News From Terre Haute, Indiana

July 12, 2012

Shawnee Theatre brings ‘The Haunting of Hill House’ to stage


Special to the Tribune-Star

BLOOMFIELD — The Shawnee Theatre’s fourth show of its 53rd season is “The Haunting of Hill House” by F. Andrew Leslie, based on the novel by Shirley Jackson.

The story is a chilling and mystifying study in mounting terror in which a small group of “psychically receptive” people are brought together in Hill House, a brooding, mid-Victorian mansion known as a place of evil and container of “ill will.”

Led by the learned Dr. Montague, who is conducting research in supernatural phenomena, the visitors have come to probe the secrets of the old house and to draw forth the mysterious power that it is alleged to possess, powers which have brought madness and death to those who have lived therein in the past. (Rated PG-13)

“A few years ago, we began producing tech-heavy, ‘scary’ plays like ‘Frankenstein,’ ‘Wolfman’ and ‘Dracula’ and had a great deal of success as well as a great deal of fun doing them,” said Kevin Lee Guthridge, producing artistic director. “I wanted to put something in the line-up this year that would be along those lines, but give us even more of an opportunity to really scare our audience. ‘The Haunting of Hill House’ was a good fit in terms of cast size, it’s based on a really great novel by Shirley Jackson, and has had two movies made of it, so the story may even be familiar to some people.

“I think our audience is especially going to love the technical aspects of this piece, as it is written to be done with extensive sound and lighting designs. I am thrilled to be composing and sound designing for this show alongside a very talented design team,” he said.

The show is “spellbinding, nerve-wracking, and at times just downright scary, but at its core is a very human story that communicates with heightened precision the feeling of unrequited longing,” said Director Jerry Morrison. “This is a tale of a haunted soul every bit as much as a haunted house.”

“The Haunting of Hill House” will open at 8 p.m. today and runs one week with a total of four performances. Performances at Shawnee will continue each Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. throughout the summer. Tickets are $14 for adults ($16 for musicals) or $7 for children ($8 for musicals).

Call (812) 384-3559 or visit www.shawneetheatre.org for tickets. Ticket office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and one hour prior to each performance. For more information, visit www.shawneetheatre.org or email the Shawnee Theatre at shawneetheatre@hotmail.com.