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The Journal Gazette

  • Courtesy Christopher J. Murphy plays the ghost of a nobleman in “The Canterville Ghost.”

Friday, October 06, 2017 1:00 am

Youtheatre scares up 'Canterville Ghost'

If you go

What: “The Canterville Ghost”

When: 8 p.m. today, 4 p.m. Saturday, and 2 and 4 p.m. Sunday

Where: Auer Center, 300 E. Main St.

Admission: $18 adults, $12 seniors and children 18 and younger; $12 each for a group of 10 or more; FortWayneYoutheatre.org

This weekend, Fort Wayne Youtheatre transforms the Auer Center for Arts and Culture into a spooky mansion for its interactive performances of Oscar Wilde's “The Canterville Ghost.”

Areas of the building will become parts of Canterville Chase as members of the audience go from room to room to watch the story of a family that moves into the great house, which is haunted by the ghost of a dead nobleman.

The show begins in the Black Box Theatre, which will be serving as the ballroom for Canterville Chase. After the first scene, the butler and housekeeper each take a group of audience members to other rooms of the mansion. In one, the family dines while waited on by servants. In another, they will find a formal tea with nobility. When switching rooms, the groups walk the mansion's halls where they will come upon different characters. Eventually the groups meet again in the main ballroom for the end of the show with real food and drinks.

Though it is a spooky story complete with clanking chains, moaning ghosts and “lightning,” director Leslie Hormann says the show is suitable for all ages even though Oscar Wilde's original was not written for young kids.

“When I adapted it, I really did downplay the gory parts, and I really increased the physical comedy,” says Hormann, Youtheatre's executive and artistic director. The emphasis is on family-friendly fun.

The cast includes 28 people, ranging from age 9 to adults. Northrop freshman Morgan Schmitt, 14, stars as the family's daughter, Virginia, who befriends the ghost played by Christopher J. Murphy.

– Corey McMaken, The Journal Gazette