Art Heist Experience
Culver City, CA 90230
Art Heist is a socially distanced, outdoor, immersive true crime show in which audience members meet and interact with various characters associated with the still unsolved heist at Boston’s Gardner Museum in 1990. Thirteen works of art were stolen, valued at half a billion dollars. Not one of them has been recovered. Not one arrest has been made.
The show will comply with all Federal and Local rules with regard to COVID19 health and safety.
Audience groups of twelve or less will walk on a set route and meet various suspects one at a time, interacting with them for ten minutes or so. Each suspect will have an angle, most of which are variations on “I could have done it, but I didn’t.”
We’re looking for diverse casting. Anyone of any age, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, etc. is eligible for any role.
We’ve created extensive documents detailing the arguments each character makes as they claim not to have participated in the heist. Actors will improvise their way through the points provided. Certain points of information will need to come out, and everything the actors say will depend on their interaction with a given audience group.
Experience with improv, hosting, and guided tours are assets.
The show can include humor, but it isn’t a comedy (no exaggerated Baaaston accents, please). The experience we want the audience to have is of excitement and suspense, the thrill that comes with solving a high stakes puzzle. At the end of the show, each audience group will be asked to submit a single guess as to who they think pulled off the crime.
Anthony Amore is the current Head of Security at the Gardner Museum. He knows everything there is to know about the heist, investigates every new lead that pops up (no matter how ridiculous), and is still in daily communication with the Boston office of the FBI about the robbery. He is conservative, thorough, and patient. He’ll start each audience group off, giving them the basics they need to know about the heist, and making sure they understand how the experience they’re about to have works. He’ll give them their mission: to gather enough information to make a guess as to who did it.
Harold Smith was a career insurance investigator specializing in stolen art. He studied the Gardner heist on his own for decades. He suffered from skin cancer, resulting in an eye patch and prosthetic nose that sometimes fell off. He loved telling dad jokes. His role is to meet the audience at the end, engage them in conversation about which suspect they’re leaning toward, and recieve their guess as to who they think did it.
Rick Abath was one of two guards on duty the night of the heist. He was a gigging musician who only took the job for the money. He played in a jam band and hosted parties at the Gardner Museum after hours. Could he have accidentally let slip some secrets about the museum’s security procedures to the wrong people? Or was he an inside man?
David Turner is a career criminal, who has recently been released after serving twenty years in prison. He’s handsome and cool, and was able to deflect the charges for one violent crime after another until he was finally busted for his part in an attempted armored truck heist. He claims he had nothing to do with the Gardner, but did he give information that led to the reduction of his sentence?
Myles Connor Jr is a career art thief, now in his seventies. He turned down a Harvard scholarship and the possibility of a career in medicine or herpetology in order to pursue a life of crime. He loves telling tales of his entertaining criminal escapades, as well as his years fronting a rock band. He couldn’t have pulled the Gardner heist, as he was in prison when it happened. But he’s planned and executed crimes from prison before. Was he the mastermind behind this heist?
George Reissfelder spent sixteen years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit, and was eventually exonerated. But the life available to him on his release involved the only people he knew: other criminals. He became a cocaine dealer for a Boston mobster, and died of an overdose a year after the heist. Did he have the chops to pull off the crime of the century as well?
Brian McDevitt was a con man who spent two years in prison for a failed attempt to rob a small museum in upstate New York. He eventually moved to Hollywood and faked his way into the Writers’ Guild, before moving to South America where he kept to countries with no extradition treaty with the US. He died in 2004. Or did he fake his death? His failed heist bore striking similarities to the Gardner, raising the possibility that he learned from his mistakes and got away with enough money to live in luxury south of the border.
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