Unexpected Improv Launches Market Ghost Stories

Unexpected Productions announces the creation of Market Ghost Stories, a 75-minute story-filled excursion through the spooky alleys and corridors of Pike Place Market at night.

The former, Market Ghost Tour, has been a part of the Market community for over two decades. It was the goal of the originators of the tours to move this event back to the theater. Unexpected Productions has operated out of Pike Place Market's Market Theater at the infamous Gum Wall for 25 years and has evolved the Market Ghost Tours into Market Ghost Stories.

"On a Halloween night in the 1980's, the ghost tours started with a handful of Market personalities leading them including my dad, Michael Yaeger and Shelia Lyons of the Market Magic shop. In 2003, I started giving the tours and developed them into a year-round business," explained Mercedes Yaeger, former owner of the Market Ghost Tours.

"A few years ago I decided it was time to find a new permanent home here in the Market for the tours. I wanted an organization that could take them to the next level," she said from her business, Ghost Alley Coffee. It was at that point she began conversations with Unexpected Productions Improv about evolving the tour into an interactive experience.

The Ghost Tour has had a long history with Unexpected Productions. The tours partnered with the theater in 2010 and 2011. There was no physical address for the tour so it became the meeting place to start and end just in time to see a stage show at UP's 200 seat theater.

"We were involved in some of the original research and a bit of the original route planning of the tour. We brought a certain theatrical experience to it. And the new Market Ghost Stories is even more storied, theatrical and interactive," explained Unexpected Productions' Artistic Director, Randy Dixon.

"I love improvisation, theater, and ghosts! It makes me excited about the possibilities of bringing these things together and it that the Market ghosts have a home in our theater," said Dixon. "We all have a story to tell and so do the ghosts. The new experience is immersive and interactive theater. Part of the Unexpected Productions' mission is to explore and discover new applications and methods for using improvisation as an art form. The type of interaction with the audience and the guide/actor here is a perfect example."

Market Ghost Stories is an experience that focuses heavily on storytelling and connecting guests to the long, haunted history of the Pike Place Market. With improvisational theater as a background, the guides weave stories through the Market community on these 75-minute walks. The Market at night is empty. A limited few get to see the "skeleton" of the Pike Place Market. Having exclusive access to areas at night allows visitors to see this major tourist and local landmark in an entirely different way. "During the day the Market is packed with thousands of people, at night when it is empty - you can see the architecture, the art, the lighting, the use of space - that you would never notice in the day. Plus, it's the perfect "stage" for the ghost stories," concluded Yaeger.

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