Costumes and masks are recycled from past shows for Caravan Farm Theatre's eighth annual Walk of Terror Saturday.

There’s something nasty in the woodshed

Things go bump in the night when Caravan Farm Theatre hosts its eighth annual Walk of Terror Saturday.

“About a maid I’ll sing a song

Who didn’t have her family long

Not only did she do them wrong

She did every one of them in.”

— Rickety Tickety Tin

Leaves crunch underfoot as the group of women walk up the sun-lit pathway. Coming to a clearing where this summer’s magical A Midsummer Night’s Dream was staged, it’s hard to believe that in a day, this tranquil walk through the woods will transform into a nightmare to end all nightmares.

Caravan Farm Theatre is preparing for its eighth annual Walk of Terror, and it’s pulling out all the stops this Saturday.

For those who are squeamish towards the undead and all things that creep in the night, or who have a heart condition, be warned: the Walk of Terror lives up to its name, and is for those who love their horror served on a platter of Edgar Allen Poe brains with a little guts and blood, a la George A. Romero.

And yes, like Night of the Living Dead, there will be zombies and so much more. (Insert witch’s cackle here.)

“This one will have lots of people talking,” said Caravan’s artistic director Courtenay Dobbie. “This is a fun, crazy thing to do, get dressed up, and to go with friends… It’s perfect for the family.” (Although parents may want to test their child’s fear factor first. This is staged in the dark, spooky woods, with things that go bump in the night.)

“This is also a time for us to let loose and break out. When we put on a play, we usually have to follow more rules. This will appeal more to the Harry Potter fans, teens and family, who won’t be forced to sit, but to scream out loud.”

It’s all in fun, of course, and Caravan has amped up creepiness by inviting actor/directors Anita Rochon and Emelia Symington Fedy, of Vancouver’s aptly titled Chop Theatre, to stage a theatrical component to the walk.

Dobbie attended Langara College’s Studio 58 theatre school with both women, and Symington Fedy has been to Caravan previously to act in shows such as the winter production We Three Queens.

“The last show all three of us did together wßas a horror show called Sleep Tight for Theatre Melee at the Vancouver Fringe Festival,” said Dobbie.

Ideas have been brewing since the women arrived at Caravan Monday, with eyes wide open to the possibilities of scaring the pants off all who walk the walk, which will actually be lit by paper-bag luminaries so you can at least see where you are going.

This year’s theatrical theme is based on Rickety Tickety Tin, an Irish drinking song with a Lizzie Bordenesque storyline.

“It’s about a young girl who murders her family,” said Symington Fedy, who plans to roam around during the walk as the “girl.”

“It will be interactive where we will engage the audience and scare them with the possibilities.”

With the theatrical element taking place around the clearing and throughout the walk, other “displays” will feature everything from a puppet show version of Rickety Tickety Tin, created by designer Scott Crocker in one of Caravan’s original stagecoaches, to a taxidermist’s shack (let’s just say it’s not animal parts being sewn in there.)

“We are using some of the remains and buildings on the property,” said Dobbie. “People will want to look inside some of the shacks just in case.”

The other main component about the Walk of Terror is the community’s involvement.

Volunteers coming to help  include students from UBC Okanagan’s interdisciplinary studies program, who are returning with another terrifying scene.

“Last year they had this sort of science experiment with baggies of red blood, actually Jello,” said Dobbie. “It was gross.”

Vernon performing arts instructor and actress Christina Cuglietta-Braun (seen in Powerhouse Theatre’s Lend Me a Tenor last season) is also bringing a group of young students, ages eight to 12, to act as zombies, and other students will be making caramel apples for walkers to enjoy afterwards.

Besides the concession, which will also include hotdogs and refreshments, people will be able to calm their nerves in Caravan’s open-air barn for a dance party featuring Vancouver’s funky soulsters the Star Captains.

“It will be like a palate cleanser,” said Symington Fedy.

Gates to Caravan Farm Theatre, located at 4886 Salmon River Rd. north west of Armstrong, open at 6:30 p.m. with the Walk of Terror starting at 7 p.m. and the Star Captains performance at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under, available in advance at the Ticket Seller (549-7469, or at the gate.


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