Dracula play!

I found solitude and peace in the theater. I started to bond more with my classmates. I tried to spend as much time as possible in the theater department during school and after school. Somedays, I would just lay on stage in the dark. It was peaceful. It was my last year in play production and I wanted to enjoy every moment. I had play production during the fifth period and the stage are during 6th period. Both of these classes were taught by Ms. Swan and took place in the notorious J107 classroom. I would stay after school for rehearsal or to build a set even though my family was not happy about it. I fought for it. I was gifted tickets to see Wicked with my sister and my mom. I was hoping that my mom would see how wonderful this experience was for me while watching Wicked. Instead, my sister and mom wanted to leave during intermission. That was a fail.

I was a good kid and they really had nothing to worry about. It was all their own insecurities that they were projecting on me. The students in my class were having sex, and drinking. Everyone already knew that I was not interested. I was known as “different” but not in a bad way.

During the Fall semester of senior year, I was part of the fall play, Dracula. I helped construct the set. It was surreal being a part of the school play. I remember being a freshman and being absolutely floored by the Fall play, Noises Off, and the Spring Musical, 42nd Street. I was always interested in plays in middle school. I was a part of Frankenstein and A Midsummers Dream but the high school plays were just on a different level. Noises Off and 42nd Street mesmerized me. As a freshman, I was required to usher during the evening showtimes. I rewatched those plays so many times and it never got boring. 42nd street was the first musical cd that I purchased.

I auditioned for Dracula but I didn’t try very hard on my audition piece. I was afraid of not being able to attend rehearsals because of my family’s rules. I would have to commit many hours after school and it was already a problem just staying to rehearse for competition. Still, it was nice helping to build the set. The show ran for two weekends and tickets were ten bucks.

During the Fall semester, I was also working on Laramie Projects with my group. In the Fall, the days are shorter and I dreaded spending those dark evenings at home. I would usually be home with my mom and she went to bed early. Instead, I would try to stay on campus. The campus would get dark and eerie. I attended a high school that was a hospital during world war two. The entire school had tunnels underground and they were used to transport bodies from one side of the campus to the other. It had an eerie history and there were many stories about the school being haunted by lost soldiers. Usually, the ghost stories always took place in the old gym. The theater department was known to be haunted too. During my four years there, I heard a lot of stories about a woman named Don, haunting the theater. She was a nurse during world war two who supposedly killed herself on the spot where the theater was built. Honestly, who knows what happened or if there really was a Don. Still, on those dark cold nights, I couldn’t help but feel that someone from another realm was with us during rehearsal or during the play. On one of the play nights, I was working backstage. The backstage was lit up with string lights because it was easy to get lost in the many curtains. I was looking for one of my friends. I went down a set of stairs and I thought I saw my friend. I called out to her but she wouldn’t respond. I went closer because I thought she couldn’t hear me. I was whispering because the show was happening. When I moved closer, it disappeared. I blinked and blinked again. I felt the goosebumps trickle up my arm. What the hell just happened. I took a couple of steps back up the stairs and then bolted towards the dressing room. On my way to the dressing room, I got lost in the curtains. I tried to follow the lights on the floor but I was so shaken. I was having trouble breathing. I finally found the way out and ran into the dressing room. No one noticed me at first but once they did, they looked concerned. They asked why I was so pale. I told them what just happened. My friend that I was looking for said she was in the bathroom the whole time. Everyone started sharing stories about usual occurrences. There were stories about how the lighting crew would turn off the lights but then they would turn back on. There would be stories about shadows on stage when no one else was in the building. We always did a candlelight ceremony before each performance. We would sit in a circle and each one of us would have a candle and we would light each other’s candles. We would say a little something as we lit it up. During one of those candle lighting events, Ms. Swan shared an experience too after she heard what happened to me. To be honest, I don’t even remember what it was but it was a wild experience. We loved to play dark tag during our downtime in the theater. We would turn off all the lights and chase each other and it was a blast. After that experience, I was extra alert during dark tag. To be honest, though, it was exciting knowing that the theater was haunted. I wanted to know more about Don and the history behind it. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much information out there about it.

*** remember to check out the other chapters of Bla Bla Land.

https://thefrshtashow.com/category/bla-bla-land-a-hollywood-love-story/

Love,

Frshta

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