MONTCLAIR, NJ - Montclair, New Jersey braced for a ghoulish night as Journey Lab, a theatre company, invited a select group of attendees to their fundraiser held at a private home in Montclair. Guests were forewarned to leave preconceived notions of a boring holiday party at home and get ready for revelry and a night to remember.

Journey Lab specializes in blending reality with the theatrical. Co-founder Victor Carinha said the event was a warm up for a much larger venture coming in February 2016.

Invitees were given the secret address by email. When they arrived at the event they were escorted one by one to a teepee where a gypsy read their fortune.

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Following hors d’oeuvres there was a procession led by a pastor. The group followed. From séances to absinthe, bobbing for apples to dancing with the actors, it was not your everyday Halloween event.

Christy Casey who was Regina Engstrand in the production said, “The body is my favorite instrument to tell a story, so storytelling through movement and dance is what I want to explore as a theater artist”.

When asked how this interactive experience compared to say, another performance called Tony and Tina’s Wedding, Casey replied, “This is NOT Tony and Tina's wedding! For the Halloween event there are similarities in structure, but the style is completely different”.

“It was fascinating, clever and original. It sets the stage for me to be curious to see what they do next,” said Vicky, an audience member who was sipping on a glass of hot, spiced wine.

Jennifer Wilson playing Helene Alving, who studied Theatre and received an MA from The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, described her main focus as “performance through movement and dramaturgy. I am the most excited and inspired creating work through movement”.

We asked the actress if this type of work was usual or if it represented a break in her pattern? Wilson replied, “I am passionate about it but this is fairly new for me. It's exciting to be a part of a group looking to break the walls of traditional theatre!”

When the séance concluded, another audience member, Mary Beth Sullivan told Tap into Montclair, “I thought it was well done. It whets my appetite for the production.”

Victor Carinha, co-founder and artistic director said that he chose Montclair because they love the local community. He said, “We love our local community. One of our company values is to strive for diverse connections because we believe that amazing things happen when people get together. Montclair also has a deep love for the arts, and we wanted to break new ground with a community that loves storytelling as much as we do.”


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