Theatre and New Dance department publicist earns Emmy nomination

By Cecilia Leyva, Aug. 31,  2021

The publicist for Cal Poly Pomona’s Department of Theatre and New Dance, Chelsea Sutton, is up for an Emmy nomination. Sutton’s “Welcome to the Blumhouse Live” stands to win an Emmy for the category of Outstanding Interactive Program. 

The “Welcome to the Blumhouse Live” interactive theatrical experience is an original story tied to four thematically different films. Sutton, along with co-directors Matt Hill and Lisa Sanaye Dring worked alongside the Little Cinema agency to create an immersive experience that drew inspiration from the Blumhouse films: “Nocturne,” “Evil Eye,” “Black Box” and “The Lie.” 

The program incorporated pre-recorded acting, live performances, interactive online features and a real-time chat room with the actors and other participants. 

“It was half theater and half video game,” said Sutton. 

The primary objective of many of the participants was to play detective to find their missing person. The show takes place in a 10 room home where each room exposes more and more of Sutton’s handwritten clues to help solve the case. 

“The audience had total ownership over how they wanted to solve this puzzle,” commented Sutton.

Participants who opted out of detective work could poke around and interact with others or watch the performance of the musical guest, Ludacris, in one of the show’s rooms. 

“There was a bit of something for everyone,” stated Sutton.

Sutton recalled a surreal rush of emotion following her discovery of the nomination. She acknowledged “I had no idea this was even a category, much less that we could be nominated until I got a call from Matt.” 

Before joining the CPP community, Sutton was a writer for 13 years. 

For Sutton, the program was a means to keep theater alive amidst the pandemic through an “accessible and immersive experience.” With the limiting of many theatrical productions, she felt it important to create an experience for many to enjoy.

Along with her Emmy-nominated work, Sutton continues to work on interactive programs. Her new project, which also includes Dring, is a mobile app. The app will feature a series of ghost stories and some historical elements of Los Angeles’s Little Tokyo. The project is set to be released this October.

While the “Welcome to the Blumhouse Live” experience is no longer available, enthusiasts may still visit the program’s website and enjoy some pre-recorded aspects of it by visiting the “Welcome to the Blumhouse Live” website.

Weeks of anticipation will soon come to an end for Sutton and her team. Emmy winners will be announced at the 73rd annual Emmy Awards. The award ceremony will air on Sept. 18 on the FXX channel.  

Graphic by Sharon Wu | The Poly Post

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