By Susan Froyd, Westword
Creative collaborators Serena Chopra, Kate Speer and Frankie Toan came together more than a year ago with a plan to create No Place to Go, an immersive haunted house with a twist: The installation would channel the experience of being non-binary in an unsympathetic world. To those who’ve lived it, it can be a spooky and threatening situation.
Loosely inspired by Killjoy’s Kastle: A Lesbian Feminist Haunted House, an immersive walk-through installation by Toronto-based artists Allyson Mitchell and Deirdre Logue, the original model for No Place to Go called for a traditional October haunted-house experience with rooms that somehow captured the overlying social theme. Each installation would be proposed and created by selected teams of artists.
Then came COVID-19, requiring the organizers to rethink the whole thing according to social distancing rules. “Now it’s a haunted un-house,” says Chopra. “We had to develop a whole new concept instead of having to crush our dreams. The title No Place to Go became a little bit too real.”
Instead of going with their original plan of creating visual environments indoors, the trio settled on the idea of a car tour that safely passed through five locations. They brought on nine artists and more than twenty performers, composers and designers to work out the details.