Arts & Leisure

Call for actors at Rokeby Museum

FERRISBURGH — Rokeby Museum in Ferrisburgh is planning a new program, Spirits of Rokeby, and is looking for actors.

This production will be held on Friday, Oct. 29 and Saturday, Oct. 30. It’s a short-form experience — part history, part live theater. Guests will arrive in the barn where they will receive a short history talk from the Rokeby director, about the Spiritualist movement and of the family members’ relations to it and each other. Guests will then be escorted into the parlor where actors, lights and sound will bring the historic séances to life. Following the performance staff will lead guests out a separate door for reflections and questions.

The séance will be reenacted by costumed actors with guests as active observers. The performance itself is short, 15-20 minutes, with 30-minute breaks between performances. Small visitor groups with timed tickets, four performances will be held on Friday and eight performances on Saturday.

The historic papers have been adapted into a script, most everything will be direct quotes. The Robinsons spoke in Quaker “plain speech.” The content involves the living communicating with a dead soldier to predict the ending of the Civil War and speaking with relatives who have passed to the other side. With the latter, they used spirit contact as a sort of family therapy, reflecting tensions that existed in their lives and trying to hash out unresolved family issues. Many of the transcriptions are between Rowland and his dead son.

The performance will be a staged reading (no need to memorize lines), four or five rehearsals with a potential dress rehearsal for board members as audience. Rehearsals will be low key and experimental. As a tiny non-profit museum, unfortunately there is no funding so time would have to be volunteer — community-theater style.

Visitors will be required to wear masks indoors (actors excluded), group size between 8-10 people and six-feet between actors and visitors. Plans will remain flexible and if Covid case numbers suddenly rise, the program may shift to digital.

Actors are needed for the following roles:

Rowland Robinson (male, 50-80 y/o)

Spirit of fallen soldier/Spirit of Thomas Robinson (two roles: one actor. Male, 20-40 y/o, intense energy)

Those interested should contact Education Programs Manager Tucker Foltz at [email protected] with a bio and background experience.

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