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Harken! - Safely Outdoors!

Live theater that YOU can control is here! Imagine all the fun you can have when YOU are the one who influences what happens on stage during The Riddlesbrood Touring Theater Company's spring production, “Harken – A Game of Phones.”

harken mainstage show
the community theatre kids of riddlesbroods harken

“Harken”, an original fantasy adventure that unfolds within a medieval "Game-of-Thrones- like" world, is like no show you’ve ever seen before! Combining live action and spectacular 3-D computer-game-like scenery using advanced smartphone technology, "Harken" is a unique marriage of real life action and virtual reality with actors performing in front of full screen video projected sets using the latest digital technology.

In addition, the audience can participate in the show by directing the action on stage from the comfort of their seat using an innovative computer application. Prior to the show, the audience will be invited to use their smartphone; giving them the ability to influence the live action by voting through a special webpage. This will finally, be the first play you can actually PLAY!

“Harken” is the name of the mythical fantasy world the five main characters are transported into. Each character reveals unique personality traits that both help and hinder their progress and elicit or repel empathy from the audience. Each audience member can choose their favorite character.

the harkenites
the kids of Harken

From Carter, the strong, courageous ex-football star, who can be a bit offensive at time, to Crystal, the former cheerleader, who is beautiful and kind but a bit naïve, the characters display a wide variety of traits the audience can relate to. Ranging from the nerdy, endearing brainy type, like Trevor, with his insecurities and lack of social skills, to the smooth-talker, Shane, a former class president, who is charming and persuasive, and Ivy, an independent, nonconformist, whose strong spirit and natural curiosity could prove to be invaluable during the game, all the characters are engaging, yet, flawed; leaving the audience wondering who could really be a winner.

Like the suspenseful television show, "Survivor", each character must journey through the adventure to “win” the contest. But unlike a reality show, where you can only shout at your TV while rooting for your favorite player, in “Harken” you can actually help out your chosen character. Depending on how the audience votes, the characters navigate treacherous obstacles such as dark, scary caves and creepy dungeons through a series of challenges like battle dragons, giants and even the undead! The “better” the audiences' choices, the more points their character wins. Characters are eliminated by popular vote, one by one, until only one remains, who reaches the top of the mountain. Consequently, there is a different ending every time depending which character wins!

“What makes Harken so unique is that we’re using C.G.I., usually only seen in computer games,” says co-writer/Director Ryan Long of the Riddlesbrood Touring Theater Company. “We’re using a full-motion video backdrop. The scenes are 3-D rendered environments that move with the actors. They’re not static images or looping video. It’s like you’re actually walking through a castle, or whatever happens to be on the screen, and the backdrop shifts as it would do in real life. "

Harken adventurers

"What makes ‘Harken’ even more exciting is that the audience can participate by choosing a favorite character and voting on what happens next", said Long. "Voting is optional. If members of the audience don't have a smartphone, they can just watch and enjoy the show unfold. "Harken" is fun for the whole family whether they decide to play or not.”

Actors from The Riddlesbrood Touring Theater Company, local actors and graduate students from the Arts on the move program comprise the cast of “Harken – Game of Phones.” The show features action-packed adventure with stage combat scenes, stunning costumes, and heart-pounding original music.

You’ll experience an exhilaration and involvement you’ve never felt before when you determine what happens on stage right in front of you safely in an outdoor format.

So, whether you’re a frequent theater-goer, or you’ve never been to a play or musical, you won’t want to miss this unique new show! And since the ending is different every time because it's dictated by each audience, you’ll want to play more than once!

Make sure to come and see the outdoors Harken shows in Historic Smithville in May 2021!!

Riddlesbrood Touring Theater Company has twenty years of experience performing hilarious murder mysteries, musicals and other original mainstage shows such as, “Harken – A Game of Phones.” Today, they are considered the top touring theater group in the New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware region.



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