One Day Die Review

Wildly ambitious online show breaks new ground

Experienced: October-November 2020
Location: Online
Price: $125
Audience Size: ~30 participants
Runtime: ~90 minutes
More Information:, Instagram

Photo from @one_day_die_ on Instagram

I’ve said it before but Darren Lynn Bousman (DLB) doesn’t half ass anything. I never intended this to be a fan-site dedicated to DLB’s experiences but after Theatre Macabre broke me two years ago I have only felt compelled to write about something since a handful of times.

I had a ticket for opening weekend and wasn’t sure if this was another Zoom based show promising (but ultimately falling short of) immersion and interactivity. I’ll always do a DLB show regardless of what it is as he consistently knocks it out of the park but I’ll admit I was dubious.

The Box

“The Box” sent to participants is jam packed with artifacts and magic techniques uniquely handcrafted for each individual. The software platform used to host the show is custom built allowing it to flow similarly to a live in-person event. The actors are all top notch and fully committed to their character and the material. The script is dense and dynamic and completely based on the actions of the individuals going through it. For some there is use of incoming, outgoing, and forwarded phone calls and text messages interacting with actors on screen or behind the scenes.

Combine all of this and you have a show that completely transports audiences. I wouldn’t have believed it if I didn’t experience it myself but I forgot I was at home. I felt the exact high I felt after going through Theatre Macabre and that’s something I never thought possible in a remote show. One Day Die is a game changer.

For me the secret sauce, building on top of many techniques mastered in previous shows, is in the custom platform they’ve built. At times there are as many as 4 different rooms of crystal clear HD video available for you to visit. Bouncing from room to room takes mere seconds and the actors in a given room can immediately see and interact with you via webcam. They took it a step further and built ways to force people into and out of rooms as well as funnel everyone into a room for important shared scenes. There are multiple stationary and handheld cameras seamlessly edited along with short pre-recorded segments giving the production a level of polish never before seen in a highly interactive online show.

Every DLB show I’ve been to (Tension, Lust, and Theatre Macabre) has rewarded those who visit more than once and One Day Die is no exception. After going through the first time and discussing with others it was obvious I had missed a lot. I was too engrossed in exploring the mysteries of “The Box” I forgot I had the ability to switch rooms or that there were even other rooms at all. Subsequent visits to a DLB experience are oftentimes even better than the first as you discover deeper layers and exhilarating narratives that you are led into or stumble upon.

Photo from @darrenbousman on Instagram

I can only imagine how hectic the control room is during a live performance; there are dozens of things happening at once keeping every participant busy in all of the main and side narratives. Several side narratives intersect the main narratives brilliantly and unbeknownst to most in the audience. There are things that happen that are only done for the benefit of one participant and that’s where the true magic is. WIth so many things going on in the show it’s always shocking to answer your door (of your real home!) to receive something from the show. Or to be told to pose as someone else on the phone while a character calls you on screen and reacts wildly to this trick you’ve been told to play.

It’s near impossible to explain the feeling of the chaotic living, breathing, immensely ambitious piece of theater of One Day Die. It’s theater that affects every individual differently and allows everyone to forge their own path. It’s theater that is so engaging it feels like the future of home entertainment.