Don’t assume you and the actors playing your family are safe. Even the most normal theatres can fall prey to paranormal HAUNTINGS. Use these tools to help keep you, your company, and the wealthy board members that keep your organization afloat out of harm’s way:
A Chandelier Falls to the Ground, Killing an Actor and Your Mood Lighting
If this happens during your production, the ghost haunting your theatre is probably a lovelorn madman who desires to see a pretty chorus girl take over for the leading lady. That, or you were doing an illegal low-budget production of Phantom of the Opera with a local highschooler as Technical Director. In this case, we suggest performing a seance on the actor’s ghost to promise it the lead in the next musical so it won’t get malevolent, then shut down the theatre and go under a pseudonym before OSHA and MTI hunt down and fine you.
You Hear Strange Noises Coming from the Audition Room
Proceed with caution. This is probably from the lingering spirit of a non-Equity actor who waited too long to be seen for an audition. If you’d like to test for this, our experts recommend loudly announcing the loads of EMC points you will be offering to every ensemble member in your upcoming summer stock season, and look for a reaction. That, or listen carefully for 16-bar cuts of “Vanilla Ice Cream” and “On My Own.”
You Hear Tapping on the Dance Floor, but Rehearsal is Over
This goes double for community theatres producing Anything Goes where the available talent pool can only do shuffles, but the offender is doing triple time steps. If so, our experts recommend having the ensemble switch immediately to only wearing black character shoes instead of tan ones. Ghosts hate tan shoes, it reminds them of how translucent they are and makes them self-conscious.
A Cell Phone Goes Off and Now There’s Non-Stop Cataclysmic Wailing
Ghosts, especially theatre ghosts, are highly sensitive to cell phones and typically respond with a mournful wail of their best money notes. The traditional way to stop this is to track down the offending phone, yank it from the patron’s rude, grimy hands and burn it as a sacrifice during your next green room ritual. For a quicker fix, have the company stand up, spin around, and chant “Patti LuPone” three times. As any good thespian knows, everyone, including ghosts, love a good Rule of Three.
These are just a few common patterns of performing arts poltergeists. Even if your theatre does not possess these signs, DO NOT assume this means you are not at risk of a HAUNTING. The Guild of Thespian Ghost Spotters advises theatre artists to follow these basic guidelines: always turn on a ghost light before closing up the theatre, warm up before each show, and absolutely, under NO circumstances EVER utter the words “Stephen Sondheim is overrated”. Thank you for reading, and break a leg.
*The guild handles physical HAUNTINGS, not the emotional trauma of the HAUNTED, such as an actor who just ended a bad showmance, got vocal nodes, or saw the Cats movie.