The Illinois Shakespeare Festival's annual Shakesfear event -- mixing some of Shakespeare's characters with the basic structure of a haunted house -- starts tomorrow night at Ewing Cultural Center in Bloomington.
There are two options: a half-hour "Haunted Tour" kicked off by the immortal Bard himself, after which brave souls will be guided around the grounds to see frightening scenes from Shakespeare recreated for them, or the "Enchanted Courtyard," which offers crafts and treats and less scary performances for everyone under the age of 8 and anyone not looking for the scary stuff.
The tours leave every ten minutes beginning at 7 pm on October 27, 28 or 29, with the last group setting out at 9:30 pm. The scenes they'll see may be on the balconies, in the gardens or even backstage at the Festival theater, wherever seems appropriate for the likes of drowned Ophelia and her seaweed-dripping locks, mad Lady Macbeth and her bloody hands, or perhaps Richard III haunted by the ghosts of everyone he murdered. Who and what will be performed this year hasn't been leaked yet, but the body count from plays like Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Richard III, Romeo and Juliet and Titus Andronicus is high enough to provide plenty of material. Witches, apparitions, murderers and mischief-makers abound!
"Haunted Tours" have sold out in the past, so you are advised to make a reservation by calling the Illinois State University box office at 309-438-2535 or 866-IL-SHAKE. Buying ahead not only gets you a reserved spot at a specific time, but a lower ticket price. It's $7 for adults who plan ahead and $10 at the door (cash only) if there are spaces left. Admission for children and students is $5 either in advance or at the door.
The Ewing Cultural Center is located at 48 Sunset Road in Bloomington. Parking is available at St. John’s Lutheran Church across the road on Emerson Street. You are asked to cross the street at Emerson and Towanda Avenue so as to avoid traffic.
Please also note that special effects used in this program may include strobe lighting and loud sound and noise. Persons with conditions that can be aggravated by strobe lightning and loud noise should not attend this program. No pets or skates are allowed on the grounds of Ewing Cultural Center. If you need special accommodations to fully participate in this program/event, please contact the Illinois Shakespeare Festival at 309-438-2535. Please allow sufficient time to arrange the accommodation.
For more information, visit www.IllinoisShakes.com.