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Murray Journal

Haunted Hallway Kicks Off Cottonwood High Theatre Season

Oct 04, 2016 02:30PM ● By Julie Slama

Sophia Morrill is the student in charge of the Haunted Hallway. 

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Every October, underneath Cottonwood High’s stage there are creaks and moans.  Behind the stage, there are chains rattling and eerie sounds come from the staircase.

It’s not because the school is 46 years old. It’s because of the fourth annual Haunted Hallway, a fun, family-friendly event presented by theatre students beginning at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 26 at the school, 5715 South 1300 East, in Murray.

Theatre director Adam Wilkins said that although the hallway has Cottonwood theatre students dressed up, the spookiness level can be toned down for young children so it makes it a fun event for everyone.

“We ask families to bring in non-perishable or can foods we can donate and deliver to the Utah Food Bank,” he said.  “This way, we can serve our community both through entertainment and giving the much needed food into the hands who can use it.”

Last year, students donated more than one ton of food and theatre officers helped sort items at the food bank.

“We’ve been becoming more involved in the food bank.  We’re wanting more people to come so we can give more to help our community,” he said.

Also kicking off the theatre season will be the first of several improvisation shows during the year.  The student-directed 90-minute show will entertain the entire family and be interactive with the audience, Wilkins said.  The show will begin at 7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 24 and will follow a Halloween theme.  Tickets are available at the door for $3.  

“We want to give as many opportunities to showcase the students’ talents in as many ways as possible,” Wilkins said.

The fall musical, “Big Fish,” will tell the story of fathers and sons, generations learning from one another and the tales that are told and the reasons they’re told, Wilkins said.

“It will be a way they discover the truth in the stories.  And it’s a way we can educate, teach and give direction to something with value to our students, school and community.  It has a message that both our students and audience can walk away with, be educated and enlightened by, and at the same time, be entertained,” he said.

Wilkins said that the show also emphasizes the amount of time families spend together.

“We may not be spending enough time listening to our grandparents and parents and the stories they tell.  Instead, we may have hundreds of friends on Facebook and social media, but we aren’t learning to communicate, have a conversation, listen to them telling us about life,” he said.

As part of the being cast in the show, he is encouraging students to do just that — listen to their families’ stories and share those.

“Big Fish” opens in Cottonwood High’s auditorium at 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 17 and runs through Saturday, Nov. 19 and again, Monday, Nov. 21.  There is a noon matinee on Nov. 19.  Tickets in advance through the school website are $8 or at the door, $9.

In addition to more improvisation shows, including a December holiday one, the theatre season will include students attending the Utah Theatre Association conference and workshops Jan. 12-14, 2017 at Dixie State University, where they will learn from professionals from New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, Wilkins said.

The students return to the stage at 7 p.m., Jan. 25, 2017 for the student-directed Broadway Revue and melodrama.  Wilkins said that Act 1 will highlight several Broadway songs and favorites while Act 2 will be a melodrama featuring a villain audiences will boo and heroes they’ll cheer.  Tickets cost $7 in advance through the school website and $8 at the door.

The theatre department also will put on William Shakespeare’s “Henry V” at 7 p.m. March 15-18, 2017, and “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” at 7 p.m., May 10-15, 2017. Tickets cost $7 in advance through the school website and $8 at the door.