu once you purchase your tickets.

A post-game drink package is available to our players. You'll get a secret link to book it once you purchase your tickets.

If you booked a dinner reservation with The Cafe, make your escape room reservations for two+ hours before or two+ hours after your table time.

If you have a larger group, we can help make reservations for you over the phone. Call the box office at 773-769-3832 or call the Game Cafe at 224-208-5346.

 

What ages can play?

The Last Defender and Nova to Lodestar are designed for adults, and is recommended for ages 15 and up.

The nature of the collaboration in the games and the problem-solving skills required mean that this one isn't for younger audience members.

 

What is the dress code?

Whether its nuclear war or a stranded spaceship, you'll want sensible shoes.

On arrival, each player will receive a standard-issue jumpsuit to be worn over their civilian clothes. We suggest dressing in comfortable clothing to more easily perform your duties in Defender HQ or aboard the ships Nova and Lodestar. Athletic sneakers and pants are preferred.

 

How long are the games?

Each escape experience lasts 90 minutes.

You should arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled start time.

 

Wait. Are you a theater company? Are these plays?

The Escapes are not plays, but they are crazy-awesome stories about mutually assured destruction and resource management in a crisis.

Our live-action escape room-style games will make YOU the hero of the tale. There will not be live actors in the room, or an audience watching. Only players (that's you) and a few masked helpers (the black rabbits) to ensure a smooth experience. You will work with the folks you come with, and strangers, to solve puzzles and advance the story. You'll play inside a fully designed set.

 

Do some people play and some people watch?

NOPE! Everyone who attends steps into the shoes of a Defender or a United MIner, and plays the game.

There is not an audience watching the players. You can participate in as much or as little as you choose. (Though we'll highly recommend getting your brain working on as many challenges as you can; it's a crisis after all!) Only 16 tickets are sold to each showtime, and all 16 people will play.

 

Can we buy out a whole night?

You bet! There are just 16 players spots at each show.

A group can buy out all the tickets and bring between 8 and 16 people. Buyouts are perfect for birthdays, corporate team building, bachelor/bachelorettes, and more. If you like, you can click through to buy tickets for the date you want, and if all 16 numbered player spots are available, simply buy them all!

We also offer instant booking for 8 to 16 players for a private game experience Mondays through Fridays during the day. And we can schedule custom game times, or set you up for a game not yet on sale to the public when you want all 16 spots.

Buy all 16 spots at a PUBLIC game time.

Choose a weekday-daytime BUYOUT.

Request a CUSTOM game time.

 

Why am I being assigned a seat number when I buy tickets online?

There are not seats. In fact, you'll be up and moving most of the game.

You'll see the 16 numbered player spots when buying tickets online, so you can see how many spots remain for this game time. (In case you want to invite more friends!) If you wish to buy out a performance, and need help finding a show will all 16 spots available, please call us at 773-769-3832 or email boxoffice@thehousetheatre.com.

 

About Mobility

The Last Defender and Nova to Lodestar are not performances you watch, but rather games you play.

You will need to move around the space among multiple game stations with your fellow players. For a majority of the 90 minute experience, you will choose which station to be engaged in, and how much or little you'd like to move around. Some stations have seats, and some do not. Around the room, small folding portable seats are provided (like at a museum), and you should use these as much as you like, moving them between stations, or staying put.

 

About Accessibility

The Escapes are in the downstairs level of the Chicago Board Game Cafe and are accessible by elevator or stairs.

Once downstairs, the playing spaces are flat (no steps). Wheelchairs, walkers, and other assistive devices will all work well in the playing spaces.

If you or your guest require accommodation for vision, hearing or mobility please let us know ahead of your attendance, and we'll ensure you are placed on a team where all puzzles will work well for you. Email Maddie Stengel, Audience Services Manager, at access@thehousetheatre.com.