In its first Halloween season on Thompson’s Point, the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine opened its doors for a decidedly playful adult costume party dubbed “After Dark.”

“Tonight gives adult kids the opportunity to come and play without feeling weird or self-conscious,” said Mike Conkright, an accessibility consultant who volunteered during the museum’s planning stages. “Because we’re all kids.”

Three hundred guests, nearly all in costume, enjoyed ghoulishly themed games, stories, crafts, music, hors d’oeuvres and “elixirs.”

Executive Director Julie Butcher Pezzino said, “We hear from a lot of people, especially folks who don’t have kids, that they would like to come and check out the new facility. This is the first of what we hope will be a series of events called After Dark for adults who are kids at heart.”

“I had been trying to think of what kid I could bring here,” said Bailey DeBlase, a 24-year-old in a cow costume. “So here I am.”

Party-goers danced with glow sticks, listened to ghost stories, made wearable spooky accessories, watched the 1922 silent horror film “Nosferatu” and felt “spooky sensations” in touch boxes labeled as ghost poop, ghoul grub, mummy skin, spider legs, Dracula teeth and bat eyeballs.

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“We got distracted by the dramatic play for, like, 20 minutes, and it felt like we were kids again,” said Sara Brown, a Portland resident dressed as a mime.

Theatre Technical Coordinator Emily Dixon said, “Tonight supports our Community Fund, which includes school memberships, after-school workshops and theater tickets for people who can’t afford them.”

Two of the actors who were in the children’s theater performances of “Dragons Love Tacos” last spring known as Chartreuse Money and Bunny Wonderful performed in drag atop a playscape, surrounded by monsters, witches, pirates, mermaids, farmers, lobstermen, a penguin and – appropriately enough – a taco.

“To see all this come alive, and all these people here, it’s just beautiful,” said Nathan Lapointe, a theater program associate.

Amy Paradysz is a freelance writer and photographer based in Scarborough. She can be reached at [email protected]


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