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Local ghosts visit Old Washington School

At least one hotel in Park City actively advertises its undead residents, at least for a couple of performances.

The Old Washington School Inn along with the Park City Historical Society hosted an evening in which makers of Park City’s past dropped in for a ghoulish visit. Child and adult actors alike played historical figures from Park City, some of the younger actors chose to bring the parts to life with the help of white face paint.

Thespians reenacted historical parts that varied from the influential Kearns family to local prisoners to the Silver Queen herself. Each vignette lasted a handful of minutes and served to highlight important aspects of a historical character, or a meaningful event in the history of Park City. They portrayed their historic figures in full period costume and standing in front of a nearly full room at the Old Washington School Inn. A few people even watched the show from the balcony.

The play was designed as a living history program by the historical society, one of two that they host during the year. More popular and established is the annual Halloween historic celebration staged every year at the Glenwood Cemetery. This is the first year that the event was performed at the Inn. Usually, the historical society holds events at their museum, but this year with the museum under construction, creativity was necessary to successfully stage the play. The historical society and the Inn hit upon that location as a temporary home for these wayward ghosts.

The actors for the piece came a little more easily than the locale. Johanna Fassbender, Curator of Education for the Park City Historical Society, met a few of the young actors at the history reading group that assembles at the library on the second Tuesday of every month. Cozy and Molly Huggins said that Fassbender captured their interest at these book club meetings. A few of the other young people, took it as an opportunity to work on International Baccalaureate requirements for Ecker Hill International Middle School.

The research for the individual parts was left mostly to the actors. Although some of the young students some difficulty finding parts to which they really related, Fassbender said that they all eventually selected their own personages. Fassbender then helped the students with their research preparing each of them for a short monologue or two-person informative piece.

For the Huggins sisters, they hoped that the performance would provide them with a way to teach people about history. Molly Jager said that she took on a role because not a lot of people know the history of Park City. It gave them a fun opportunity to teach people while, honing their acting skills.

The whole event lasted just over half an hour and included performances from Holly Huggins, Cozy Huggins, Molly Jager, Don Covert, Courtney Cochley, Alec Wing, Blake Morin, Laura Howson, Alissa Smith, Christie Dilloway and Lloyd Evans. After the performance, the Old Washington School Inn topped off the evening by giving out their signature cookies.


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