Save the Date: Plays share spotlight as Halloween haunts ramp up

By Wyatt Stayner, Columbian staff writer



Guess who’s back?

It’s been a number of years since Magenta Theater founder Jaynie Roberts has written a play, but her creative streak returns with “Dead Beats” at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27 and 28. Roberts founded Magenta, 1108 Main St. in Vancouver, in 2002 as a vehicle for her comedy writing, but in the 15 years since, the theater has grown significantly, and, in turn, her time to write plays vanished. “Dead Beats” is a musical spoof that focuses on Professor Frankenvalley, who strings together a band from spare parts buried in a cemetery, to perform in the Transylvania Music Festival. The play features original music and renditions of Rocky Horror’s “The Time Warp” and Thomas Dolby’s “She Blinded Me With Science.” Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. 360-635-4358 or

Vancouver Community Theater will serve up its own seasonal performance with “Tea Party,” a play about King Charles II of England and Queen Catherine of Braganza, who helped introduce tea to England and fuel its popularity. King Charles’ courtier, Lord Ipswich faces a decision between marrying his crush — the queen’s lady-in-waiting, Mistress Jane Allen — or traveling to the West Indies to research tea plantations. Performances are 7 p.m. Oct. 27-28 and Nov. 3-4 at the Manor Grange, 17901 N.E. 72nd Ave., Battle Ground. Tickets are $7 or $5 for seniors and children 12 and younger. 360-690-5153.

Refresh your memory on last year’s best flicks before the 44th Northwest Film Festival kicks off in November. That’s the idea behind the “Best of the 43rd Northwest Filmmaker’s Festival,” which will feature narrative, documentary, animated and experimental films from Oregon, Washington, Montana and British Columbia. “Modern Dark,” “Canned Fit,” “Censored” and many more films from the 2016 fest will be screened. Screenings begin at 6 p.m. Oct. 25 at the Northwest Film Center, Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 S.W. Park Ave., Portland. Tickets are $9, $8 for students and seniors and $6 for children. 503-221-1156 or

Spice up reading by listening to a pro do it. Award-winning storyteller Christopher Leebrick has been captivating audiences with his storytelling abilities since he was 13, performing across the United States. All three of his spoken word CDs have received Storytelling World Awards. Leebrick will perform Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” along with other tales. The program, which is free, is recommended for those 12 years and older, and will be 7 to 8 p.m. Oct. 25 at the Cascade Park Community Library, 600 N.E. 136th Ave., Vancouver. 360-906-4720 or

Add even more exhilaration to zip lining with Skamania Lodge’s Halloween Zip. While riding the seven tour ziplines or walking the three sky bridges, ghosts, goblins and zombie guides will attempt to spook you. Glow sticks are provided to decorate helmets, harnesses and participants. Tours last an hour, and begin at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at Skamania Lodge, 1131 S.W. Skamania Lodge Way, Skamania. Rides are $99 per person. 844-432-4748 or

The Battle Ground Halloween Fun Fest doesn’t really leave much to the imagination, because it has just about everything you can think of. The annual celebration features Trick or Treat Street and Fright Night, a free community Halloween party for kids. There’s the Spirit Award and Best Scarecrow Contest. Costumed children can visit stops along Main Street to collect candy at locations with a jack-o’-lantern in the window. They can also Trunk or Treat in the Community Center parking lot. From 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 31, the free Fright Night party will be held at the Battle Ground Community Center, 912 E. Main St., Battle Ground. 360-687-1510 or

Everybody poops, so you might as well be educated about where it goes. Make Second Saturday At The Water Center: The Fabulous Flush — Celebrate World Toilet Day your No. 1 — not No. 2 — priority from 1 to 3 p.m. Nov. 11 at the Water Resources Education Center, 4600 S.E. Columbia Way, Vancouver. Since World Toilet Day is in November, the center has aimed its free Second Saturday on where flushed waste goes, how long it takes to get there and how the city cleans wastewater. 360-487-7111 or