The immersive experience explores the still-unsolved case of the world's biggest art caper.

By Meghan Overdeep
October 08, 2020
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Art Heist
Credit: Diane Smithers

Calling all aspiring detectives! Put on your walking shoes, turn off Law & Order, and head on down to Austin to help solve a real-life master robbery.

That’s right, y’all. Art Heist, a buzzy true crime walking show, is coming to the Texas capital just in time for Halloween.

The immersive experience explores the still-unsolved case of the world's biggest art caper: when half a billion dollars in paintings disappeared from Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990. It relies on a socially distanced, outdoor setting where socially distanced groups will walk to multiple locations to gather clues.

“The amateur gumshoes interact with a wild group of wily career criminals, slimy con men, rumpled art recovery specialists, a possible inside man, a gentle psychopath, and the larger-than-life but definitely real self-proclaimed Greatest Art Thief of All Time,” a press release proclaims.

Art Heist
Credit: Diane Smithers

“Actors, through conversation, will reveal clues to the detective audience but then again, a red herring or two might present itself," the release continues. "Sharp sleuths will guess who the liars are and ultimately solve the enigma. No two performances will ever be the same as the actors improvise with every interaction.”

The shows will begin and end in front of the historic State Theatre next to The Paramount Theatre. Participants will walk to multiple locations, gathering clues and talking to characters played by local actors stationed throughout Austin. Shows will depart from the State every 30 minutes and are approximately 90-100 minutes long.

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Art Heist, which premiered September 11, at the Vancouver Fringe Festival and enjoyed a sold-out run of 18 performances, is coming to Austin’s State Theatre beginning October 14, where it will have an extremely limited run through October 31st.

Tickets are available now at AustinTheatre.org/art-heist or by calling (512) 474-1221.

Good luck, gumshoes!