Just in time for Halloween, the Fine Arts Department at South Plains College is showcasing a play called “The Haunting of Hill House.”
This play was made originally from the novel written in 1959 by American author, Shirley Jackson. There are four main characters in this production, Eleanor Vance, who will be played by Lorena Lopez, Dr. John Montague, who will be played by Spencer Pellowski, Theodora, who will be played by Chantel Davis, and Luke Sanderson, who will be played by Joshua Rodriguez.
Each character comes from a different background, and these young actors and actresses portray such intense and realistic emotions. Performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 26, Oct. 27 and Oct. 28, with a matinee at 2 p.m. on Oct. 29 in the Helen Devitt Jones Theatre for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $5.
Dan Nazworth, department chairperson assistant professor of Theatre Arts, is serving as the director of the play, which he says is focused on terror and paranormal activities. It is a ghost story, but there are no ghosts that take part in the story.
One of the main characters, Dr. Montague, is an investigator of the supernatural. He tries to find proof of the existence of paranormal activities involving the house, so he seeks out assistants to help with this experiment.
Eleanor Vance and Theodora arrive and meet the current house owner’s nephew, Luke Sanderson, as well as Dr. Montague, and they all get along well. Throughout the next several days, all four of them begin to experience these strange occurrences, such as banging and echoes through the hallways. Messages appear on the walls, and doors tend to slam shut.
Eleanor experiences all of this and begins to believe that her time spent outside of the Hill House was wasted. She strengthens her relationship with the house, while her relationship with the others falls apart.
Toward the end of the story, there is a moment when Eleanor is most likely possessed while entering the library and attempting to get to the top of the spiral stairway. But Luke soon saves her. Dr. Montague feels that even if Eleanor is back to normal, it is not safe for her to remain at Hill House.
Eleanor is convinced that she has no home away from the house. But as she is driving off, she steers her car into a tree, committing suicide. Dr. Montague and the others later go their separate ways, leaving the house alone.
Dr. Nazworth says that the play isn’t quite at the point where he would like it to be right now. But with two weeks left until the first performance, he believes that it will be ready just in time. Nazworth says he chose the play specifically because it will be performed two days before Halloween, and the timing fell perfectly.