Halloween & Cosmic Rhythms

November 14, 2021
This will probably be remembered as the year of the pumpkin, thanks to Peter and his affinity for all things sweet, odd, and extreme. His pick-your-own oddball patch was a hit among CSA members, and his giant, 600 lb. pumpkin was a sight to behold. He began hatching plans last spring, when participants from the 2020 Halloween play were eager to know if I would direct another play this year. I wasn’t sure that I would. Last fall, when the pandemic was weighing everyone down, I jumped at the opportunity to organize something unconventional and escapist—an interactive play that led the audience through the fields in search of a witch. It was a ton of fun, but also a ton of work, and I didn’t know if I wanted to make it an annual event. But with last year’s cast hoping for a repeat, and with Peter on board as the set builder, I decided to go for it. His giant pumpkin would be the star and my muse.

In late September, we hit a snag. A crack had formed in the pumpkin’s base, and rot was beginning to set in. There was no way the pumpkin would last until Halloween. So I revised the script, preserving the pumpkin’s role in spirit, if not in body. We performed The Great Pumpkin Chase on Halloween with a 28-person cast that included staff, CSA members, volunteers, and taiko drummers. It was a goofy, slapstick tale of treachery, redemption, and rebirth. Thanks to my dad, Adrian Fanning, and drummer Marcelo Maziero, you can watch a