Groovetastic Tale of the Phantom of the Forest

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BRATTLEBORO — The forests of the Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center will become enchanted once again this year.

The 23rd Forest of Mystery, an interactive theatrical performance, will take place on Friday, Oct. 27, and Saturday, Oct. 28. This year the mystery returns with the writing and directing team, James and Jessica Gelter.

The Groovetastic Tale of the Phantom Forest is set in 1970, and the small town of Cooperdalefield is spooked. Everyone in town knows the local Nighthill Woods have long been haunted by a mysterious phantom, even if no one has ever actually seen it. The Sunshine Corporation thinks it's time to tear the old woods down, and the local flower-power set are camping in the woods to protest. But when the Phantom suddenly begins to appear, terror is struck into the heart of hippie and businessman alike. Is the Phantom real? If not, who is it? Why appear now? It's up to four teenagers, their dog, and you to figure it out, in The Groovetastic Tale of the Phantom of the Forest.

This is the fourth Forest of Mystery written and directed by the Gelters. James Gelter has worked extensively with many local theater groups including The Vermont Theatre Company, the New England Youth Theatre, and Actor's Theatre Playhouse. He has acted in, directed, designed, and/or written shows across southern Vermont. Jessica Gelter is executive director of Arts Alive in Keene, N.H. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from Boston University's Theatre Conservatory program. A writer, director, "techie," musician, and actress, she has taught and directed for several years in many different venues including Boston University, Northeastern University, Apollinaire Theatre, Sea Glass Performing Arts, Camp Allegro, and New England Youth Theatre. The Gelters are joined by a talented group of local actors.

This Halloween season event takes place each year in scenes staged along BEEC's candle-lit trails through forest and meadow. The Forest of Mystery draws hundreds of adults and children each night. Proceeds from ticket sales support BEEC's many environmental education and conservation programs. This year's performance has been underwritten by The Brattleboro Reformer and the Brattleboro Savings & Loan.

Performance "tours" begin every 15 minutes from 6:15 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets must be purchased in advance for $15 for adults, $12 BEEC members, and $8 for children 16 and under ($6 BEEC members). Order tickets early as space is limited. Visit www.beec.org for information and tickets, or call 802-257-5785.

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