Heartbeats pounding and leaves crunching underfoot won’t be the only creepy things visitors will hear when Caravan Farm Theatre launches its annual Walk of Terror.
With the cancellation of several Halloween events around the B.C. Interior this year, Caravan has decided to go ahead with its 17th annual Walk of Terror. However, the theatre is making several changes so that people can enjoy the event in a safe and socially distanced manner, says Estelle Shook, Caravan’s artistic and managing director.
“We looked around and saw that many Halloween events were being cancelled, and as one of the oldest professional arts organizations in the valley, we felt that we had a responsibility to provide a safe opportunity for people to celebrate the season,” Shook said. “Last year saw more than 2,000 people embark on the WoT over a two-night period, so we knew we’d have to do things differently to be able to go ahead this year.”
The WoT typically involves a team of 100 community volunteers dressing up in theatre costumes and enacting eerie scenes on elaborate sets created by Caravan’s artistic team, as well as the stilt walking pyrotechnics of Kelowna’s premier performance troupe, Kinshira. With this year’s event designed to meet Covid-19 health regulations, the walk will not involve the community members but will instead feature a unique audio design that is sure to send the hair on the back of your neck standing on end, Shook says.
Caravan has consulted with Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, internationally renowned sound installation artists based in Grindrod, and have enlisted Lobe, a state-of-the-art Vancouver spatial sound studio, to create the soundscape design.
“We are excited to explore this application of sound design and are so grateful for the advice and encouragement that Janet and George have provided. They are internationally acclaimed artists, their sound installations and sculptures have shaped an entire genre, and their award-winning work takes them all over the world. We’re fortunate to have them here in the Okanagan,” said Shook, who has written the script and designed the route for this year’s walk.
Caravan will also continue its collaborative relationship with Kinshira, who will embody three spectacular characters along the walk. Vancouver actor Lili Beaudoin, who played Marie in Caravan’s winter sleigh-ride production of The Nutcracker last winter, will provide the voice for the WoT, recording in Vancouver at Lobe Studio.
“People will embark on a journey with the character voiced by Lili, and on the way encounter horror-filled moments, in surround sound, with images that reflect what you’ll hear through the headphones. It will be a whole lot more terrifying than our previous walks” says Shook.
This year’s event will take place over eight evenings, instead of two, from Oct. 21 to 30.
Participants must bring their own headphones and will receive a sanitized MP3 player at the start of the walk. Once they hit play, the story will begin to unfold. The walk is approximately 30 minutes, and the whole experience takes just under an hour.
Tickets to Caravan’s Walk of Terror must be booked in advance at https://caravanfarmtheatre.com/show/walk-of-terror-2/. Gates open 10 minutes before showtime. Please note that due to Covid-19 regulations, a concession and bar will not be available; however, Caravan is looking at bringing in food trucks onsite during the performances. The show is also not recommended for young children or those sensitive to spooky themes.