Ooh, scary! Theater to stage ‘Gothic Horror’

Photo of jack-o-lantern with hand reaching outThe NIU School of Theatre and Dance will celebrate Halloween a little late this year with performances of “Evening of Gothic Horror,” opening Thursday, Nov. 3.

A collection of classic horror fiction stories by three well-known authors, “Evening of Gothic Horror” is the second production of the school’s 2011-2012 Studio Series, all of which are performed in their 143 seat Corner Theatre.

Freshman BFA in acting students will make their NIU stage debut with this theatrical presentation of spooky tales, which include: “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” by Washington Irving; “Young Goodman Brown,” by Nathaniel Hawthorne; and “The Thing on the Doorstep,” by H. P. Lovecraft.

Each short play will be directed by faculty members of the school: Ryan Massie, Luke Krueger and Stanton Davis.

Set in circa 1790, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is one of the earliest examples of American fiction still read today.

Irving’s tale recounts the final adventure of Ichabod Crane, the local schoolmaster of Tarry Town. On his way home from a party, Ichabod is chased through the dark, secluded glen of Sleepy Hollow by the infamous ghost of a long dead Hessian soldier known as the Headless Horseman.

Nathaniel Hawthorne published “Young Goodman Brown” in 1835 and set the story in Puritan New England.

The title character suddenly finds himself in the darkest depths of the forest and in the company of every fellow townsperson he thought he knew to be pious and good. However, these good people of Salem are irresistibly enticing him little by little to participate in a celebration of the devil in a ceremony of evil.

“The Thing on the Doorstep” is Lovecraft’s story told as a first-person account of a friend’s apparent descent into complete madness, and the tale teller’s gradual realization that an act of murder is the only way to stop an evil soul from using black magic to forever transfer from body to body.

“Evening of Gothic Horror” will run only four nights; Thursday, Nov. 3, through Sunday, Nov. 6, in the Stevens Building Corner Theatre. All tickets are $5 and only are available one hour before scheduled curtain times at the Stevens Building Box Office.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. weekdays and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. For more information, contact the Stevens building Box Office online or at (815) 753-1600 between noon and 5 p.m. daily.

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