With Halloween approaching, two local high school theater programs are staging haunted houses to delight thrill-seekers young and old and raise funds for future productions.
Falls Church High School Drama’s “Carnival of Chaos” runs Friday and Saturday, and J.E.B. Stuart High School Drama’s “Be Very, Very Afraid” runs next Tuesday and Wednesday.
Both shows are being created by drama students at the high schools, who are building and lighting the maze-like pathways visitors will travel, acting in spooky vignettes throughout the haunted house, and developing costumes and make-up to fit the themes of their haunted houses.
Falls Church High’s “Carnival of Chaos” will take a sinister approach to the attractions and sideshow performers one might see at a carnival. Bill Lambert, Falls Church High’s new drama teacher, said the haunted house is a long-standing tradition for the drama department.
While Lambert recommends the haunted house for teens and older, he added that a special matinee performance will let the younger set in on the Halloween fun.
“They tone it down a bit,” Lambert said. “It’s not quite as startling and bloody and intimidating with the little guys.”
But the unrestrained evening shows promise spine-tingling thrills for those who dare navigate the maze of carnival horrors.
Storms from last year’s Hurricane Sandy led to the closing of Stuart High’s haunted house last year, but the Stuart drama department is back this year with “Be Very, Very Afraid.”
The Black Box Theatre will be transformed into a hospital overrun with an outbreak of zombies, offering the dual terror of medical- and zombie-related horrors. The show can be intense, said Drama Booster Mark Goldenberg, and thus activities will be provided for children in a separate area of the school.
“Carnival of Chaos” runs Friday and Saturday from 7 – 9:45 p.m. The haunted house is recommended for ages 13 and older. Tickets are $5. The children’s haunted house will take place Saturday from 1 – 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $3. Both haunted house will take place at Falls Church High School, 7521 Jaguar Trail, Falls Church. For more information, call 703-207-4000.
“Be Very, Very Afraid” runs next Tuesday and Wednesday from 7 – 9 p.m. The haunted house is recommended for ages 10 and older. Tickets are $5. The haunted house will take place in J.E.B. Stuart High School’s Black Box Theatre. Kid-friendly activities for children younger than 10 will be offered in the school’s Little Theatre. J.E.B. Stuart High School is located at 3301 Peace Valley Lane, Falls Church. For more information, call 703-824-3900.