The kid in me really looks forward to October because it brings Powell Gardens’ Halloween Spooktacular. For two nights every October, we bring to life funny and fractured fairy tales penned by yours truly. Kids come in costume and collect candy along the way, making it a fun evening for families to enjoy together.
[Photo credit David Larson]
Each year, I make it a point to revise skits and make new ones to keep things fresh. A talented pool of actors and actresses, some youthful and some seasoned, bring these skits to life. I get into the acting, too. If you’ve attended Spooktacular in the past, you might better recognize me as Stinky Le Skunk or the troll on the bridge. Who will I be this year? Ho, ho, ho! I will never tell.
With 10 skits every year, we must fill more than 50 acting roles each of the two nights. With this year’s new skits, the count is up to 64! I have been fortunate to work with many fine volunteers who fill these roles, many of whom come back every year. It’s been fun to watch some of our actors and actresses grow into young adults, taking their first roles in middle school to now donning costumes again while in college.
Melissa took her first role as a flying monkey in 2005 when she was in eighth grade. A go-getter, Melissa opted to take a different role the second night, playing a Billy Goat to my troll. For each of the past eight years, she has been a part of the Spooktacular team, donning wings once again in the coveted role of Tinkerbelle in 2010.
[Photo credit David Larson]
“I keep coming back every year because I enjoy seeing how the kids ‘get into’ the skits and how they can believe it’s real,” Melissa says.
Melissa has finished an Associate in Arts degree and will continue her education in optometry. Here’s looking at you, Melissa! Who will she be this year? See if you can find her in this year’s cast.
Tiffany, a Spooktacular veteran of six years, says Spooktacular is her favorite thing about fall. The younger sister of Melissa, Tiffany’s first experience at Spooktacular was as a spectator. One of Tiffany’s fondest memories is from 2008 when I really mixed things up, and the Ghost Busters visited Dorothy in Oz. Not one to shirk an acting role, Tiffany put her hair back and sported a painted-on mustache as one of the manly Ghost Busters, complete with lab coat and Nerf gun “blaster.”
A fan of learning and teaching, Tiffany works at a preschool and loves to tell stories to the children, and she is pursuing an elementary education degree. We are fortunate her studies allow her to take a break and rejoin the cast in 2013.
Gabe is a sophomore at MissouriStateUniversity in Springfield studying Interpersonal Communications and with a minor in Spanish and theatre. He has been part of the cast for four years, starting as a sophomore in high school. His first role was as Robin Hood in a tale in which Maid Marion saved him. Gabe’s love of theater, the bond he shares with fellow Spooktacular cast members and his love of children’s theater keep him coming back.
“The excitement is contagious,” Gabe says. His favorite Spooktacular memories are those of opening night, the energy in the dressing room and of seeing who is playing which part. Gabe keeps busy serving with Chi Alpha Campus Ministries, playing tennis, building with Lego Bricks, acting and volunteering. We welcome his talent back this year.
Come meet these veterans and hundreds of other friendly cast members at this year’s Halloween Spooktacular on Friday, October 18, or Saturday, October 19. The show takes about an hour to complete, so we sell tickets at set starting times. Early time slots fill first, so purchase your tickets today to reserve your spaces at the preferred time. And remember, registration deadline is October 14.
More October fun for families:
Check out these other family-friendly classes and events. (Members: Be sure to log in to our web site to receive discounted prices on classes.)
- Harvest Celebration & Antique Tractor Show, October 5-6, more information
- KIDS’ CLUB: Fall for Color, 10-11 a.m. Saturday, October 5, more information
- Bricks 4 Kidz: Build a Bat, 12-1 p.m. Saturday, October 12, more information
- Halloween Spooktacular, October 18 and 19, more information
- Jack ‘O Lantern Walk, October 20, more information