Haunted theater screams fun for all

Meghan Trombley

A maze-like trail of rooms draws the audience through an interactive Haunted Theatre, where 60 characters wait for them to come around the corner.

Haunted Theatre will take place from 8 to 11 p.m., Oct. 27 through Oct. 29 at the Forest Roberts Theatre. There will also be a kids version in from 4 to 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 29.
It costs $5 for kids and NMU students, $10 for adults and $15 for families.

Jake DeLong, a freshman theater major, is a character in the electric chair room. It is his first time participating in Haunted Theatre.

“I did the general audition and they called me back,” DeLong said. “I love scary things in general. I get to scream at people.”

Haunted Theatre is a fundraiser for the First Nighter’s Club, an NMU foundation that works specifically on behalf of the theatre to provide scholarships, internships and other opportunities to students.

DeLong said he likes the way Haunted Theatre is set up because it is not like a stage production, where actors perform the same acts for every audience.

“You can change it up every time a group comes in,” DeLong said.

Amber Lopota, a junior individually created program major, worked at haunted houses for seven years before coming to Northern.

“The psychology of fear is really intriguing to me,” Lopota said.

Lopota took a theatrical makeup class and had the idea to create an advanced makeup class.

There were several other students interested in the class and they had the class approved by the academic board.

The class is a makeup crew that works for an entire semester on productions.

“I am doing most of the makeup, in charge of creating new characters, round tabling with the rest of the design crew and scaring the crap out of people,” Lopota said. “I am also developing new characters.”

Lopota does makeup for 20 characters. Some characters use full-face prosthetics and Lopota has to design the costumes for them.

Haunted Theatre has changed and is going to be bigger than previous years.

This year’s adult version will have a chainsaw room, a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” a Lady Gaga horror scene and a zombie and priest-zombie scene.
The kid’s version is more lighthearted and family friendly, complete with a Ghostbusters slimer.

“We’ve changed some rooms, added some characters. It’s a more elaborate scale. [We built] it up essentially from the ground again,” Lopota said.

Like DeLong, Lopota is passionate about Haunted Theatre.

“If I had it my way we would run it all month,” Lopota said. “We’re always looking for anyone who’s interested. You don’t have to be an actor.”

For more information about Haunted Theatre, visit www.nmu.edu/theatre.