By Alli Myers
Haunted houses are a Halloween classic. There’s always a handful of people who simply love to be scared out of their minds leading up to the 31st of October. The MSU Department of Theatre is the group behind the scenes of MSU’s very own “Haunted Aud”. Every year the department turns the Auditorium, located on Farm Lane and Auditorium Road, into a haunted house for students to go through during the weekend of Halloween. This year, the event was held from the 28th through the 30th. Anyone was welcome, students or not, from 8 p.m. to midnight.
This year’s theme was a psychiatric ward. The line waiting to go in was set up like the waiting room in a hospital, and the Auditorium was filled with actors from the department portraying the patients and doctors. When let in to the first hallway, visitors were greeted by the doctors and nurses of the ward, who were every bit as troubled as the patients. There was someone following you down almost every hallway, people screaming for help to get out of the psych ward, and amazing props. Among these were patients screaming chained to beds, body parts scattered around the rooms, chainsaws, medical devices and much more. All of this and more often made you forget you were even in the Auditorium.
“The Auditorium is creepy without even trying, so we make it even scarier,” said theater sophomore Shannon Melick. The fact that MSU’s Auditorium has all of the necessary props to put on almost any kind of show supplied them with everything needed to perform a complete makeover on the space.
Peter Martino, a junior in the Department of Theatre studying lighting design, was the master electrician for the event.
“My favorite part about Haunted Aud is having students come through and showing them that our department can do more than put on a play,” he said.
Turning the Auditorium into a spooky haunted house was done on a budget of about $500, Martino said. The event cost $10 for students, and was used as a fundraiser for the theater department.
Melick went through the Auditorium on opening night and said, “The only thing that made it a little scary for me was that I knew almost all of the actors.” She said that hearing her own name down almost every hallway gave her even more goose bumps than she already had, but at the same time reminded her more than others that it was all just a setup.
The theatre department has a few plays coming up for the end of the semester.
“The Beaux Stratagem” will be held on November 20 in the Arena Theater. Melick described the play as a “restoration comedy”. Written by George Farquhar in 1707, it centers around two men trying to find rich heiresses to marry in order to restore their fortunes. Following “The Beaux Stratagem” is the fifth annual Freshmen Showcase, running from Dec. 2-4, where all the new freshmen in the department show off their talent in a series of shows.
Also approaching are a few big events from the MSU Roial Players, a student-led theater group that runs through the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities. “Audience”, a short comedic play, will take place Nov. 17-20. Following “Audience” is “The Laramie Project”, described by Roial Art Director Megan Kelly as “a compilation of interviews surrounding the murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay college student from Laramie, Wyo.”
Between the theater department and the Roial Players, MSU has a lot of shows and events coming up. Tickets for the theater shows can be found purchased from the Wharton Center Box Office, and tickets for Roial events can be purchased at the door in the basement of Snyder-Phillips Hall.