By: STO Gentry Phillips, Springtown High School, Troupe 1494
There are many ways a theatre can be unique and special. Things such as when the theatre was built, the history of the theatre, or the way the stage and backstage areas are constructed can all give a performance space character. However, a majority of this character can also lie in another trait theatres have in common. What would that be? Why ghosts of course! These invisible, sometimes mischievous, companions really do add personality to any space, including theatres!
My theatre is haunted by a ghost named Dave. Dave likes to make sounds in the catwalk and mess with the lightboard, what joy! Multiple people in my troupe have had experiences regarding Dave, myself included. My freshman year we were doing a public performance of our One Act Play. Emotions had run pretty high that night, so I was in the very dark and very empty black box trying to collect myself. I was sitting on a couch, when I heard a strange sound come from behind me. I turned around to find nothing but a Christmas tree on the floor, so I turned back around. Maybe it was my imagination? But then, it happened again! I turned around and this time I saw the Christmas tree sliding back into the dark. Needless to say, I am now very afraid of the black box.
I’m not the only STO that has a haunted theatre or spooky friend hanging out. STO Talya and STO Michael have also had some paranormal experiences in their performance spaces as well!
STO Talya Hammerman from Ridge Point High School, troupe 7678, reports that her theatre ghoul-friend is relatively chill! This ghost lives in the fly rail and provides the occasional chill all throughout the auditorium. She also likes to turn out all the lights and only turn on the one Talya’s troupe has deemed as her “ghost light”. Don’t fret, Talya reports that this haunt is very friendly, sometimes it even feels as if this ghost is watching over them. How nice!
STO Michael Hernandez from Royse City High School, troupe 8003, says that there have been multiple instances when he has felt another presence in an empty room. Michael’s theatre is built on top of am abandoned race track where unfortunately a terrible accident occurred, which resulted in one of the racers passing on. Michaels troupe says that many times they will hear creaking and other mysterious noises all around their performing arts center. Once Michael was alone in the makeup room when he thought he saw someone standing behind him in one of the mirrors. He turned around to find nobody else there! He looked back at himself in the mirror to only then experience a sudden chill occurring on his neck, as if someone was breathing on him. Creepy!
Regardless if your current theatre is haunted or not, every thespian will encounter some supernatural friend in some performance space. Remember to be kind and courteous, ghosts are friends!
Your 2021 Texas State Thespian Officers