Interactive play offers environmental twist
Every October, the grounds of the Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center are transformed into the Forest of Mystery.

Interactive play offers environmental twist

BEEC presents its 25th Forest of Mystery, ‘The Witch’s Turn,’ on Oct. 24, 25, 26

WEST BRATTLEBORO — Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center, 1223 Bonnyvale Rd., will present its annual Forest of Mystery with “The Witch's Turn,” written and directed by James and Jessica Gelter on Oct. 24, 25, and 26 (rain date is Oct. 27).

BEEC's Forest of Mystery happens each year around Halloween with the aid of a group of talented community actors, dancers, and musicians, as well as inventive costume and set designers.

This interactive theatrical performance with an environmental message takes place in scenes staged along BEEC's beautiful candle-lit trail through the mystical forest and meadows.

This year marks the 25th Forest of Mystery, making the event among the longest ongoing theatrical productions in the region.

For this show, performances will take place on Thursday night as well as the traditional Friday and Saturday nights.

“For this 25th anniversary show, we wanted to be more inclusive,” BEEC Director Linda Huebner said in a news release, “so the Thursday night shows will move slowly for those who need more time to navigate the trail.”

Shows start at 6:15 each night; on Friday and Saturday, hour-long journeys begin every 15 minutes until 8:30 p.m.

According to the Gelters, “there has always been something mysterious, magical, and powerful about those who can connect with nature, heal, and sense another realm beyond ours. As we wander the trails, we'll follow stories of witches through time.

“How has the witch been turned from a healer to a villain? How can we return to and reclaim the power we feel in connecting with nature and the intrinsic magic within it? Let the witch have her turn and she will show you!”

Ticket sales support BEEC's nature education, camps, and conservation programs.

“The Forest of mystery gets people out into the natural world at night,” said BEEC naturalist Patti Smith. “Nature is the mysterious star of the show, and you never know what she will bring to the performance - owl shrieks? Mist? Snow? A dazzling starry sky?”

The walk is about a half-mile and it can often be quite cold at the top of Heifer Hill, so wear comfortable hiking shoes and dress very warmly for an October night outdoors.

To sustain wanderers, there will be a bonfire in the courtyard and refreshments will be available by donation. The performance is recommended for ages 6 and older. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

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