Schuster Theatre embraces student-run production


First celebrated in the United States in the 1920s to the 1930s, Halloween was a community-centered holiday that was commemorated with parades and town-wide parties.

Fast forward almost 100 years and the ways we celebrate Halloween are still the same. The emphasis today is more about scaring and being scared.

If you are someone who wants to take part in a great American cultural tradition and have a group of students scare you this Halloween season, then at the end of the month you should come see “Stage Fright.”

This year in lieu of a haunted house, Gannon’s honors theater fraternity Alpha Psi Omega is putting on a play festival celebrating the horrifying things in everyday life.

There will be five short plays, all written, produced and performed by students. The five plays are as follows, “Jack the Ripper,” by Cassandra Bielecki, “They Want Blood,” by Aaron Mook, and “True Love,” “Remaining,” and “The Statistic,” by Michael Haas. Each play is around 10 minutes long and all feature truly scary themes.

Zach Hyman, a sophomore and theatre and communication arts major, who took part in Stage Fright, last year will be performing in two of the plays this year. Hyman said he was more than enthusiastic about the change in direction from a haunted house to a play fest.

“They are all great writers [Bielecki, Haas and Mook] and it’s always fun to perform something that a peer has written,” Hyman said. “I’m so excited to scare everyone; these plays are some of the spookiest I’ve read this year and I can’t wait to perform them.”

Michael Haas, a theatre major and president of Alpha Psi Omega, said that the plays will be entered into Gannon’s local Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) region competition.

“They’ll be assessed for all student – produced elements, aka writing, acting and directing as well as technical elements,” Haas said.  “It’s an extraordinary privilege to be able to have such talent here at Gannon [University].”

Hass said to be able to put on a totally student -produced play festival is something that most people can’t say they’ve accomplished or even been a part of.

“With our university we can make these connections [and it will] really perfect our craft all while participating in other clubs and activities on campus,” he said.

Come out and see at least one performance, if not to support you fellow classmates, to support American culture. Stage Fright performances will be at 8 p.m., 10 p.m. and midnight  on Oct 23-24. There will also be performances at 8 and 10 p.m. the following weekend, Oct 30-31.


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