Following the success of last year’s Haunted Asylum, the Van Alstyne High School theater department students have planned a follow-up to their annual Halloween event. The VAHS Theater will proudly be presenting The CarnEVIL Fear Fair on Monday, Oct. 23 and Tuesday, Oct. 24, both nights from 6 p.m.-9 p.m, at the high school stage.
“This year the VA theater is bringing to life a carnival packed with amazing feats of magic, knife throwing, clowns, freakshow performers, human puppets, possessed dolls and much more,” said VAHS and VAMS Theater Director Jeremy Stein as a teaser for the event. “Make your way through the midway, have your fortune told, and enter the big top, just don’t wander off — or you the magician might make you disappear for real…”
The proceeds of the event will go towards building the still growing theater program, which is now in its second year of formation. Same as last year, the theater students designed the theme, characters and atmosphere of the production. While last year the department was equipped with a single class of 22 students, this year it has grown to three classes of 57 students.
Stein praised the students for their ideas and experiences that contributed to the design of the haunted attraction, saying that they bring an “immesurable” amount to the table. The design process benefitted from the return of a number of theater students who now have the experience of putting the event together; the returning students were largely able to lead the newcomers as all participants collaborated on ideas.
“Building on top of that, we also have a great number of freshmen who were also my students at the middle school last year, who only heard of the experience and now get to be apart of it,” said Stein. “Like last year, this house is almost completely being built from donated materials.”
Planning and concept creation stemmed back to early September, at which point students weeded through ideas, characters, storylines, designs and effects before coming up with the right amount of spooky and entertaining. Stein said that several theme ideas were explored, with many being kept in mind for future productions. The students ultimately voted to have a “fear fair,” and began pre-construction in mid-September. Due to having to share the school stage with other events, official permanent construction was stalled until Oct. 10. Now days before the event, students are polishing off the final touches.
“We attempted to go a bit more for ‘environment’ than in your face scary,” said Stein, clarifying that younger children would likely find the event more entertaining than frightening. “Their will be smoke machines, scary make-up, loud noises and strobe lights in effect,” he said, adding that parental guidance is always advised.
Last year the VAHS Theater Department was in its inaugural year of creation, with proceeds from the event also going towards raising money for the emerging program. Deemed an all-around success by Stein, Haunted Asylum brought in more than 400 people and earned an estimated $1,300.
“Last year was an incredible year not only with the haunted house production but also with the success of the UIL one act play. The momentun is building,” said Stein. “We are hoping to build upon last years Asylum with the 2017 production of The Fear Fair.”
Tickets for this year’s production will be $5 for an adult to enter and $3 for a student. Van Alstyne High School is located at 1722 N Waco St.