‘Devil’s Walk’ is Back Alley’s Hal­loween of­fer­ing

Chattanooga Times Free Press - ChattanoogaNow - - ARTS - STAFF RE­PORT

“Devil’s Walk,” a ter­ri­fy­ing stage play in­spired by the lore of Nathaniel Hawthorne, will open Fri­day, Oct. 12, for seven per­for­mances by Back Alley Pro­duc­tions, in­clud­ing a spe­cial mid­night show­ing on Satur­day, Oct. 27, in cel­e­bra­tion of the Hal­loween sea­son.

“Devil’s Walk” fo­cuses on the jour­ney of young Goodly Brown as she sets off on a seem­ingly un­avoid­able quest for an­swers and to right her fam­ily name.

En­ter­ing the woods out­side her vil­lage, she meets the Devil, who i nvites her on a dan­ger­ous jour­ney. Along the way, he shows her vi­sions in or­der to shake her faith. Brown, a vir­tu­ous and steady Chris­tian, be­lieves she is strong enough to best the Devil’s dis­tor­tions and charms. But as she delves deeper into the dark his­tory of the town’s true na­ture, she be­gins to wa­ver.

“We’ve been do­ing an an­nual Hal­loween show for three years now at the theater,” Di­rec­tor Kaylee Smith says. “Each year we up the ante in fear, adren­a­line, cre­ativ­ity and ex­e­cu­tion. We’ve got some ex­cit­ing and scary ideas to bring to you this year.”

The deeper that Brown jour­neys into the woods, the more ter­ri­fy­ing and dis­torted things get. Fa­cades are bro­ken down, faith is ques­tioned and the Devil ex­erts more power over the scene un­til it’s too late to turn around. For au­di­ences, it may also be too late to turn around. Un­like a scary movie, the ac­tion hap­pens in front, around and even be­hind them.

As the play pro­gresses, Brown con­tin­ues her quest un­til she’s quite literally in an­other world.

“It’s a world she thinks she can mas­ter, armed with her faith, only to find it mas­ters her,” Smith ex­plains.

“Like us, she’s com­pletely un­pre­pared for the hor­ror that awaits her on the other side. And in the woods, she re­al­izes the peo­ple she trusted blindly aren’t who they say they are. Not her church, not her friends, no one in her com­mu­nity or fam­ily. Worst of all, she be­gins to won­der if she can even trust her own self, in­clud­ing her faith.”

Though not ex­plicit in con­tent, some view­ers may be un­com­fort­able with de­monic themes that run through­out the play, as well as hor­ror and scare el­e­ments. Au­di­ence dis­cre­tion is ad­vised.

“There’s cer­tainly a lot of poignancy in Hawthorne’s writ­ing,” Smith says. “It of­fers a lot to chew on philo­soph­i­cally. But, at the end of the day, the first goal is al­ways to scare you. This is def­i­nitely a fear­ful and fun plunge for the Hal­loween sea­son.”

Tick­ets may be pur­chased on­line at www. BAP­shows. com or at the box of­fice the day of show. For more in­for­ma­tion: 706-621-2870.


“Devil’s Walk” delves into what brings a mor­tal to evil as young Goodly Brown em­barks on a dan­ger­ous jour­ney to right her fam­ily name.

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