Combining Annapolis Valley history with community theatre, they’re always looking to “fill the ghostly gaps.”
Jeremy Novak, a.k.a. Jerome the Gravekeeper, said they are looking to fill some ghostly roles for the upcoming season of Valley Ghost Walks. “Ghostly Casting Calls” are being held in Studio Z of the Al Whittle Theatre in Wolfville on April 24 from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. and at Box of Delights Bookstore in Wolfville on April 25 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Valley Ghost Walks now “haunts” seven distinct locations where it offers informative and entertaining tours. They have to cast enough people to fill the roles of various ghosts. Novak said you don’t get rich doing it but a percentage of the proceeds go to each performer.
“It’s theatre, the ghosts perform these historical monologues,” Novak said. “It’s capturing the tale of a real person that existed here at one point. It’s historical but it’s fun.”
He said he isn’t looking for “Shakespearian thespians” but for people who are dependable, punctual and serious about performing – yet willing to have fun with a specific role. There are male and female roles available and performers must be at least 18 years old.
He said the casting calls represent a chance to meet people interested in performing. People will be given scripts to read from and will have the opportunity to ask questions. Novak said those selected probably wouldn’t have to perform every week but there are tours on Thursdays and selected Fridays in 2019.
Going into the 12th season for the family-friendly tours, Novak said they have had at least 65 individuals perform as ghosts. Some of the cast members have been involved since the beginning.
He said the core performers remain committed and he still has fun performing as Jerome. They continue to incorporate other communities into the tour lineup and there are still a lot of people who haven’t experienced a Valley Ghost Walk.
Aside from performing and being a tour guide, Novak said he enjoys the business side of this “local success story” and there is still room for growth.
“Last year, we added Hantsport and the Wolfville Anglican Church and I see other potential towns as well,” Novak said. “We live in, I like to say, the most historically rich Valley in all of North America, the Annapolis Valley.”
A portion of the proceeds from Valley Ghost Walks help support community theatre organizations, including Edalene Theatre, Quick As A Wink Theatre and CentreStage Theatre. They also raise funds for the Hantsport Memorial Community Centre and the Wolfville Anglican Church.
BY THE NUMBERS
In its 11-year history, Valley Ghost Walks has:
- Completed 269 ghost tour walks.
- Had 8,179 “brave souls” take part in ghost tour walks.
- Averaged 30 “brave souls” per ghost tour walk.
- Earned a total of $43,538 for local “ghosts” and musicians.
- Raised $7,570 for organizations, including community theatre groups.