MARQUETTE - Several new features that should appeal to both children and adults will be featured during the fourth annual First Nighters Club Haunted Theatre inside Northern Michigan University's Forest Roberts Theatre that kicks off tonight.
"People visiting the theater this weekend should expect to see all new screams this year," said Amber Lopota, student director of the haunted theater.
The haunted theatre features two different versions, including the adult show that runs from 8 to 11 p.m. today through Saturday at a cost of $10. This version will have more graphic rooms and actors will interact more with visitors.
One of the props for the First Nighters Club’s Haunted Theatre at Northern Michigan University is shown. (Journal photo by Matt Keiser)
Haunted theater director Marty Martello discusses last minute details with the cast during a dress rehearsal Wednesday for the attraction, which opens tonight at the Forest Roberts Theatre. (Journal photo by Matt Keiser)
The family friendly version will run from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday at a cost of $15 per family. The family friendly haunted theatre will have less graphic props and the actors will interact less with the participants.
An NMU senior, Lopota, 33, has been working on haunted houses and set designs since she was a sophomore in high school. This will be her second year working with the haunted theater.
"Halloween has always been my favorite holiday and as I got older, the scares weren't there I wasn't feeling the adrenalin." Lopota said. "I wanted to get adults back into the Halloween spirit.
"For a number of years we kept a lot of things the same, (but) we have changed ... 90 percent of what goes on in the haunted theater this year."
More then 60 volunteers ranging from theater majors to local volunteers auditioned for the haunted theatre. A majority of the volunteers designed their own costumes for the show.
"The construction of the haunted theatre started last Friday and still has a few small odds and ends to fix before the opening night," haunted theatre director Marty Martello said.
Martello has been working in theater for 50 years and said he believes acting in a haunted theater is a much different experience than traditional theater.
"You are not 20 feet from your audience like in classic theater, you are actually interacting with them," Martello said.
For more information, call the Forest Roberts Theatre at 227-2082 or visit the NMU website at www.nmu.edu.
Matt Keiser can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 243.