Escape into another Time and Place:
into the
Era of Rum-Runners, Flappers, and Bathtub Gin.



 Forbidden Territory is an audience-participation interactive drama set in the year 1929. You are cordially invited on a voyage to Rum Row for a Prohibition Cruise.

This is a Romance Incognito event that lets you go to sea ...

... as someone else for a change !!

You will not be using your real name. For the duration of the event, you will be one of the characters described on this web page.

Participants will be attemptingas much as possibleto recreate a night cruise in the Roaring Twenties. The event is held in period costume, and participants play the parts of flappers, detectives, society matrons, servants, entertainers, federal agents, and international spies; each with his or her own secrets and motivations.

There are numerous plots unfolding simultaneously. Depending on the role you have chosen, you may be involved in one or more of these plots. Or you may have chosen to play an aloof onlookera "gentleman of leisure" or a "woman of mystery" ... a "flapper" or a "barfly."


Have you ever wanted to live the life of a character
in a murder mystery book or motion picture?
Here's your chance !!


The Year is 1929 ...

Ocean liners are the playground of the rich and famous. But to ordinary Americans, an impression exists that the great steamships areto them"Forbidden Territory."

The latest and most popular watering hole in the Big Apple is R.M.S. Forbidden Territory, sailing under British registry. The grand ocean liner picks up passengers in Manhattan each evening and then sails out to international waters for the night : where guests can drink and gamble with impunity. Everyone who really is anyone has been seen therethe crème-de-la-crème of high society. Tonight, gangsters, flappers, socialites, spies, and federal agents are gathered on New York City's most fashionable floating nightclub.

You are cordially invited to attend a soirée aboard R.M.S. Forbidden Territory, where flappers rub shoulders with debutantes, cat burglars survey their prey, and gangsters mix with high society nobs. Money talksand sometimes it whispers "murder."

PALLADIAN Interactive Theatre takes its unique concept of audience-participation drama to sea for an incredible re-creation of the last night in the Roaring Twenties.

Click Here for a List of the Characters.


Interactive Drama at Sea ...

Study your Role

There are no lines to memorize in Forbidden Territory. When you are playing a character, you must think and act as he or she would. Picture yourself actually being aboard an ocean liner in 1929. Think of the other charactersnot as actors or people playing a gamebut as gangsters, flappers, detectives, spies, or English Lords.

You will receive a Playbook and Folio with everything you need to know to prepare for the cruise, including information outlining the historical background and a character sketch of the role you will be playing. Familiarize yourself with your character and try to fill out a more complete background within the framework given. Consider how the person will think and talk. Practice the appropriate accent or dialect. Make plans and schemes. Get into the part.

Prepare your Wardrobe

The story is set in Autumn of the year 1929. Gentlemen's fashions favored double-breasted suits, vests, and wide ties. Ladies wore low-cut "flapper" gowns, long strings of beads, and high heels. Ladies sported hats with sequins or feathers; sometimes they wore a turban. The Roaring Twenties was an age of fancy jewelry and heavy makeupso live it up !! Costumes can be rented, or consult your local grandmother for clothes in her attic.

Romance Incognito

Romance Incognito cruises let you go to sea as someone else for a change. You will not be using your real name for the duration of this event. You will be "in character" until after the Cast Partywhich is the second evening of the cruise. Or stay in character the whole time if you wish. On cruises of three nights or less, you will be in character for the entire time. We think this adds to the romance of the adventure.

There are two exceptions to this rule. Since you may meet someone on this cruise you want to get to know personally, you may "drop character" in the privacy of your own stateroom, or that of your new friend, or in one of the ship's smaller public rooms designated by the Referee as "The Reality Room." This room will be pointed out during Orientation the first evening on the ship.


R.S.V.P.Book The Cruise

And Then Be Sure To Come ! ! !

We have a number of tightly-plotted scenarios interwoven together. The loss of one or two characters could ruin the plot for everyone. If an emergency arises, you are responsible for finding a substitute.


Many characters know things about the others. Do not discuss your role with anyone ahead of time, for it could spoil a carefully plotted scenario if the wrong person got hold of certain information. Don't leave your Folio lying around. There will be unscrupulous people who will cheat and read your secrets ...


Cast Parties

Orientation will be held for all Forbidden Territory participants at the beginning of the cruise to explain the rules. Dances with 1920s music will be arranged with the cruise ship, and Ballroom Dancing will also be available. A final Cast Party will be held before disembarkation to explain all the plots. Everyone can then discuss what happened and compare notes. Prizes will be awarded for Favorite Character and Best Wardrobe, as well as awards for winners of the dance contest and crooner's competition.





NOTE: The Character Descriptions BELOW include some Staff Parts as well as a few off-stage characters who do not actually appear in the drama.

Not every character will be at any given production of Forbidden Territory.




Andalusia, Carmen

The Flamenco Dancer. A fiery Latin with flowing hair, Carmen dances at the Chez Robert nightclub. Her prima donna temper is under perfect control; she loses it only when it will do the most good.

Applegate, Leslie

The Mistress. Hugh Winthrop's mistress. Also his daughter-in-law's niece. A trim, dynamic young woman in her early twenties. Somewhat headstrong and eccentric.

Astor, Arlene

The Society Matron. Wealthy widow of "Red" Aloyisius Astor, Arlene is the top hen in the Nob Hill Floraphilic Society. She throws a Fall Cotillion on the anniversary of Red's gold strike in the Klondike.

Bates, Naomi

The Government Liaison. A government representativeor is she? There's a lot more to this lady than meets the eye.

"Bee-Bee" La Fontaine

The Gold Digger. A hauntingly beautiful woman with an aloof, sophisticated air, Bee-Bee can wrap any man around her little finger when she coos her baby-talk.

Carter, Joan

The Other Woman. This dame is prettier than a nickel-plated 0.38. She says she's lookin' for a crum that owes her a wad of cash.

Christy, Janet

The Authoress. A famous author of mystery books, socialite, and art critic. You've read her stuff. Quite a lady, they say.

Coleman, Millicent

The Flapper. A thoroughly modern young woman with high spirits, intending to enjoy life in the Roaring Twenties. Millie currently works as a stenog at an insurance office and lives at Mrs. Meer's Hotel for Single Young Ladies.

Crane, Josephine

The Wealthy Widow. A short, round, bubbly hypochondriac who was devoted to her late husband. Full of enthusiasm and energy and always anxious to describe her latest illness or surgery, although concerned over the fate of her estranged daughter.

Crane, Patricia

The Private Eye. This dame is medium everythingmedium pretty, medium smart, medium chaste. But she knows the score. She skinned her ex-hubby in the divorce and now she free-lances as a gumshoe.

Cutter, Andrea

The Cracksman's Daughter. A lovely and modern young girl, honest as the day is long, Andrea is supporting her sick mother while trying to help her father "go straight" since his release from prison.

Driscoll, Alice

The Private Investigator. Alice is a classy dame; she's got looks, brains, and money. She can get a bawling broad to spill her guts faster than anyone in the business. She's Richard Driscoll's partner and wife.

Genovese, Betty

Jake DeMora's Frail. A modern girl from an old Sicilian "family."

Giovanni, Theresa

The Gun Moll. Cardonna may be the Boss, but this is one tough lady. She grew up on the south side of Chicago, and learned that the only to survive was to be tougher and smarter than anybody else.

Hawkins, Elizabeth

The Psychiatrist. An elegant silver-haired lady of commanding aspect, she has a keen mind and a piercing intellect. Dr. Hawkins is the nation's leading authority on women's psychology, especially mental disorders in women. A refined old bird, if ya like shrinks.

Jones, Peg

The Waitress. A strong-willed young woman with a keen mind, an unusual talent, and beautiful dark hair. She saved up enough money working at a Speakeasy in Des Moines to take a little cruise.

Kane, Jennifer

The Only Girl. One glance at Jennifer and you can tell she is poised, demure, charming, and intelligent; she's the kind of girl you'd fall in love with at first sight.

Kelley, Miriam

The Private Secretary. Miriam is nothing if she isn't dedicated. She works hard. Sometimes too hard for her employer's good. She talks in oddball phrases. Alice Driscoll tells her not to take her job so seriously. But Miriam says, "That's a bunch of crock."

Kramer, Mary Lou

The Laundryman's Daughter. A sweet girl whose life is full of wonder, she is given to such expressions as "golly," "gee-whiz," and "whillikers."

Langston, Lillian

The Matchmaker. A handsome lady who enjoyed marriage so much that she believes every one should be married.

Melbourne, Mrs.LaVerne W.

The Curmudgeon. An austere old lady with a shrill, commanding voice who makes you feel like a naughty schoolboy being scolded by a spinster school marm.

Michels, Lori

The Waitress. A nice girl from a small town, she recently took a job on the R.M.S. Forbidden Territory.

Montgomery, Blanche

The Biographer. A carefree blade and gal-about-town, with a brash writing style and a determined grin. It's about time she started getting her own bylines. "Monty" is Arlene Astor's younger sister.

Morgan, Betty

The Literary Agent. A sweet-looking dame with brains to match. Betty is one of the top literary agents in New Yorknot only selling book rights but also movie, stage, and magazine serialization. She's been hired to market Miles MacPherson's tell-all autobiography. But these memoirs may be too hot even for Betty to handle.

Payne, Doris

The True Crime Writer. Doris writes for those cheap pulp magazines with heart-jerking "true life" crime stories, which she embellishes beyond recognition.

Pettigew, "Aunt" Emmaline

The Dotty Aunt. A psychologist would have termed Emmaline Pettigew an eccentric individualist; her nephew Dick calls her "dotty;" the officers and crew of the R.M.S. Forbidden Territory say she is "mad as a hatter," but love her dearly anyway.

Phelps, Eleanor

The Mad Girl. A pale, slender woman of about thirty, with haunted eyes.

Templeton, Agatha

The Society Dame. Mrs. Templeton is an obnoxious, horsey old lady. She's a pillar of the Antiquarian Society, where she's a perennial competitor in the annual antiques show.

Taylor, Ruby

The Floozy. Ruby is a loveable but dowdy tippler and hopeless romantic who has begun drinking alone in her room in the afternoons while listening to the radio and reading True Story magazine.

Torino, Angela

The Bookkeeper. Torino handles many of Jason Cardonna's bank accounts, financial matters, and records. A real smart cookiemaybe too smart for her own good.

Van Der Linden, Lila

The Flemish Lass. A sweet young flower from the Netherlands, She is sweet, beautiful, and extremely persuasive ...

Wheeler, Geraldine

The News Reporter. Geraldine is a freelance magazine reporter working on a story on "Crime and Justice in the Big City." She is hard-boiled and sensible, with an uncanny instinct for when things "don't quite add up."

Wolfe, Augusta

The Art Dealer. An elegant dame, Gussie is the grand old lady of Bay Area fine arts. She got her start as an artist's model back in the Gay Nineties. She married millionaire capitalist Charleton Wolfe in 1907 after he fell in love with her nude image in a painting by Henri Vergot. Charleton gave her an art gallery of her own, which became Gussie's full time career after his suicide in 1929. Now she is known by everyone in the art world. Gussie is kinda long in the tooth now, but she's still pretty good-looking.

Woodstock, Honoria

The Snob. A snobbish little minx whose father built his fortune by political graft. Honoria acts snooty and snobbish until she gets excited, and then her grammer and decorum suffer abysmally, and she acts like a spoiled brat. Honoria always says 'Egads!' when she's really upset. She uses words like 'lavendish' 'dragnatable,' and 'mortifactions'which she makes up to mean whatever she wants.


The Torch Singer. The woman with the wan, discontented face. She sings like a fallen angel.






Ackerman, Robert

The Grocer's Son. A bashful lad with a slow and careful mode of speech and an all-American boy grin, Robbie is especially fond of knock-knock jokes and puns.

Ashford, Peter

The Forlorn Lover. An easy-going guy with an engagingly homely face, he's still carrying a torch for Eleanor Phelps, who married somebody else. Her husband's a jerk, and now she's a loony. Peter is really upset.

Bartholomew, Stanley

The Gambler. Bartholomew is a well known man-about-town, financier, and professional gambler. He prefers poker, but he deals in other games as well. (This part requires some knowledge of card gamesi.e. poker and blackjack.)

Bennett, Alfred

The Butler. Alfred's been working for that society dame, Arlene Astor, for the last year or two. He puts on airs like the Duke of Windsor and is stuffier than a Thanksgiving turkey. He's always doing his fingertips with an emery board.

Burgiss, Winston

The Eccentric Banker. An elderly gentleman with silver hair and refined manners whose only character flaw is that he is an unabashed practical joker, Winston is a champion of innocent prisoners and non-violent criminals. In spite of his colleagues' constant predictions that if he doesn't stop hiding crooks in his basement and playing tricks on the police department he will ultimately find himself in jail, Mr. Burgiss continues to find amusement in frequent dallyings with gentlemen of the underworld.

Burke, Anthony

The Scotland Yard Detective. Burke is a tall, dark-haired young fellow with a high degree of personal integrity. He is cool, dedicated, and doggedly determined once he has set his mind to a task. He is an unusually good judge of character.

Cabrini, Bruno

Jason Cardonna's Gorilla. A tough guy, sleazy and mean as a junkyard dog; big and ugly and carries a rod. Ex-Prizefighter and Extortionist. Ya don't mess with Cardonna's torpedo.

Cardonna, Jason

The Gangster. Head of the Kane County Mob in Illinois, a small gang allied to Capone's. Cardonna handles a lot of Capone's loan shark operations now that Scarface himself is in da slammer.

Carpenter, Tom

The Stage Magician. Tom is a performer, prestidigitator, and artiste, always on the lookout for a fast buck. ALIAS: "The Great Zanzibar."

Cavendish, Damon

The Customs Officer. A dedicated Federal Officer, Damon sometimes ships on the R.M.S. Forbidden Territory during his off-duty time to see what shenanigans the crew and guests might be up to. A gung-ho kid who really wants to catch the bad guys.

Chambers, Nick

The Truck Driver. A square-jawed, good lookin' guy. He walks with a limp, but he's a real square joe.

Constantine, Paul

The Levantine. Constantine is a small-boned man of medium height. His hair is black and smooth and very glossy, and he wears an expensive cologne. A square-cut diamond stickpin gleams on his deep green ascot. He favors dark alleys and secluded corners. He's a bit wimpy, but people who pick on him tend to have bad accidents.

Crane, Nathanial

The Investment Banker. A tall, delicate man of fine sensibilitiesa well-known man-about-town and prominent businessman, the scion of a wealthy Boston family.

Crocker, Bob

The Deputy Sheriff. An easy-going cop whose motto is "Leave Prohibition to the Feds. After all, It's a Federal Law, ain't it?"

Cutter, Morris B.

The Safecracker. A mild-mannered little man with gentle eyes and sandpapered fingertips.


The Sugar Daddy. A charming elderly banker who recently had to send his wife to a nursing home. His only interest in life is stamp collecting. Or wastill he met Bee-Bee La Fontaine.

Deutch, Ian

The Socialite. A tall, lean fellow, with a deceptively wiry build. He has an aristocratic air and speaks with a vaguely British accent.

Driscoll, Richard

The Private Investigator. A tall, thin, darkly-handsome man, Richard is a brilliant detective who runs a high class private consulting firm in partnership with his wife. The two are always debating which of them is the brains of the operation.

Eaton, Lord Philip

The Amateur Investigator. Lord Philip is one of them well-heeled English swells. He likes solving all kinds of puzzles and has cracked cases too tough for Scotland Yard. Hard to believe a skinny Limey like him won medals in the trenches fighting the Jerries.

Elliot, Frank

Freddie Matthews' Torpedo. A mottled face with a square jaw, his fists are hard as rocks, Frank's job protect Freddie Matthews' hide. To protect his own hide if Capone ever finds out who really skimmed the money.

Enrico, Edward "Eddie"

The Smuggler. Liquor Runner; a member of the Buffalo mob. A slimy character if ever ya saw one. He came to town from Miami. I hear he works for da Mob down there.

Feldman, Sidney

The Club Manager. A sleazy louse who manages the Chez Robert nightclub. He says he loves Peaches La Roux, but she won't have any of it. I don't blame her. Never trust a man with such shifty eyes.

Fontaine, Ralph

The Gigolo. This man is as sleazy as they come. He makes his living "escorting" old ladies around, but couldn't get a real date to save his life. He loves Carmen Andalusia, but she can't stand him

Guttman, Nigel

The Fat Man. An enormously fat man with bulbous pink cheeks, thick lips, and multiple chins. He has a great soft egg of a belly and flabby arms. His small eyes are dark and penetrating. He favors a cutaway coat, expensive vest, satin ascot tie with a pink pearl pin, worsted trousers, and patent leather shoes. His voice is a throaty purr. He drinks Johnny Walker whiskey and smokes Coronas del Ritz cigars.

Howe, Woodford

The Stockbroker. A two-bit stockbroker who makes his office in a small cabin aboard the floating nightclub Forbidden Territory, where he does a good business. I hear he's about to come into a large sum of moneysomething about the death of a rich uncle.

Howlett, Geoffry

The Handsome Stranger. He just got to town. Talks like he come from out East-Boston or Big Apple or somewhere. Seems okay. He buys drinks for his pals.

Keldane, Dr. William

The Dentist. Dr. Keldane is a high-class dentist; greatly in debt to the underworld.

Krabbe, Hon. Howard

The Small-Town Mayor. A big fish in a small pond who made it where he is today by collecting "dirt" on everyone and having his finger in every pie.

Liebowitz, Victor Trueman

The Mad Scientist. A Czechoslovakian physicist, Dr. Liebowitz is the brain behind the new Death Ray. He is meek and mild in his mannerisms, and appears to be harmless.

MacPherson, Miles

The Wastrel. Miles is a silver-haired, ruddy-cheeked, old gee who has lost more money than most of us ever make. He is a gifted raconteur, sportsman, and bon vivant; his escapades have been the talk of four continents. Every decade or so he does something so totally outrageous that he has to flee the country. He is currently working with Blanche Montgomery to put the finishing touches on his autobiography, which will (as Miles is fond of telling his agent) TELL ALL.

Malone, Torrance "Chauncey"

The Bouncer. The big lummox is strong as an ox, they say. And nearly as smart. ALIAS: "Chauncey." (He hates to be called Torrance).

Marlowe, Gregory

The Air Corps Officer. Captain Marlowe has the cool, clear eyes of a patriot, unwavering loyalty, and dedication to duty.

Matthews, Freddie

Chief of the Derby Gang. Freddie is a bookie and manager of the Hotel Delphinium, a clever and tricky mokker if ya ever saw one. Watch your back when he's around.

Montpelier, Simon

The Art Gallery Clerk. A thin, rather frail young man who takes himself altogether too seriously.

Pettigew, Dick

The Buzzer. A cheerful, brash young man with a friendly but earnest personality. Dick was probably born in a tuxedo with a martini glass in his hand.

Phelps, Roger

The Husband. A well-dressed man in his early thirties, with a pointy nose and close-set eyes.

Powell, Dr. Graham

The Psychiatrist. Dr. Powell is a well known and respected psychoanalyst. He has his own private asylum on Long Island Sound, and he is urging Eleanor Phelps to sign her commitment papers. His mistress, Michelle, is a high-flyer and big time spender.

Puccini, Antonio "Weasel"

The Shyster. Puccini handles all of Jason Cardonna's legal and paralegal activities. It is his job to keep Cardonna out of prison.

Rama Shadd

The Punjabi Manservant. Rama Shadd is an amazingly tall man, with strong hands and inscrutable features. He wears a turban and full-length housecoat. In his sleeve Rama Shadd carries a silk handkerchief with a Chinese coin knotted in each end; it is his only weapon. He uses it as a garrote.

Sotello, Luigi "Louie the Gyp"

The Gunsel. A rat-faced little twerp, "Louie the Gyp" has the nervous habit of rattling a pair of dice in his left hand whenever he's nervous. Which is most of the time. A man with an odd little secret.

Shayne, Ted

The Shamus. A gaunt-faced guy with a shuffling walk, Shayne lives in a cold water flat next to the switchyards. If you want a low-budget gumshoe, Shayne's your man. He needs the work so he can get his rod out of hock. So what if his coat's patched? He's smart, and he don't take nothing from nobody.




... takes its unique concept of audience-participation drama to the Prohibition era

for an incredible re-creation of the Last Night in the Roaring Twenties.



A Romance Incognito Cruise lets you go to sea as someone else for a change ...


Explore the actor within you.
Who knows ... you might knock 'em dead.







Alan Lance Andersen


122 West Ash Lane, Roland, Iowa 50236


PHONE (515) 388-5573



Cruise Lines and Agents Click Here.




David Gene Reed, award-winning storyteller, actor, and critic wrote:

Palladian Interactive Theater is a one-of-kind experience. There are any number of "Mystery Dinner" theaters that are, in essence, passive entertainment. The audience comes, watches a murder, and is part of the discussion as to whodunit. It is entertaining, but it is not engaging. It is not far removed from a film or TV show.

Palladian Interactive Theater's methods are different. There are a few staff actors, but usually not in major parts. They help instigate. The audience does the acting. It's more like "cops-and-robbers for grown-ups."

Audience-Participants attending an InterDrama mystery event are given a part to play, props, motives, and information. The attendees are not VIEWING the show, they are PART OF THE SHOW. The careful crafting of the scripts allows guests to take as much or little part in the show as they like. Therein lies the first secret of the theater's success.

Some people want center stage and the spotlight. Others prefer the role of spear-carrier. Those who wish to be active can be. Everyone can come in costume and carefully research their parts. They can have the fun of being a full participant. Those who wish a quieter evening can have that, too.

However, with so many people wanting center stage and a spotlight, you'd have to have three-ring circus to make it work. That's what Palladian Interactive Theater provides. Each show contains multiple story lines. The characters, goals, and authentic props are woven skillfully to make the evening's entertainment. While any given character might be central to one or two storylines, he may be peripheral to a few others.

Here lies the second secret of Palladian Interactive Theater's success: the ringmaster of this mystery circus. Alan Lance Andersen serves as Master of Ceremonies and Referee, but has no role in any of the stories per se. Rather, he and his assistants referees answer questions, settle disputes, and provide hints to players who need a little help. He takes on whatever roles may be necessary to keep the story running. If someone calls the police, it is Officer Andersen that answers the call. If someone needs to know how much a cigar factory sells for, Andersen Realty provides the answer. He keeps the pot boiling, but never lets it boil over. With a fine hand on the throttle, he will provide a hint to one person who seems lost on the way to his goal, then drag a red herring across the path of someone else who is about to reach his goal too soon.

Finally, at the end of the evening, he acts as "Master of Ceremonies" at the Cast Party, where awards are presented and all secrets are revealed. Mr. Andersen's infectious enthusiasm and good humor inevitably bring the evening to a rollicking conclusion.

David Gene Reed



John Kennedy Melling, former editor of the British Crime Writers' Black Dagger series, author of several mystery-related books, drama critic, and BBC broadcaster, said of Forbidden Territory: A Night Cruise to Rum Row:

My first impression was of the immaculate way they have prepared the package. The clever way the authors mingle eleven compact stories held together, a winning use made of period characters, names, and plots make for a compelling production, unique indeed.

I stress the uniqueness, because while there are mystery companies in the States and more here in England, they are all based on only one story. I know of NOTHING here remotely approaching this scheme. TERRIFIC!

John Kennedy Melling
Drama Critic