Set in a 15,000-square-foot, custom-built space in Times Square is Pip’s Island. The completely original theatrical experience transferred from its temporary home at Skylight Modern in Chelsea, to the massive $20 million theatre-set-meets-playground this past May—and has quickly become go-to theatre for families.
While celebrities such as Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka, Cynthia Nixon, Megyn Kelly, and more have brought their families, Pip’s Island has welcomed hundreds of “explorers” with a thirst for immersive theatre.
On Pip’s Island, explorers must travel through nine regions—from the woodland to the deep sea to the polar range—to save the land from the villainous Joules Volter, who has taken over the island’s energy source: the lighthouse. In every room, adventurers must perform a task that will ultimately lead them to conquer Volter and rescue the day. “During the experience, kids are asked to steer Pebble’s flying ship by wrangling handles and levers, decorate faux cakes in Grumble’s bakery, and find hidden crystals to activate a transmission device,” says Rania Ajami, one of the founders who conceived of Pip’s Island.
And though Pip’s Island shares the scale and imagination of a children’s museum, the original story and actors who bring it to life elevate the experience to a new type of children’s theatre. The settings combine live performance, puppets, animation, and objectives to conquer in this vibrant, sensory world conceived by brother-sister duo Rania and Rami Ajami. Designed for kids ages four to 10, the hour-long journey is a transportive one.
“At Pip’s Island, children are not simply being told a story, but they are active participants in the narrative,” says Ajami. “Unlike children’s museums and traditional theatre experiences, Pip’s Island takes you on a live adventure. Children step inside the story and go on an expedition through a magical world.”
Here, creative director Walter Krudop takes us inside the Meadow of Pip’s Island with secrets behind the innovative design.