The Gannon University Schuster Theatre is getting in the spirit of Halloween with the fourth annual Stage Fright.
Stage Fright is a haunted house put on every year around Halloween by Gannon’s honorary theater fraternity, Alpha Psi Omega – APO.
The event includes a tour of the theater where guests have the opportunity to hear ghost stories that go along with the theme.
This year, APO decided to base the theme of stage fright on dreams.
Alexandra Mihai, a junior psychology major with a dual minor in theatre and theology, co-chairs the Stage Fright committee of APO.
Mihai said when she was a freshman she saw posters for Stage Fright around campus and didn’t know much about it, but she was told to go.
“I remember being amazed by how the students were able to turn the entire theater into a haunted house,” Mihai said. “They were also quite scary though.”
Mihai said she has heard from several students and faculty members how incredible the haunted house was and how they look forward to it every year. She said people tell her they enjoy the enthusiasm of the actors involved and the portrayal of each character.
Matthew Kridel, a senior psychology major, said the best feedback comes from the screams the actors get – and more often than not, they get quite a few.
Kridel said APO decided to go with the theme of dreams because it wanted to play with more psychological aspects of fear as opposed to things just jumping out at people.
“What the mind does, especially in sleep, can be far scarier than anything in real life,” Kridel said.
Mihai said this year’s theme is a bit unusual for a haunted house, but the two concepts work well together because dreams can be scary.
“Many of our own dreams play with our minds,” Mihai said. “They also cause us to experience many emotions and thoughts that tend to frighten us.”
Another different aspect about this year’s Stage Fright is that will take place not only Friday and Saturday night, but Sunday night, as well.
Mihai said that a downside to this would be students choosing to go Friday or Saturday because it’s the weekend and not come Sunday, because it is a school night. But also people who couldn’t make it out either of those nights have the opportunity to come on a Sunday night.
Kridel said three nights may be more taxing on the actors, but he thinks it’s worth it because more people will be able to experience Stage Fright.
“I’m always so impressed by the energy and enthusiasm the actors put into it; that makes all the difference between a good and great experience,” Kridel said.
Mihai said along with the haunted house, APO will have a surprise in front of the Waldron desk at noon on Thursday and a zombie walk Saturday afternoon.
Stage Fright will take place from 8 – 11 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Schuster Theatre. Tickets are $2 and GU Gold is accepted.
Proceeds of Stage Fright will go to APO andtoward the cost of traveling to Edinburgh, Scotland, for the 2014 Fringe Festival and International Collegiate Theatre Festival.
“It’s a quality production for a low price and it’s right on Gannon’s campus,” Kridel said. “There’s no need to go to Pittsburgh or Cleveland.”