HARKEN–A GAME OF PHONES: Audiences Decide on Action with Smartphones!

by Patricia Bradford

Have you ever been to a play and wished you could tell the character, “No don’t do that, do this?” That’s exactly what audiences can do in HARKEN – A GAME OF PHONES. This original fantasy adventure, written and directed by Ryan Long, of Riddlesbrood Theatre runs November 3rd through 5th at Dennis Flyer Theatre, Camden County College. It is based on the story in The Greatest Brochure in the World.

In HARKEN, a group of ordinary people attend a street fair where they’re transported into Harken, fantasy world where they must fight their way out. The audience helps guide them through by interacting with their smart phones! They download a software APP and vote to determine the course of live action.

The set is a 3D world created with technology normally used to make video games instead of a traditional set.

“Each time you see the show it will be different,” said Long. “The action will be different, different characters will win and make their way home. My brother and I were always Dungeons and Dragons fans and wanted to make a realistic show where characters don’t know what direction they’re taking. It took a while to develop and we’ve made a lot of improvements. It’s going to be exciting and fun!”

The group of characters attending the fair are Carter (Frank Breitweiser), Ivy (Ami Reader), Trevor (Colin Crest), Crystal (Alyssa Forney), and Shane (Tom Foye). After entering the world of Harken, along their adventures, they run into a cast of characters including Clyde(Jeff Cleve), Kharlost (Frank Testa), Caladron (Jeff Cleve), Wren (Jillian Dougherty), Ringscythall (Desiree Bounds), Brulontain (Armand Marino, Jr.), Moppler (Jeff Cleve), Werguil (Brian Albert), Priestess (Jennifer Gordon), and Uglan (Brian Albert).

Some of these characters speak their own language, called Brooding.

“Game of Throne fans will be intrigued by the fact that we reached out to the Long Creation Society, which created the Dothraki’s language in the popular series, to create Brooding language for some of the characters living in Harken,” said Long.

Benjamin Paul Johnson is the Fantasy Language Conlanger, or instructor of the foreign words in the show.

Another interesting aspect about the characters in Harken is that a few of them are puppets. This includes two giants that are nine feet tall and each have a person inside operating them. There is also a large turtle that several characters ride. Jeff Cleve serves as puppeteer and assistant director.

Although not a traditional musical, there are four musical numbers in the production: Gimmie Gimmie, Riddlesbrood Theme, Another World, and Awaken. The numbers are choreographed by Jennifer Gordon, while the fight choreographer is Tom Zadoyko. Beth Tinnon is the musical director. Much of the ensemble is featured in the musical numbers. Those actors include: Madison Jones, Josh Pfliegler, Victoria White, Jennifer Gordon, Auesten Puglise, Alexa Writght, Mya Dianco, Aubrey Romaine Asten Puglise, Colin Gordon, Frank Testa, Colin Gordon, Brian Albert, Josh Pfleighler, Austen Puglise, Mya Dianco, Madeline Levins, Aubrey Romain, shea O’Donnell, Destiny Robinson, Madeline Levins, and Mya Dianco.

With cell phones allowed, action-packed fight scenes, and the Game of Throne’s connections, HARKEN — A GAME OF PHONES is a must see! The production runs November 3rd, 7 pm; 4th, 1 and 7 pm; and 5th, 1 pm. Tickets range from $14 – $21. To purchase tickets, visit www.mainstage.org.

About Riddlesbrood Theatre
Riddlesbrood Theatre is dynamic, professional group of entertainers dedicated to providing top-notch amusement—and touring it everywhere! Our unique brand of comedy appeals to a large demographic and will make your guests explode with laughter and leav them thanking you for the fun! Their improvisational Murder Mystery shows are perfect for any kind of event — a birthday bash, family reunion, company party, fundraiser, corporate gala or any other type of shindig.They customize our performances to fit the requirements of your presenting venue, and tailor the show to best befit your event.

Mainstage Center for the Arts, the parent program for Summer Stage, is a 501 © (3) non-profit organization committed to providing a creative, vibrant, and nurturing environment for youth and adults. This program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. This program is also made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey Cultural Trust.

Theater/Organization Mainstage Center for the Arts
Theater/Organization Website: http://www.mainstage.org

Theater/Organization Address: Dennis Flyer Theater, Camden County College 200 College Drive Blackwood, New Jersey 08012 (Map It)
Theater/Organization Phone: (855) 936-2467

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