‘Walk the Night’ is Shakespeare Like You’ve Never Seen
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. Itâ€™s a recipe for a spooky spectacle.[audio:https://kvnonews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/walknight-web.mp3]
Opening this week is â€˜Walk the Night,â€™ 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 Shakespeareâ€™s â€˜Hamlet.â€™ However, the showâ€™s Co Creator, Producer/Director Spencer Williams says the audience wonâ€™t need liner notes or a degree in theatre to enjoy the production.
â€œIt is the spectres of â€˜Hamlet,â€™ so those who know â€˜Hamletâ€™ and want to come and see that in a particular way, they can do so,â€ he said. â€œIf you are completely unfamiliar with â€˜Hamletâ€™ and donâ€™t particularly care to be familiar with it, you can still come and see a ghost story from the early 1900s.â€
In addition to Shakespeare and the ghost story, â€˜Walk the Nightâ€™ includes elements of a masked ball, haunted house, and murder mystery dinner.
â€œAn audience comes as if theyâ€™re coming to a party, a party that is centered around a sÃ©ance to commune with the dead,â€ he said. â€œWhen the sÃ©ance takes place, it breaks out of the norm, it breaks out of the circle, and the ghosts come alive.â€
Williams says the participants can then choose to view different elements of the story from different perspectives.
â€œThe 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,â€ he said. â€œThe story takes off after that point in the sÃ©ance 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.â€
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.
â€œWe have song, dance, Vaudeville, thereâ€™s all kinds of combat,â€ Romagnolo said. â€œWe 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.â€
Romagnolo also says â€˜Walk the Nightâ€™ takes several steps to make the experience more interactive.
â€œThe more you get dressed up and that, the more you will be able to participate,â€ he said. â€œSo 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.â€
Of course, audience member donâ€™t have to dress up, though director Spencer Williams points out that greater investment may improve the experience in unexpected ways.
â€œThose who do participate more, those who are more engaged will be rewarded for that engagement,â€ Williams said.
Williams also says that thereâ€™s a way to explore multiple perspectives in the same evening.
â€œThe residual party takes place twice nightly,â€ he said. â€œSo 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.â€
â€˜Walk the Nightâ€™ 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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