Characters deal with escape room in ‘Rest A Spell’

Photo by Cindy Votruba Amanda Castro, Bill Moudry and Bob Schwoch rehearse a scene from “Rest A Spell.”

MARSHALL — A group of squabbling elderly witches, wizards and warlocks have to join forces when it comes to dealing with an escape room.

Such is the premise of the latest show from the Marshall Area Stage Company.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, an escape room is “a game where people are locked into a room and have to find a way to escape by finding clues in it, and solving puzzles, or a special room where this is done.”

The Marshall Area Stage Company is doing two performances of “Rest A Spell” at 6:30 p.m. today and 2 p.m. Saturday in the Marshall-Lyon County Library before it brings the show to the Minnesota Association of Community Theatres’ MACT*Fest in Austin the following weekend.

The show is written and directed by Maureen Keimig of Marshall. She said the show is a short play about a rest home for the magically inclined, such as witches, wizards and warlocks.

“As they get older, their powers start to fizzle though they won’t admit it,” Keimig said.

“It is the evening of Samhain (Halloween) and the director of the rest home thought it would be fun to entertain the residents with the latest fad, an escape room. Will they be able to work together combining their powers and wits and escape before the witching hour?”

Keimig said she has wanted to write this kind of a story for a while.

“The idea has been floating in my head for a long time,” Keimig said. She turned her idea into a script to perform at MACT*Fest.

The characters include witches Ludella Ravinger, played by Amanda Castro, and Philberta Bromley, portrayed by Brent Lamfers. Delwyn Radcliff, played by Bob Schwoch, is a warlock, and Bill Moudry plays Merle Ambrosius, a wizard.

“We’re old and we have our eccentricities,” Moudry said.

“And they bicker all the time,” Keimig said.

Keimig said the characters reminisce about the past all the time, which includes having dinner with Marie Antoinette and painting with Leonardo da Vinci.

“We get brought into the 21st century by trying to do an escape room,” Moudry said.

Ross Holmberg portrays Morgan Wainwright and said his character is the “long-suffering” manager/activity director at the retirement home. Morgan’s main task is to keep the residents out of trouble and being too bored.

Moudry said Merle is “an off-center wizard.” Keimig said Delwyn is a “ham.”

Lamfers said his character’s magic is kind of waning.

“But she doesn’t think it is,” Lamfers said.

Castro said her character is “mischievous and impish.”

“They all have taken their character and brought it to life,” Keimig said.

Six theaters from around the state are presenting at MACT*Fest, which includes the Calumet Players of Pipestone and FungusAmongus Players of Dassel-Cokato.

“My hopes for the festival is that the cast has a good time and that we make the audience laugh,” Keimig said.

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