A Michael Scott production: The Office Experience opens in Chicago

By Kristen Gesicki and Bianca Kreusel

Real props used in “The Office” are put on display in the exhibit, including Dwight’s CPR mask and the character’s original outfits. Bianca Kreusel

The sound of paper shuffling, phones ringing and Jim Halpert pranking Dwight Schrute are some of the staples of Scranton, Pennsylvania’s favorite paper company, Dunder Mifflin. The sitcom can now be explored in downtown Chicago, with all of its quirks included. It’s not superstitious, but it’s a little stitious.

The Office Experience, a two-story immersive display of the famous NBC show, “The Office,” is located at 540 N. Michigan Ave. The experience opened Oct. 15 and continues until Jan. 17.

A collaboration between Superfly X, Universal Live Entertainment and Greg Daniels — the creator of the U.S. version of “The Office”— allows fans to walk through the nine seasons of the hit comedy show.

Americans cumulatively streamed the show for more than 57 billion minutes in 2020, according to Variety.

Jamaal Orr, vice president of marketing for Superfly X, said the experience was conceptualized early on in the pandemic.

“A lot of the ways [that] the interactions happen were thought through with the pandemic in mind,” Orr said. “We had that window of the world shutting down to really think through, ‘How can we create something that fans can enjoy and interact with, but still be safe within the space?’”

Visitors can sit at each character’s desk and explore hidden items from the show’s run. Bianca Kreusel

Fans first enter the parking lot of Dunder Mifflin and are welcomed with a video narrated by the assistant to the regional manager. Dwight Schrute explains the rules of the experience — wear face masks, social distance, take pictures and immerse yourself as a Dunder Mifflin Paper Company employee. Multiple hand-sanitizing stations are placed throughout the experience for visitors to use after interacting with the sets and props.

The journey continues to a room dedicated to the staff of Dunder Mifflin — the walls displaying facts and famous quotes from the characters.

Real props and costumes from the NBC studio are displayed throughout the experience, like Prison Mike’s purple bandana, the Dundies trophies and the CPR dummy mask that Dwight proudly scalped.

Pam Beesly’s secretary desk greets fans once they walk in the doors of Dunder Mifflin, and Michael’s “World’s Best Boss” mug proudly sits on his desk. An exact replica of the office space includes interactive phone calls at each character’s desks and props such as Dwight’s stapler in Jello, which can be found in his desk drawer, courtesy of Jim’s famous pranks.

“It was top priority for Superfly, Universal and Greg Daniels to create an as authentic experience as possible,” said Alex Jukubiak, the vice president of Carol Fox and Associates, which helped bring media attention to the experience. “We wanted to lay it out exactly how it was laid out in the show, so fans could feel like they were stepping directly in the middle of an episode.”

Fact: The Office Experience is located at 540 N. Michigan Ave. and is open through Jan. 17. Bianca Kreusel

After the exhibit, fans can take photos from famous scenes of the series such as “Beach Day,” Michael Scott’s Paper Company office and Kevin’s ultimate defeat with his chili.

Fans can witness Pam and Jim’s iconic love story, from the tea pot to dancing down the aisle with the employees at their wedding.

Super fans can put their Office knowledge to the test with crossword puzzles and a space that is recreated for fans to set up their phones to give their own confessions and interviews.

Tickets are on sale ranging from $37.50 to $45 depending on time slots selected. Fans can get personalized Dunder Mifflin badges and branded lanyards before they head into “work.”

For the “interns,” students can get a 10% discount in the retail store by showing their student identification card.

“Even a casual fan can take this all in and have a full immersive experience in the space, or someone cold off the street,” Orr said.