Fairies Karmen Sawyer and Lexie Derksen cavort while jesters Kat Hunt and Jessica Derksen cover their ears against the fairy music during Saturday's plat at Gate House Community Theatre in Port McNeill.

Gate House hosts interactive play

Spectators attending a play at Gate House Community Theatre Saturday found themselves part of the story.

PORT McNEILL—Spectators attending a play at Gate House Community Theatre Saturday never received a ticket, and never took a seat. Instead, they found themselves part of the story.

The Wizard’s Daughter, a unique, interactive production featuring both adult actors and members of a pair of youth drama programs, drew dozens of patrons who were asked to help solve the mystery of the missing girl and help return her to her parents in time to be crowned princess of the All Hallows’ Eve celebration.

“We had a lot of people come through,” said Blake Keen, who played the role of the Wizard, who welcomed guests outside the theatre and who started them on their adventure.

“I think we’ll make this an annual tradition,” added Terry Ruth Eissfeldt, who played the wizard’s wife. “I think it went really well.”

The show was held by donation, with groups scheduled for departure every 15 minutes on a tour through the theatre for clues and interaction with groups of actors in various locations throughout the theatre.

The concept may take some time to fine-tune. Nearly 30 people appeared at the 6 p.m. start, and were ushered into the theatre to start their tour through rooms better suited for 6-10 participants.

Combinations of adult and youth actors portrayed royalty, fairies, jesters and other medieval characters straight from a Shakespeare tale, in which the wizard’s daughter was held under the spell of the fairies’ music.

Audience members, after being given clues throughout their “journey”, were eventually taught a song that freed the wizard’s daughter from the fairies’s clutches and returned her to her parents.

Youth drama groups will continue to meet until the Christmas break, with grade 5-7 students meeting each Thursday at 3:30 p.m. and high-school students meeting Thursdays at 5 p.m. and Sundays at 3:30 p.m. For more info, visit gatehouseca.org or check out Gate House Community Association on Facebook.

The theatre’s next show will be a CD release concert by Richelle Andre Nov. 9. The association is planning an evening of vaudeville Nov. 23.