Virtual Event #2 | ‘Lovecraft Country: Sanctum’ | Social VR Experience ‘An American Dream’

Work September 29, 2020

Travelers to ‘An American Dream’ experienced an immersive theatrical performance inspired by the words of James Baldwin, created by Lovecraft Country writer Shannon Houston, and performed by star Jurnee Smollett.

“The monologue that Shannon Houston crafted exceeded any expectations, we were all truly speechless when we first saw the script.” said Aline Ridolfi, Experience Director at The Mill, “We created the experience around the iconic James Baldwin debate speech, centered on the American Dream, that features in episode one. Given Baldwin’s voice and presence is so powerful it was crucial to retain that, whilst adding in a poetic, contemporary commentary from the perspective of a Black woman living in the present. In this monologue, both voices explore what the American dream means now and meant then. The pain and the beauty. The heartbreak and the hope.”

“We were privileged to have Jurnee Smollett perform the piece. Within the environment, Jurnee was represented by a full-body avatar, with James Baldwin represented through a choreography of set design elements, dynamic lights and particles; forming a powerful and provocative experience.”

More about Lovecraft Country Sanctum:

To celebrate the highly anticipated new series Lovecraft Country, we teamed up with HBO to create Lovecraft Country: Sanctum, a series of first-of-their-kind virtual reality events transporting guests into a world inspired by the show. The second event ‘An American Dream’ premiered on Thursday 24th September and you can watch the livestream on YouTube above or via this link!

100 select influential voices experienced the event via the Oculus Quest headset. The event was simultaneously run on the social VR platform VRChat, which allowed guests to talk and interact with each other in real-time within the environment, and streamed to the world via YouTube Live. Viewers on the YouTube Live stream were able to interact in real-time, solving riddles to trigger spells that directly impact the experience. Sanctum was developed by our team of artists, coders and strategists who developed the experience during the global lockdown, in close collaboration with HBO’s marketing team.


You can view Sanctum via YouTube Live during the following dates and times this Fall:

Event #1: Garden of Eden | COMPLETE

Thursday, September 3

10:00 PM ET/ 7:00 PM PT

Event #2: An American Dream | COMPLETE

Thursday, September 24

10:00 PM ET/ 7:00 PM PT

Event #3: Music of the Cosmos

Monday, October 19

10:00 PM ET/ 7:00 PM PT


Get in touch with Mill Experience via Stay tuned for our Lovecraft Country: Sanctum Case Study!