If you go
› What: ‘The Woman in Black’
› Where: Mars Theatre, 117 N. Chattanooga St., LaFayette, Ga.
› When: 7:30 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, Oct. 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, 27-28; and 11:59 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28
› Admission: $12 and $15
› For more information: 706-996-8350
In true Halloween spirit, Back Alley Productions will tell a terrifying ghost story when "The Woman in Black" opens Friday, Oct. 6, at the Mars Theatre in LaFayette, Ga.
Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through October. The cast will host a special midnight show on Saturday, Oct. 28. Audience members for this show are encouraged to come in Halloween costumes to receive a free large popcorn.
Set in an abandoned theater, the play tells the story of a timid lawyer who hires a professional actor to tutor him in the performing arts. The goal, the lawyer explains, is for him to learn the art of acting in order to retell a horrifying story that has long troubled him, all as a form of catharsis.
The tale concerns dark events that transpired after the funeral of an elderly recluse. It was then that the lawyer first caught sight of the Woman in Black, a terrifying figure whose mere mention frightens the locals — for anyone who sees her befalls unimaginable horror.
"Our company is a huge fan of 'Woman in Black,'" says director Kaylee Smith. "We've wanted to do this story for several years. There's just something wonderfully chilling about using the theater to bring a ghost story to life. It's a rare treat for our area because only a few production companies in the country are allowed to produce this show this year."
But the wait is worth it because a good ghost play is hard to come by, Smith adds.
"Sure, ghosts float in and out of a lot of Shakespearean dramas, and we use ghost lights to keep the theater lit when no one is there. There's plenty of theatrical superstitions out there," she says. "But this is the only play I know of that's a full-on ghost story designed to make you jump out of your seats."
The play's fear factor thrives in its simplicity, Smith states.
It consists of two actors, some props and a cocktail of sound, light and fog that plays on the inherent fears and imagination of the audience. All with a heavy dose of the unexpected and downright creepy, she adds.
"This isn't a scary movie that's happening on the screen, allowing you to look away if things get too intense," she said. "This is a good, old-fashioned ghost play that deserves a lively audience. A true horror roller coaster, set in an immersive black box theater. It's in front of you, around you, behind you all happening live, with real actors and real screams. And that makes it that much more fun to be scared.
"We had a big hit with last year's 'War of the Worlds,' and know our audiences love these kinds of unique shows. Diehards and dabblers of all things haunted will not be disappointed."
Because of the level of horror the show aims to invoke, families are advised not to bring small children who could be easily frightened.
Because Back Alley's holiday shows tend to sell out fast, it's encouraged that guests get tickets sooner than later. Visit www.BAPshows.com for more information.