Michelle Smith, business director at Valparaiso Memorial House and a coordinator of their annual “Halloween Spooktacular,” says the adults that participate in their annual kid-minded event are as awestruck as the youngsters in the audience.
“It’s a lot of fun for us to put this on, because we love seeing the looks on the kids’ faces,” she said. “We’re performing for them, versus performing for the adults. It’s great to see the adults and how much they love our show, but when the kids’ faces light up, that makes it so special for us.”
Kicking off at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 26, this year marks the fifth running of Memorial Opera House’s “Spooktacular.” The event is geared to children between five and 12 years of age.
At “Spooktacular,” young attendees get a chance to participate in a parade and show off their costume on the Memorial Opera House stage before being entertained by the company’s five-member “Pumpkin Players.” The players will perform an original 45-minute play penned specifically for this year’s “Spooktacular “by Memorial Opera House artistic director Jordan Chaddock.
Smith sees her company’s annual Halloween festivity as a rare opportunity for their theater space and thesps to be focused solely to area youngsters.
“When you’re little, being able to parade your costume across the stage is just so cool, and so is getting to come to the theatre when the focus is towards them,” she said. “Rather than tagging along with their parents, their parents are tagging along with them, and that makes it a much bigger deal for the kids.”
Trick or treating throughout downtown Valparaiso is scheduled prior to the “Spooktacular.”
“I hope that (the kids) have a lot of fun, and I hope the adults enjoy it as much as the kids,” Smith said. “(The adults) get to experience the arts with their children and open up their children’s minds for the theatrical arts.”
Memorial Opera House’s next production, the musical “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” is scheduled to open Dec. 7.