Drama department scares up funds with haunted house


photo or infographic by courtesy of WHS Drama Dept.

ALL TRICKS NO TREATS. The drama department will host a haunted house from 5-8 on Halloween in the PAC.

Spooky season means many different things. For some, it means pumpkin spice lattes, for others, it means dressing up as their favorite characters, but for theater students, it’s a chance to put their skills to the test both on and off stage. 

The drama department is hosting a haunted house on Halloween.  The event is from 5-8 P.M. and cost $5. According to theater teacher Matlock is inviting any and all who are interested to pitch in. 

“The haunted house will be held in the auditorium this year and is an opportunity for a bunch of students to work together, to work on technical aspects in a story, and it’s student-driven, student created,” Matlock said. “And it’s for the public so it can raise money for our tech program. I’m encouraging theater students to sign up first, and then if you’ve got a friend that wants to join you or something like that, that would be awesome, that would be helpful, but it’s not really limited.”

The project will be mostly student-run, with the help of the theater department teachers. The meeting of the students to plan things will determine what the final project will look like. 

“I have a few ideas, I’m really wanting the kids to come up with the story plot,” Matlock said. “I’m, of course, going to be the person in the corner suggesting things, and not pressuring them to choose my idea, but something along those lines.”

While the theater running the haunted house is a relatively recent thing, it has very much been a fan favorite for the ones who took part in it. 

“I really enjoy it, it was one of my favorite events that we did last year,” senior Addison Williams. “I enjoy the reaction that you can get from people. It’s really fun to watch people get scared, but you’re in on it, so you’re not scared, so you know exactly what’s going to happen and are able to anticipate the moments and reactions.” 

There are many different aspects to any show, and one as interactive as a haunted house takes many people doing different things to make it work. The tech crew will be able to explore many different areas of their creativity, and actors will be able to let loose and put their all into it. 

“Usually you get kids that like to create images, we’ve got a lot of designers that like to do this, because they have fun ideas,” Matlock said. “They get theater magic to happen. Make-up artists love a haunted house, usually costume people love a haunted house, and actors love a good opportunity to throw themselves down and cry. Usually, the designer kids really shine in a haunted house.”

Conveying what is needed between the crew and cast is essential in theater. In a haunted house, creating the best experience for the audience takes a lot of communication. 

“Behind the scenes, everyone is scrambling to make sure that people are getting the best experience possible,” senior Brooklyn Alling said. “It’s just trial and error. People go into the haunted house, and if something isn’t scary or something doesn’t work, we have to communicate with everybody throughout how to fix it. People do get hurt a lot. For me, I was taken by a nun, and each time it hurt more and more. You just have to put safety first and the experience for the people going through the haunted house.”

Everyone will have their place in the show. Though not all students will know exactly where their interests land, many have found their place and are excited to work in that field. The anticipation to get to work is definitely building with those that plan to participate. 

“I think acting is more enjoyable because you kinda get to mess around with people,” Williams said.  “You do have to do things in a certain guideline, but it’s fun to kinda know what’s gonna happen and be the part that people see, like people will be like ‘Oh, you were the one who did this’ and I love that.”