Theater presents interactive horror plays

Taylor Fukunaga
Staff Writer

The theater department is taking an interactive theatrical approach to haunted houses in “The Walls Speak,” which runs through Sunday.

The walk-through attraction is a collaboration between Bello’s Haunts and the department.

“The Walls Speak” is an immersive event that highlights two shows, “The Curse of Carter Manor” and “Ghoulmates’s Haunted Hideaway.”

Both are written and directed by sophomore theater major Giann Bello and University of La Verne alumna Claire Ng.

“The Curse of Carter Manor” tells the story of a torn-apart family in the 1950s that eventually faces the death of their child.

“Ghoulmates’s Haunted Hideaway” tells the story of two deceased lovers in a relationship, and visitors are set in the middle of an argument between their two spirits.

Bello said that the best way to describe “The Walls Speak,” is that it’s a radio play with haunted house elements scattered throughout.

“There are elements of voice actors, live actors, and special effects that bring the rooms to life and puts your head on a swivel, always questioning what’s going to happen next,” Bello said.

What started out as an idea came to life after Bello and Ng used their ideas to create a collaborative product.

Together, their student-led team created the production’s props and costumes.

“It’s good that we got to experience something different,” Ng said. “Sometimes you just have to open your horizons and boundaries to different things.”

Visitors are welcomed with two lines, one for each show. Junior theater major, Victoria Gaspar and junior business administration and theater major Savannah Noriega, tour guide-actors throughout both shows, helped move the storylines along.

“We lead prospective visitors… or should we say ‘victims’ into the rooms,” Gaspar said.

“We’re here to bring the haunt to life,” Noriega added.

Senior studio arts major Lucy Jordan went through both “The Curse” and “Ghoulmates.”

“There were times when I was really scared, and there were elements that I wasn’t expecting,” Jordan said. “I know people will like this.”

Freshman psychology and theater major Ashley Sendejas walked through both shows with her friends.

She said that she would highly recommend “The Walls Speak” to others.

“You can really see the hard work that goes into this production,” Sendejas said. “It’s like no other.”

Junior theater major Emily Lick is the stage manager for the production.

She said that putting together the attraction was chaotic, yet enjoyable.

“Having to translate writing for theater to a haunted house was a completely different ball game, but it was challenging in a super fun way,” Lick said.

Both Bello and Ng warn visitors to expect to be scared.

“This is the time of year where people should come and get their spooks in,” Bello said. “We want people to enjoy this.”

“The Walls Speak,” which opened Thursday, runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Jane Dibbell Cabaret Theatre on the University’s main campus.

Tickets are $8 for one show and $15 for both.

For more information, visit @belloshaunts on Instagram.

Taylor Fukunaga can be reached at taylor.fukunaga@laverne.edu.

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