YouTheatre scares up some laughs with its Halloween Spooktacular this weekend | ParkRecord.com
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YouTheatre scares up some laughs with its Halloween Spooktacular this weekend

Kid-friendly versions of ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Dracula’ are waiting in the wings

Gunner Flowers, center, is Dracula in the Egyptian Theatre YouTheatre's "Halloween Spooktacular" this weekend. The production will feature abridged and family-friendly versions of Bram Stoker's "Dracula" and Mary Shelly's "Frankenstein."
Courtesy of Jamie Wilcox

Egyptian Theatre’s YouTheatre troupe will scare up some heartwarming laughs during its Halloween Spooktacular run of “Frankenstein” and “Dracula” this weekend.

The productions will be like a “Creature Double Feature,” according to YouTheatre director Jamie Wilcox.

“We will perform shortened versions of Mary Shelly’s ‘Frankenstein’ and Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ that have been adapted and written specifically for children,” Wilcox said. “They are a little silly, which I love, but also contain original text from the classic books.”



Wilcox recruited Amy Livingston and Dan Varus, who have both directed past YouTheatre productions, to helm these works.

“Amy is directing ‘Frankenstein,’ and Dan is doing ‘Dracula,’” she said. “And the way we set things up is we’ll perform one play and then go right into the next.”



Although the plays are short, Wilcox wanted the actors, who range in age from 10 to 15, to explore their roles.

“We are also leaning towards the more human-reflection aspect in the ‘Frankenstein’ story,” she said. “The theme of the play is finding out who you are, being different and trying to make it in this world.”

“Dracula,” on the other hand, will lean on the campy side, Wilcox said.

“We are really going to focus on the laughs to finish things off,” she said.

The whole performance will run about one hour, which is the same length as other YouTheatre productions, according to Wilcox.

“We encourage members of the audience to come in their costumes, especially the Sunday performance, because we will open at 2 p.m. and then end a little after 3 p.m., just in time for trick-or-treating with Halloween on Main,” she said.

Producing a Halloween production is a new venture for YouTheatre, Wilcox said.

“We used to do a formal show in the winter and then a spring musical,” she said. “We thought about it and realized we can shake things up a bit. I’ve been thinking about doing a Halloween show, and things just came together.”

As with all YouTheatre productions, the focus for the participating students isn’t just acting on stage, Wilcox said.

“In addition to the 13 students we have performing, there are three students who are working on the technical crew backstage, and are learning about how to run the show’s projections, scene changes and audio,” she said. “We try to give practical experience, because theater isn’t just what happens on stage. There are so many people who are part of a theater team who we don’t see.”

These students work with the Egyptian Theatre’s tech director Peter Mayhew, audio and system’s engineer Hyrum Summerhays and Jake Larrabee, who recently joined the staff as theater and studios technician, Wilcox said.

“Jake grew up as a theater kid and has worked for Disney,” she said. “We have a brand new LED video wall, and he has created all-original backdrops. So I tell people he’s the missing link we’ve been waiting for.”

Regardless of who is on stage or who is working backstage, the YouTheatre students are just happy to be working on a live production, Wilcox said.

“There is so much camaraderie, even though they are different ages and go to different schools,” she said. “They know they are on one team working towards a goal that is bigger than themselves.”

Normally, YouTheatre would perform for local schools the day before their plays open to the public, but Wilcox and her crew decided not to do that this year.

“We didn’t know what the COVID numbers would be like, and whether or not the students would be vaccinated,” she said. “So, we are going to film the performance. That way we can get the film out to all the elementary schools so teachers can show it to their students.”

Wilcox is excited for the kids to reenter the Youtheatre studios after nearly two years.

“In some ways, it’s like we never left,” she said. “The Egyptian Theatre went dark for seven months, but as soon as we came back to the space, it was like, ‘Oh. Things are still here.’”

Adding to Wilcox’s excitement is the chance for the students to get back to the YouTheatre studio, in the lower part of the Egyptian Theatre space.

“We were only in this space for one show the last time we were together, and we were two weeks away from opening a play called ‘The Night Witches’ when everything shut down, because of COVID,” she said. “So it’s been wonderful to be here and have our students back and to work towards a new production.”

Egyptian Theatre YouTheatre’s ‘Halloween Spooktacular’

When: 6 p.m., Friday, Oct. 29; 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 30; 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 31

Cost: $15 for adults, $10 for youth ages 18 and younger

Phone: 855-745-SHOW

Web: parkcityshows.com


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