Several members of the SUNY Cortland community are playing big roles in Cortland Repertory Theatre’s upcoming “Ghosts in the Park” event.
A family-focused theatrical experience for Halloween, “Ghosts in the Park” is a drive-thru spooky but not gory performance that will be held at Dwyer Memorial Park at 6799 Little York Lake Road in Preble on Friday, Oct. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 31. Friday’s performance runs from 4 to 5:30 p.m. and there will be two performances on Saturday from noon to 1:30 p.m. and also from 2:30 to 4 p.m. A suggested $5 donation will be taken at the gate.
Mark Reynolds, costumer designer in the Performing Arts Department and a CRT board member, is serving as lead creative director. The concept for “Ghosts in the Park” is a reverse parade in which visitors drive through a cemetery that magically appears once a year and draws inspiration from tales such as “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Dracula” and will feature witches, aliens, ghosts and other hair-raising characters.
"Ghosts in the Park is a great opportunity for local performing arts organizations, our talented theatre faculty and alumni to collaborate and produce something safe, creative and exciting for the Cortland community," Reynolds said.
SUNY Cortland’s musical theatre scenic designer Scott Holdredge and technical director Simone Scalici are collaborating to fill a section of the park with gravestones, “Nessie” the Loch Ness monster, giant skeleton puppets and more surprises.
Cynthia Halpin, lecturer in the Performing Arts Department, will direct dancers from the Cortland Performing Arts Institute with her daughter, Cassidy Halpin.
Crystal Lyon ’09, a Cortland-based artist, is assisting Reynolds with creative design along with CRT’s producing artistic director Kerby Thompson.
Cast members include Lydia Allen, SUNY Cortland’s men’s and women’s diving coach; Jack Carr, lecturer in the Communication and Media Studies Department and former SUNY Cortland College Council member Dorothea “Dottie” Kreig Allen Fowler ’52, M ’74.
Eerie music to enhance the journey will be provided via a short-range transmitter to car radios. Treat bags will be available for children at the end of the ride.
Local scenic designers and craftsmen Eric Behnke, CRT’s production manager and Sam Sheehan, CRT’s props and set designer, are also involved in building sets for the event.
“Ghosts in the Park” is sponsored by the Donald Guthrie Foundation, which will allow for healthy alternative treats to be distributed. Other local sponsors include Anderson’s Farm Market, CP Cash and Carry, Dentes Dental and the Overhead Door Company of Cortland, among others. CRT Board and Guild members have also donated candy to this event and will be on hand to enjoy the festivities.