‘Walk the Night’ is Shakespeare Like You’ve Never Seen

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October 15th, 2014

Omaha, NE — Take Shakespeare, add a few more ghosts, stir in a masked ball and a pinch of mystery, and let simmer for an evening locked in a haunted mansion. It’s a recipe for a spooky spectacle.

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Walk_the_Night_PosterOpening this week is ‘Walk the Night,’ an interactive theatre experience presented in collaboration with the Bluebarn Theatre. It takes place in an old Victorian Mansion on Cumming St. and is billed as a reimagination of Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet.’ However, the show’s Co Creator, Producer/Director Spencer Williams says the audience won’t need liner notes or a degree in theatre to enjoy the production.

“It is the spectres of ‘Hamlet,’ so those who know ‘Hamlet’ and want to come and see that in a particular way, they can do so,” he said. “If you are completely unfamiliar with ‘Hamlet’ and don’t particularly care to be familiar with it, you can still come and see a ghost story from the early 1900s.”

In addition to Shakespeare and the ghost story, ‘Walk the Night’ includes elements of a masked ball, haunted house, and murder mystery dinner.

“An audience comes as if they’re coming to a party, a party that is centered around a séance to commune with the dead,” he said. “When the séance takes place, it breaks out of the norm, it breaks out of the circle, and the ghosts come alive.”

Williams says the participants can then choose to view different elements of the story from different perspectives.

“The audience is invited and encouraged to explore the whole house and follow what of these ghost they are compelled to follow or stay where they are compelled to stay,” he said. “The story takes off after that point in the séance and the audience can seek it out, or run away from it. They can explore the specific points of a specific character, or stay in a room.”

Creator/Choreographer Sebastiani Romagnolo says that not only are the actors and scenes scattered around the mansion, but the performance styles and genres are equally diverse.

“We have song, dance, Vaudeville, there’s all kinds of combat,” Romagnolo said. “We just put it together in a big petri dish and you get to go with your microscope and look at whatever weird, crazy, fun, exciting growth is happening.”

Romagnolo also says ‘Walk the Night’ takes several steps to make the experience more interactive.

“The more you get dressed up and that, the more you will be able to participate,” he said. “So if you come in a dress or a suit and a masque, you will be so much more invested than if you come in your jeans and a t-shirt because you are also a part of this, you are being asked to participate and you get to play a part, too.”

Of course, audience member don’t have to dress up, though director Spencer Williams points out that greater investment may improve the experience in unexpected ways.

“Those who do participate more, those who are more engaged will be rewarded for that engagement,” Williams said.

Williams also says that there’s a way to explore multiple perspectives in the same evening.

“The residual party takes place twice nightly,” he said. “So you can come once, go through the whole thing, and then turn right back around, get back in line, and go see it again from a completely different perspective.”

‘Walk the Night’ happens twice each evening at 7 and 8:30, and those who stay for the second performance will receive discounted admission. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday until November 1 at the Victorian Mansion at 3837 Cuming St. in Omaha, NE. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.walkthenightwithme.com.

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