"The choice is life or death; sin or salvation; heaven or hell. The scenes will be action-packed, real and jaw dropping."
A grade school in Far South Side Chicago was scheduled to host a Christian “Hell House” type attraction which contained a reenactment of the Pulse nightclub shootings, according to Chicago Public School (CPS) officials.
A concerned citizen who only identified themselves as Nat, said they were eating at a local restaurant one evening and saw a flyer, "I went in for some dinner, and promptly lost my appetite when I saw that."
Nat was immediately intrigued, then concerned after the leaflet promised a Tableaux Vivant-style re-enactment of the Florida massacre.
"But when I saw Pulse was mentioned,” Nat said, “my head just about blew up. How could they depict that?"
Michael Passman, spokesperson for CPS, told Windy City Times that the event would not take place at the Fernwood Elementary School, or any other CPS property.
"The event organizers mischaracterized the true content of the event, and we did not approve any association with the activities the organizers have now advertised," he said.
Touted as being a “Christian interactive experience,” by producer Tyrone Tappler Productions, the organizers put out an open-call to Facebook followers for volunteers who wished to portray some of the victims at Pulse:
"Club Pulse, Dancers, Victims … CAGED PEOPLE/SCREAMERS, Extras needed trying to escape a cage! … SOUNDS INTERESTING? COME OUT THIS SATURDAY!!!"
Reportedly, many other anti-Christian themed scenarios were to be represented, such as a botched abortion, and the 2015 Charleston church shooting.
For those who wished to purchase tickets, they were promised, “…a real life haunted house. Guests will experience IN YOUR FACE scenes of dark reality. … You will walk in 10 Rooms and encounter individuals who will make choices. The choice is life or death; sin or salvation; heaven or hell. The scenes will be action-packed, real and jaw dropping."
Nat’s concerns increased as promoters talked about their installation, "in terms of 'moral choices'—whose moral choices are we talking about? Is it immoral to just want to go out and be with your friends and dance? And what really bothered me was that this was in a public school supported by our tax dollars."
The Chicago LGBT publication attempted to contact Tyrone Tappler Productions through their Facebook contact information, but they did not return the call before press time.
Although the event will not be held at a Chicago public school, it apparently will still go live as tickets continue to be sold through Eventbrite, but no details of where it will be held have been given, and of this writing they still list Ferwood Elementary as the event site.
"If you want to have a haunted house with that kind of thing in it, have at it," Nat adds. "But don't do it in a public school."
According to the ticket page Tyrone Tappler is an African-American man from Chicago who is a "Licensed Minister, Actor, Director, Producer, Visionary, Motivational Speaker, and Poet."
The page goes on to describe his company's mission:
"Their purpose brings messages of encouragement and hope. T.LT.J. Productions travels from city to city bringing laughter and thought-provoking shows on the stage, leaving the audience with a clear understanding that “There’s hope in any situation.” This group was started by an African- American man from Chicago Illinois, Tyrone L. Tappler Jr. T.L.T.J Productions was launched in the year of 2003. It began with the first stage production entitled, “Help Lord, I’m Under Attack!”
As of this writing “The Room: A Journey to Hell.” Facebook event page has been removed as have any profiles on Tyrone Tappler, or his production company. However, he does have a webpage.