There's a whole new way of presenting live theater productions soon to embark for Historic Smithville. “Harken - A Game of Phones," an original fantasy adventure by Riddlesbrood Touring Theatre Company, that unfolds within a medieval “Game-of-Thrones-like” world, will be the featured attraction at Riddlesbrood's two-day outdoor Fantasy AdventureFest on Saturday, May 22 and Sunday, May 23. Performances will be at 1, 4:30 and 8:30 p.m. Saturday and at 1 p.m. Sunday.
A variety of vendors with fantasy and adventure themed art, artistry and collectables will add to the weekend festivities.
Actors from The Riddlesbrood Touring Theatre Troupe, along with over 20 children and local actors from the Delaware Valley, will perform in “Harken – A Game of Phones," a thrilling show that features action-packed adventure with stage combat scenes, stunning costumes, heart-pounding original music and dancing.
“Harken” is the name of the mythical, fantasy world that the 5 main characters are transported into where they must overcome many threats to their survival. The Show will be presented on Riddlesbrood's new, portable main stage, along with two other stages set up on the Village Green in the heart of the Village of Smithville.
From the start, the actors in "Harken" encourage audiences to join in and change the course of the plot of the show using their smartphones. Once they choose their favorite living avatar from the 5 main characters, they can gain control of the show by choosing their avatar's path. It doesn't take long before the audience is immersed in a mystifying universe that fades the boundaries between reality and fantasy - a place where they can help their avatar overcome deadly obstacles from dragons and giants, to the undead, to fulfill their quest. As the decisions of the participating members of the audience mount up, they gain points and could go home the ultimate winner.
Like the suspenseful television show “Survivor,” each of the main characters must journey through the adventure to “win” the contest. But unlike a reality show, where you can only shout in frustration at the TV while rooting for your favorite player, in “Harken,” you can help the character of your choice. Since this audience-controlled format guarantees that no two shows are ever alike, Ryan Long, Executive Director of Riddlesbrood, invites audiences to attend as many shows as they can during the Fantasy AdventureFest.
"What makes 'Harken' even more engaging is that the audience can get involved by choosing a favorite character and voting on what happens next," Long said. "Voting is optional, though. If you don’t own a smartphone, or just want to watch and enjoy - that’s fine, too! The show is fun for the whole family, whether you decide to play or not.”
"Harken" has been a pet project of Long's for years. As he worked on the innovative concept and its technical aspects, he got so involved in the alternate universe of the play that he, a serious colanger, himself, ended up creating a new language for "Harken." With help from famed colanger and linguist, David Peterson, creator of the Dothraki and Valyrian languages for the remarkable television series, "Game of Thrones," Ryan developed a language for "Harken" he calls "Riddlesdiculous," providing another level of theatrical experience rarely offered to audiences.
"To see 'Harken' come to life in our new, outdoor format at our first Fantasy AdventureFest at Historic Smithville offers us a whole new horizon of opportunities to engage audiences of all ages in an exciting and fun escape from reality," explained Long.
Stopping for a moment to shake his head, he added, "That's something we all can use right now."
During the Fantasy AdventureFest, Historic Smithville, a year-round travel destination for couples, families, and seniors, will be bustling with activities, with something of interest for everyone. For added entertainment, their whimsical Smithville Train and fanciful Smithville Carousel will also be open and running both days for children and adults alike to ride and share an unforgettable experience. Both attractions are just $3. Paddle boats will also be available to rent during the weekend.
50 charming specialty shoppes, an Antique Arcade, historic Smithville Inn restaurant, along with 3 other main restaurants and 7 eateries within the Village, will be open to visit and enjoy before the shows, during intermissions or after the matinee shows. Reservations are suggested.
For visitors who would like to stay overnight or the entire weekend, picturesque, lakeside lodging is available at the Colonial Inn Bed and Breakfast with 32 rooms nestled within walking distance of the Village. For reservations, visit ColonialInnSmithville.com
Buses disembark at historic Smithville Inn built in 1787. Recently voted "Best Off Shore Restaurant," the award-winning restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and is renowned for its spectacular Sunday Brunch.
Vendors include one-of-a-kind, handmade fantasy ceramics, paintings and video game fan art by Amber Gryphon Armory and handmade fantasy board games and accessories, 3D Fantasy maps and custom laser engraving by Lodestone Games (both on Etsy.com). There are a limited number of vendor spaces available. For a vendor application, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Historic Smithville is located at 615 E Moss Mill Road, Smithville. For more information about Riddlesbrood's "Fantasy AdventureFest," go to Riddlesbrood.com/harken.