Outside creeps in- The Grown-Ups is a must see, outdoor theatre experience

-Brenda Hillegas
photo by John C. Hawthorne

Gather around the campfire! This isn’t a scary tale like the ones we told as kids as the flames surrounded us and our s’mores were melting away. But Nightdrive’s The Grown-Ups is still an eerie story that will keep us up at night for many evenings to come.

The Grown-Ups (written by Skylar Fox and Simon Henriques, directed by Fox) takes audiences to Camp Indigo Woods where young campers, and counselors, are about to experience a summer like no other. The show was first performed in a Brooklyn backyard, where the theatre group is based, for a handful of people during the pandemic. The Grown-Ups received praise from TimeOut New York as one of the top ten NYC theater productions of 2021 and called “the coolest new play you probably can’t see.” But you can actually…

Enter Theater With A View– a gorgeous outdoor space at the Sycamore Hill estate in Pottstown that develops and produces plays that work well in non traditional stagings. Theater With A View launched in 2014 and The Grown-Ups fits their space perfectly.

You’ll be a part of the show here, but not in a way where you’ll have to participate. All you need to do is grab a seat around the campfire, a drink (wine, beer and non-alcoholic drinks are available for a donation), and a snack (yes, there are s’mores available for roasting before the show). And listen in. The cast will be seated around you, so the theatre-in-the-round set up is just right for taking in everything and seeing all angles.

Camp lifers Becca (Emily Elyse Everett), Maeve (Abby Melick), Lukas (Simon Henriques) and Aidan (Zack Segel) are essentially in charge. They’ve been at the camp since they were kids and now take their roles as counselors pretty seriously. To them, this camp is their world. So, it’s a bit unclear to the group why a newbie, Cassie (Chloe Joy Ivanson), would enter the camp and also become a counselor. But they soon learn why. That’s not the most concerning part of this story though. When they are given access to their phones late each night, the counselors start to follow a very heated social media debate that evolves into something even more threatening. Something that’s coming for them…

How will they act like everything is okay, for the sake of the children? How will they keep cool when they also wish they had someone to keep themselves safe at the same time? It’s hard to keep anyone in the dark. The doom and gloom of the real-life, outside world has a way of creeping in. So what can the counselors do (what can we do?) to keep their minds busy and happy?

At Theater With A View, you’ll be surrounded by the story. Listen to the dialogue, the noises of the nature around you, and look up at the stars. You’ll be secluded from the world around you, just like the people who attend Camp Indigo Woods. No cell phones during camp hours. No calling your parents. You have no idea what’s about to happen…

There are five more chances to see The Grown-Ups, between tonight (August 23rd) and Saturday August 27th. If you’re up for a night around the campfire, under the stars and away from the city lights, you can get tickets here.

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