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Mar 21, 2016
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We've done it the last few years with friends & family, but lately it seems to be closed and I don't see any reference to it anymore on the BGW website. I thought I saw it open earlier this season but I can't be sure. I searched the threads but can't find anything about new experiences coming to Castle O'Sullivan. Anyone ideas?
 
May 17, 2013
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I was wondering this also. I was contemplating doing it for the kid's sake, but it seems to be closed.
 
Oct 7, 2011
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We did this a few years ago when my kids were young enough. It was pretty well done -- a less insane and more enjoyable version of the eat-with-characters experience at Sesame Place in PA. I enjoyed reflecting on the fact that, as a kid, I had watched the Enchanted Laboratory show on the same stage. If you can't eat with Elmo there anymore, then could something else be in store for that theater?
 

Lord Robert

"Not pet. Wingman."
Apr 18, 2014
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I hope they will make a brand new show in the near future. It would be a shame if the park doesn't know what to do with it.
 
Sep 29, 2009
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I've had dreams and I've had nightmares about what could be done in that building. I think it would be a shame to use it for anything other than a show at this point, given how well they converted it into a theater.

Then again, the stage, as it stands now can only hold about six people comfortably. They might have to change the set entirely if they want to do a large scale show with a big cast.

I wouldn't mind them returning either ELAB or SOCO. The technology has improved so much in favor of both shows (lighting especially).
 

Mushroom

Getting aHEAD of myself
Advisory Panel
Feb 12, 2011
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^It would be disappointing if the theater system was removed in favor of something else, like a ride. Plus, if the park wanted to add an indoor flat ride to the area, the Europe in the Air building is as good as empty. :p
 
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Merboy

Resident Sea Monster
Oct 25, 2009
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www.thelanternlight.com
I would love for a new show to be put there. I haven't been inside that place since Enchanted Laboratory. I agree with CastleOSullivan, they could bring back Enchanted Lab and make it much better than before (which was already pretty great imo).
 
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Zimmy

Nessie is lonely.
Silver Donor
Sep 28, 2013
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It used to have an amazing flat in it. IT WAS AMAZING!

From a technical standpoint, the theater is not all that great. Long ago, when they did this sort of thing, in college I came to the cattle call to audition for some lead technical slots. The actors were in the larger space we the techs were in the smaller space. We got a tour of the back stage which was set up, albeit for England, but still for automation. It was still obvious that the theater was crammed into a space it was not designed for. From a techs perspective it was a nightmare. It is like someone took a very bad black box theater and crammed a proscenium arch in it.

Back when it had chairs it looks marginally better.

just my opinion, but I think it wants to be a flat again and if Elmo want to eat kids, he should do it over in Elmo land.
 
Sep 29, 2009
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In spite of my love for the shows in that theater, I agree with Zimmy.
As a theater, it's probably past its prime. It was created for the purpose of elaborate one-person shows (not including animatronics/puppets), nothing more. One person shows might still work, but ELAB and SOCO put unique spins on that concept. That might be harder to do now, considering people have seen so many things before that they could previously only see in a show like ELAB or SOCO.

As I said before, the stage setup currently fits about six people comfortably/safely. If they remove the hearth, that makes it double the space (meaning roughly the size for an average BGW cast). The problem is that like Zimmy said, it's very cramped backstage. A good-sized tech crew cannot safely move back there for one thing. Another problem is virtually no fly space (above stage rigging space), and no wings (side space), just exits.

One thing that theater does have is adequate room under the stage for a small handful of actors and technicians. Interestingly enough; since actors and stage hands don't always get together, each performer learned basic tech work that tied back into "acting" and applied those skills in each performance. That "trading places" system was especially used later on in ELAB and throughout SOCO.

This meant that whenever you saw one Aaron(male)/Erin(female) on stage in SOCO; at least one other Aaron/Erin was operating Clancey, playing as Seamus, or doing other work backstage. This kept them each refreshed so their characters wouldn't get old like what you see in so many one-person theme park shows (some of which are also gone) including: Jaws, Disaster, Poseidon's Fury, and Jungle Cruise.

All of those issues aside- Busch Gardens has one big question: "Can one-person shows still work? If so, can they work in Castle O'Sullivan?"
 

Zimmy

Nessie is lonely.
Silver Donor
Sep 28, 2013
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If BGW wanted to play around with the idea of a real Black Box and shove a Tech booth and back stage on one side, they might be able to use the space better.

Honestly I have a sinking feeling the reason we have NOT seen much investment over there is because of bathroom plans.

Consider what they have done in Italy and France. I wonder if they plan to revamp that corner put in a decent bathroom and perhaps a new restaurant or something. Frankly I also wonder it Ireland is on the short list for the next major overhaul.
 

Lord Robert

"Not pet. Wingman."
Apr 18, 2014
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Instead of a flat, I wonder if it can be transformed into a well themed and detailed walk-through attraction making the inside a literal castle. That would be awesome!
 
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