By LAUREN SOVISKY
Alpha Psi Omega, Gannon University’s honorary theatre fraternity, celebrates the thrills and chills of Halloween with a haunted theater experience.
“Stage Fright: Claustrophobia” has taken over Gannon’s Schuster Theater as a scary way for students to enjoy the spooky season.
In 2009, the Schuster Theater began constructing the theater into a haunted house.
Members of Alpha Psi Omega helped to construct the scenes, navigate a path throughout the theater and dressed up for haunting their fellow peers.
Last year the tradition changed from a haunted house into a “Play Fest of Fear” where students were given the opportunity to write, direct and perform their own pieces.
Going back to their roots, Alpha Psi Omega decided they would continue the original tradition this year.
“Doing the haunted house my freshman year was one of the best experiences I’ve had in my time at college,” said junior advertising communication major Allie Leng. “I’m so excited it is back again.”
Leng was one of the many students who participated in the building and scaring of the haunted house. She dressed up in a costume, and hid in corners waiting to scare oncoming students.
This year’s theme strays from past houses.
Alpha Psi Omega decided to take a psychological route instead of blood and gore.
“The focus isn’t on what’s jumping out at you,” said Chase Miles, senior theatre communication major and current vice president of Alpha Psi Omega.
“The focus is on our own fears and phobias.”
Students can expect tight, dark spaces with twists and turns in hopes of generating an anxious and nerve-wracking feeling.
Stage Fright, however, wasn’t created to simply terrify students and staff.
“It’s all in the name of fun, while raising funds for our students performing in Scotland next August,” said Jax Vadney, the Schuster Theater’s technical director and adviser of Alpha Psi Omega.
Many Gannon students have expressed an interest in going to “Stage Fright: Claustrophobia.”
Sophmore software engineering major Adelai Flowers said, “I haven’t gone yet, but I heard the effort put into it was astronomical and it really payed off.”
All proceeds from Stage Fright: Claustrophobia” go to support the theatre program’s participation in the International Collegiate Theatre Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, in August 2017.
It is one of the largest theater festivals in the world, and Gannon students have the opportunity to travel and perform on this international stage.
“Stage Fright: Claustrophobia” continues this week at 8 p.m. from Thursday through Saturday.
Admission is $3 per person or $5 for two people.
“Stage Fright: Claustrophobia” does contain moments of complete darkness, tight spaces and turns, climbing stairs, strobe lights and sudden loud noises. All who enter should proceed with caution.