Contact the Afterlife! Pyewacket Society, Filled with Spirits, Members, and Ghosts
Written by: The Bat
I wasn’t sure when the “show” started and I still am not 100% sure… in hindsight, I’m pretty sure it was at the door when they asked for our tickets. Some small talk with a fine gentleman with a heavy Irish accent to say the least we were a bit distracted.
He led us into a bar area and told us to mingle with the other guests and that some were part of the show. As the Dragon went to get a drink one of the patrons had struck up a conversation. I wandered off to explore the different people to see if I could figure out who was an actor and who was waiting for the show.
Dragon: There was a sketchbook! And he initiated contact in a pleasant manner… that’s appealing in a person… or ghost.
I had the honor of meeting one of the female founders of The Pyewacket Society, the group that had supposedly invited us to this event. A few toasts on her part and a comment about needing more women in power, and I wandered on.
After wandering for a bit I made my way back to the Dragon who was still waiting on service. Not the fastest service ever… or was that the point? In any case, she was chatting with a student who had a really cool sketchbook. I do hope he ends up making that children’s book he was talking about. If the imagery in his sketchbook was any indicator it would be right up my alley, macabre and dark all rolled into one.
Dragon: Maybe I could write a macabre and dark kids book… I’m sure I can make that cute! Besides I’m pretty sure he was a ghost so I don’t have to worry about any legal issues 🙂
Then we met a charming fellow in a fur coat who seemed awfully interested in posing for pictures….or maybe he just wanted to steal our jewelry. I couldn’t quite tell…..
After we had a few drinks they came and got us… Well, Dragon had to chug her drink which sadly didn’t lead to any inebriation issues to enjoy. Another couple, the Dragon and I were led off to a set of stairs and warned about various cautions. The Dragon took the lead without concern for those cautions we were warned about.
Dragon: They said there would be ghosts and fun! Who wouldn’t be excited to leap into that!?
The sets for this production seem simple at first.. but clouded by darkness and fog, they still transported the viewer. A simple bit of furniture and some decorations shrouded in darkness lend a dreamlike that fit the show perfectly. I am told that the sets were designed and put together by members of the theater troupe, Troy Heard, the director, designed many of them, as well as Corey Covell and Coral Benedetti. Will McMichael did much of the special FX makeup. I know a lot of haunts and theaters have their actors wearing many hats, and I applaud them for it. It also makes the level of the sets even more impressive to me.
One of the main things I loved about this theme is that you did not know entirely what you were getting into when you arrived. The website mentions a society that is trying to contact the undead, which made me think we might be going to some kind of seance….and I could not have been more wrong. It is definitely about Ghosts, so it does keep to its’s promise, but it offers a much deeper of an experience than the guests would imagine. So can something adhere to a mysterious and somewhat undefined theme? I am not sure. But they did immerse the audience in the theme they had written. Which was a success, as it is immersive theater!
First, I have to say, that even without the background knowledge I learned later, the acting was superb. In some places, it could be seen as a bit overdone. Then you learn that is not the acting, the character going on and on….but I won’t say more there. I’ll let you decide for yourselves. Then I found out from one of the actresses, Juliana Renee, that the script was not written by only Troy Heard, the creator. Some of the main players in the cast had written many of their own lines! They were given a storyline and workshopped their lines with Heard. The cast was also given liberty to ad-lib as necessary to go along with audience reactions. So they were expected to put on a play, one which some of them helped write, but without knowing half of the lines they would be reacting to. Without spoiling anything, I believe I can tell you that your party might be split and encounter different actors throughout your experience, but neither the Dragon nor I encountered a bad actor that night. A couple of them even gave me chills.
While neither of us jumped, screamed, or ran away, there were definitely parts of the show that gave me the chills. One line about putting steel rods in my fingers was definitely shudder-worthy. And a few crescendo moments drew the audience into where we could feel the sound and the movement and the feeling of the scene. My only complaint at all was that it was too short! The last scene brought you to a peak…and then spit you back out into the bar, a bit confused and shaken. That feeling of disorientation was an asset to the chill factor, but I wanted more to see before that!