suspense in a more refined fashion — by way of a fiveact play written by area playwright Michael Collins.
The first stop is the bandstand downtown, where Krauss and Elkton-based actor Bob Smith set the stage for the rest of the performance with a scene about a seemingly petty conflict in small-town government. During a rehearsal with director Karen Long on Wednesday (the cast, Long and Collins have rehearsed each scene throughout the week), the three worked out all the things you might expect of a play at a community theater. In a way, that’s what this is.
Long, who’s directed the ghost walk for nine years now, had the actors work on timing and placement, as well as maintaining an all-important high energy level. Because each act is crafted to leave just a few spare minutes between tour groups, the actors have to speak at a fast pace and keep pauses to a minimum. This act was running about 12-and-a-half minutes — not bad, but not a lot of wiggle room.
As directors often do, Long had to find a balance between friend and boss.
“I thought you wanted me to adopt a Russian accent,” Smith joked to her between run-throughs on Wednesday.
“That was a dream you had, Bob,” she said.
“I’m just trying to keep the energy up.”
“Behind your bush, Bob.” (Smith’s character walks out from behind a bush to start.)
According to Collins, scene two features a song and dance; scene three features Elvis Presley; scene four features a set designer; and scene five features “a climax,” though he wouldn’t tell specifics.
Allegedly, it ends with a witch.
”The First Annual Chesapeake City Halloween Porch Decorating & Light Stringing Extravaganza & Competition” will run every 15 minutes Friday and Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m. In advance, adults cost $10, children $5. At the door, adults cost $12, children $8. Call 410-885-2415.