“Spirit Seekers” is a quick romp with a couple of chills and some really funny moments brought to life on Zoom through the efforts of the Dark Horse Theatre Company. It was an engaging, lively romp.
The play…was brisk, energetic and had a couple of nice chills.
The premise is simple. Four friends who are ghost-hunting geeks periodically find a supposedly, and hopefully, haunted location and spend the night there while livestreaming. This endeavor doesn’t make them any money (they are trying to build up a following), so all they have day jobs. They also squabble and bicker and have varying degrees of beliefs in their mission.
They are spending the night in a “murder house.” A man (Robert) killed his family (wife Catherine, daughters Abigail and Rachel— a cat lover) and hung himself in the attic. The house is without electricity at this point and seems to have been left as it was after the forensic investigation was over. Each member of the team is in a different room linked together through their laptops. This is modern ghost-hunting.
The addition to their usual cohort is having their computer person, Ted (a funny, whiny Ken Gilfillan), with them. He feels underappreciated and especially put-upon when the mother ghost wings a pot lid at him. Margaret (a daft Arden O’Niel) is in the younger daughter’s (Rachel) bedroom. Ensley (a skeptical and needling Audra Jacobs) is set up in the other daughter’s bedroom or the living room (I wasn’t sure which). Finally, the host of this livestream event, Olivia (a tightly-wound Arianne’ Warner), is set up in the attic where the father is.
No one expects anything to happen. Then Margaret, who took some “herbs” to broaden her perception and openness to any ghostly apparitions that might pop in, starts seeing a pink, sparkly orb that moves about the room. She chases it and every time she comes back to the laptop (she just can’t remember to take the laptop with her to record the orb), she has more of a cat face drawn on her, totally unaware of this occurrence. Then the others meet ghosts.
Jacobs is particularly good at invoking a scary moment. She thinks someone has touched her and suddenly is leaping about shrieking like a banshee. (Oddly, my cat, who was watching from behind me, was fascinated by this portion.) In the meantime, Ted is being threatened by kitchen implements, and Olivia in the attic is menaced by the dead father. We don’t see the ghosts, just the reactions of these ghost hunters which was surprisingly physical given the medium.
The play is fun and was written specifically for livestreaming by Dark Horse Theatre’s newest company member, playwright Amy Dellagiarino. It was brisk, energetic, and had a couple of nice chills. There was enough character development to get a sense of who these young adults were.
Direction was by Natasha Parnian, who is also the managing director of Dark Horse Theatre Company.
Running Time: Forty-five minutes straight through.
Show Advisory: Adult language; implied drug (aka herb) use.
“Spirit Seekers” will be available on Youtube. Go to the Dark Horse Theatre Company (The Plains, VA) here for more information.