A new immersive theatre company debuts in Brooklyn
It’s 1682; the “witch hunter” has come to town to investigate yet another suspicious incident. Will he find witchcraft or some other form of evil? The young girl in question is one, poor Anne Gunter. And she has been afflicted with something terrible: eyes rolling into the back of her head, flailing limbs, babbling verse, and even spitting out pins, to her father Brian’s astonishment. Her family are concerned and have called in two specialists; however, the two priests on the scene are more inclined to use patience and prayer as their primary weapons. Both Father Wake (an authoritative, wise-sounding Daniel Harray) and Father Prideaux (an eager, unsettling Brian Lore Evans) have traveled great distances to the Gunter family home in order to complete their investigation.
But we’re not in just any old family home: we are in the storied Wyckoff House, which is the oldest house in New York City. It has been lovingly restored in the colonial style and now functions as a museum, except for tonight, when it has been transformed into the set for The Visitation. This very old, worn house is mostly dark on this brisk November evening, save for some carefully placed votives. There’s a soft, orange light coming up through the floorboards from the basement.
During The Visitation, multiple scenes occur simultaneously over the course of evening and audience members are free to wander both indoors and outdoors, taking in different pieces of the story. The performance is layered, dense, and rich, with action happening in nearly every corner of the building and its grounds at a rapid pace. Each performer in the talented cast of six carries an eerie glowing lantern that casts ghostly shadows as they wander the historic Wyckoff House grounds.
Interestingly, the show is not looped, meaning that pivotal moments are often revealed by a piercing shriek or violent scuffle heard from afar, as both performers and audience members alike come running from the far corners of the house to see just what has transpired; I often wished for a rewind button to see what I had missed. Over the course of an hour or so, some secrets are confessed to us in conversation, while others are revealed to the audience through action. Characters suspiciously go missing at inopportune moments and some shocking, even violent, moments occur mere feet from us.
And each character in The Visitation seems to have a dark secret they’re hiding from the others. Why is the family servant stealing from her master? Is the daughter truly possessed by evil spirits or is her malady caused by something else, something far more sinister? And what exactly happened to the father’s first wife? Why is the family farm yielding fewer and fewer crops as time goes by, could it be a hex on the land?
Read full article in https://noproscenium.com…