An Improvised/Devised Immersive Theatre Experience
Concept and Materials by Margaret O’Donnell

Detention Lottery doesn’t have a text, but is a series of instructions, profiles, and materials that actors and audience use to create a space where actors and some audience members are questioned by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, arrested, and assigned the roles as immigration detainees. Audience members become family or friends of a specific detainee.   Actors play guards, ICE deport officers, ICE arresting officers, judge and defense and prosecuting attorneys.  Like much immersive theatre, it involves the audience’s bodies – they LIVE the fear and uncertainty, and come to understand undocumented immigration to the US at a deeper level.  After the experience, an immigration attorney and the actors lead a talk back.

For more information, or to obtain the materials to host your own Detention Lottery, please contact us at (206) 774-8758, or by email to