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Ghost Hunting (2013)
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Book, Music, & Lyrics by Joel Mercier
Directed & Musically Directed by Joel Mercier
Stage Managed by Frances White
Scenic Design by Joel Mercier
Costume Design by Janet Dare
Lighting Design by Wallace J. Pineault
The Derry Opera House
October 18 - 27, 2013
Media                                                                
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» Production Playbill (pdf)
...
Cast
(in order of appearance)
Malcolm St. Caruthers, Producer & Host ........... George F. Piehl*
Dave Martin, Paranormal Investigator .............. Michael Gallagan
Dwaine Borski, Asst. Paranormal Investigator .... Nathan E. Barnes
Sister Mary Margaret, Religious Consultant ....... Ellen Burger
Eva Jeanne Gebler, Psycic Medium .................. Cathy McKay
The Spirit of Florence Blackwood .................... Katie Proulx

*Appears courtesy of Actors' Equity Association

Synopsis
Spirit Sniffers, a low-budget knock-off of the popular TV show, Ghost Hunters, is taping an episode in front of a live audience on location at the Blackwood Opera House. Owned by actress Florence Blackwood, the theater closed in 1946 after a series of murders committed by the young actress culminating in her own suicide. Two paranormal investigators, the show's sleazy producer, a crack-pot psychic, and one nasty nun attempt to make contact with the spirit of Florence Blackwood. The taping goes from bad to complete disaster when not only does a ghostly sighting occur, but someone winds up dead! Was it the spirit of Florence Blackwood or someone of flesh and blood who committed the murder?

Comedy, mystery, musical numbers, special effects, and an audience-voted ending making each night a different performance creates the perfect Halloween event you won't soon forget!

Analyzing the Act . . .
  • There were over 50 Sound Cues, over 150 Lighting Cues, and 9 Special Effect cues, which we think is a lot for a One-Act.
  • Ghost Hunting had four potential endings. The audience would select the killer and the actors were cued by the color of an envelope that was presented on stage only moments before they had to start performing the correct ending. We were surprised that over the course of 6 performances, all 4 endings were played at least once. Each ending had its own different set of lighting and sound cues and in some cases special effects as well.
  • We were included as one of the 2013 NH Theatre Highlights by the Hippo Press in their annual Year in Review Article.
  • Most of the special effects consisted of special smoke machines and rigged items that dropped or flew across the stage. The biggest magic trick in the show was during the tap sequence, when the glowing tap shoes, hat, & parasol were floating in the dark. As the lights came on they just dropped to the floor with no one present to hold them. This effect took a lot of careful design and rehearsal!
  • The character of Malcolm St. Caruthers came back at the end of the show as a "ghost." This was not the original ending!  It was not until after the first Read-Through with the Cast that the Playwright revamped the ending to include Malcolm, a suggestion by actor George Piehl who played the role.
  • One family of audience members had come all the way from Vermont because it was the weekend before Halloween and it was their family tradition to just do fun Halloween events all weekend. We were honored to be included in their festivities!