Theater Meets Athleticism In Growing State Trend 

Acres of hiking trails and forest are quintessentially Maine.But among your seasoned outdoorsmen, is a group that gives springtime in the state a new meaning.They’re a group of teachers, corporate employees and students who have a unique hobby in common.”It’s sort of like being in outward bound, only with swords,” said Truax McFarland.It’s called larping, or live action role playing, and in Maine there’s a competitive league for it.”We stage live theater events. Different people undertake the tasks of creating the stories and designing the props,” said McFarland.Truax McFarland helped found the Maine Adventure Society Inc. more than a decade ago.Now, the McFarland family’s eighty acre property serves as the backdrop for every production they put on.”If you’ve watched the making of Lord of the Rings, but with a much lower budget.”In this instance, they’re a band of pirates hunting down the obligatory treasure chest. A typical adventure consists of about sixty people, and the league offers a dozen events every summer.”We’ve gotten to a point where we’ve had to cap the number of events we can run in a year. There are more people with stories that they want to run then available weekends.”The weekend tournaments hosted at the Jefferson Venue attract groups from in and out of the state. “It has a lot of the advantages of things like extreme sports. There’s a great deal of adrenaline in it.”Because at the core of any game is an original concept, only brought to life through the imagination of each player.”I’m an avid reader, so I pull on stuff that I’ve read and create the character that way,” said Tiffany Parsley.”You really can act out the role. It’s a lot of suspension of disbelief, but yet, you lose yourself in a character and really become it,” said Dave Cormier.An alluring escape from the monotony of everyday life that’s made a game based in fantasy a growing trend in reality.