The kids at the Collective Project never fail to impress me with their out-of-the-box thinking and creative energy. The invitation to their show was in a true old-school envelope with pasted written passages on the outside of the package. Inside, I found a vintage antique burnt-edge stain page personalized invite. If that does not get your attention, I don’t know what will.

With their wildly successful inaugural run of The Red Herring at the Goat Farm Arts Center, the Collective now follows that show with a made for Halloween season production of The Devil Tree.

The Devil Tree play, adapted by James McDougald and Artistic Director Sean Haley, weaves 8 original short stories by Atlanta authors and feature an all Atlanta cast.

As you walk into the theatre at the Goat Farm, you enter a magical portal into the 1920’s Laurel County deep in the heart of southern Georgia. Inside it is spooky, smoky and dark–you can be overwhelmed by the huge tree inside the venue. The seats are mixed up in close proximity to the stage, the perfect 3D experience without the need of any glasses.

As the story unfolds, you discover that the seeds of evil produce many nasty consequences.   The Rev. Whisler (Matt Barthholomew) presides over the sinners of this small town’s residents.  All is well in this sleepy town until murder is committed. But who did it?  That is cusp of the show’s mystery.

At the beginning of The Devil Tree, you are dropped into an intense coming to Jesus scene with the accused. The sounds of fury encapsulate you with the smells of a country setting.

The lovely Memory (Caitlin Mcphail Wiggins) mesmerizes you with her intensity of emotion, but the entire cast is top notch.

A believable tale of evil and justice, The Devil Tree is an adventure into the heart of Dixie.

Do note and be warned: after experiencing The Devil Tree you might have to sleep with hall light on because you never know what is lurking in the dark. Nothing ever is what it seems.

“Sweet words always lead to terrible deeds”…. don’t miss The Devil Tree for a perfect way to get into the spirit of this macabre season and runs through November 3rd.


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