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What The Hell Is Penumbra In Orlando?

Fact: If you send me a mysterious and detailed package in the mail, you will get my attention. I was sent an ominous e-mail from one “K. Alexander,” who asked for my mailing address because there was going to be an announcement about something that has been brewing in Orlando for 28 years. No details were mentioned, but naturally I took the bait and a letter arrived from Penumbra Industries.

Penumbra Orlando

The letter was intentionally vague, but cleverly branded and contained some details that I thought were interesting.

Penumbra Orlando

It was indeed marked confidential, but they are clearly sending letters to members of the media, so it was designed to be shared, right?

Penumbra Orlando

While perhaps a complete coincidence, the actual stamp on the envelope was from a real Civil War battle that took place on April Fools Day, 1865. For those who are not history buffs, The Battle of Five Forks was a major win for the North, as they took Confederate soldiers prisoner and took control of a major railroad the South was using in battle. An uprising, of sorts, seems to be a theme in Penumbra.

Penumbra Orlando

My letter from Mr. Alexander was shiny and quite vague. Yet it mentions visions of a new society realized over 2,000 years ago. All will be revealed as to what this is on February 15, 2016…  but for now, I was encouraged to visit “www.aNewSociety.com.” Notice in the letter above, the “N” and the “S” are the only things capitalized in the web address. A nod to the battle between North and South on the stamp? Perhaps.

Once on the website, the above video starts to play. It gives off a Cyberdine from the “Terminator” films vibe, where this new vision might be is slightly more sinister than it seems. I dig it.


Feel free to browse the site for yourself to see what you make of it. If I had to take a guess as to what it all means, I would say this is a new immersive theater project in Orlando. I have no proof of that. Just a gut feeling. I do have some hesitations though. In the propaganda listed on the website, it mentions three things that give me anxiety just thinking about it: a new society, Greece and Plato. If you’ve followed Theme Park University for a while, you’ll know I experienced the worst piece of entertainment ever last year at an immersive theater event during the Orlando Fringe Fest. I’m hoping and praying this is not some sort of spinoff of that travesty. If I am right, expect there to be a crowd funding campaign along with projected opening dates that probably coincide with the Fringe this year.  What do you think this is? Your thoughts, please.

Penumbra Orlando

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Images Copyright: Theme Park University, Penumbra

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One Comment

  1. bwallace
    Posted February 7, 2016 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    I’m intrigued. Very Dharma Initiative-sounding. I signed up for their notification list, although I don’t live anywhere near Orlando. Maybe it will still be going the next time I’m down there so I can take a look.

    I’m not sure if there’s going to be some kind of Civil War/North and South type of connection based on the context of their website – don’t see a thematic connection – but we haven’t seen nearly everything yet.

    I love the concept of immersive theatre, but not having really experienced any like this I can’t say if they’ve got it quite right yet. Time will tell.

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