by REAGAN MOTSINGER - Thespians hosted the first-ever sold out Haunted Stage.
WESTFIELD, Ind. (Oct. 2019) - Cobwebs, tombstones and stage blood became essentials of the Thespian Troupe as they put on the fourth annual Haunte
d Stage, the haunted house event taking place in the WHS auditorium.
This event called for spooky and gory makeup, so students had the opportunity to experiment. Between blood, bruises, wounds and monster looks, they had plenty to try.
“[My favorite part is] definitely the makeup and the costumes because I love designing stuff,” Maddy Campbell (10) said.
The makeup contributed to the students’ scare factor, but there was also a performance element, whether that meant a jump scare or yelling scary things at the guests who passed through.
“[I like] scaring people, seeing their reactions and them screaming and then some of them recognizing who you are,” Alex Arnold (10) said.
If the audience did recognize the actors, it blurred the line between acting and reality, sometimes requiring more improv than the unscripted event already did.
“It depends on what they do, but if they say my name, I get really up close in their face with my prop knife and kinda tease them with it,” Arnold, who played an evil doctor, said.
The improvisational element of Haunted Stage was difficult for some students, but they still enjoyed participating in the event and trying new things.
1. Ellye Tibbets (11) in the jail (Photo by ANYA BURKE)
2. Ashlynne Kilgore (10) in the graveyard (Photo by ANYA BURKE)
3. Julia Lamb (10) and Nicole Hughes (9) in the haunted hotel (Photo by ANYA BURKE)
“It’s been a bit of a challenge, but it’s been better than going through and having to memorize a script,” Halena Michael (9) said.
Even though there were challenges, working closely with groups of fellow thespians helped participants connect with each other and build friendships.
“I’ve made so many relationships with people that aren’t even in my grade and I didn’t even know before this,” Michael said. “It’s like an unbreakable bond that we’ll never lose.”
For those with Haunted Stage experience, this year’s event was special in another way as well. Whether due to better advertising or other reasons, the event was incredibly popular, maxing out the number of visitors every night--enough that the Saturday show had to be extended to twice its initially planned length.
“This year we’ve had a bunch more people,” Campbell said. “We’ve been sold out at like 7:30 [p.m.] I think … which is crazy, and it wasn’t like that at all last year.”