by: Kimbra Eberly
Last weekend at Hub17, actors, playwrights, directors, a bunch of tech people, one extraordinary makeup artist, thirty-one people in all, celebrated theatre with their own version of “The Grand Guignol.”
The Grand Guignol started when Douglas LaTourette, artist approached Kimbra Eberly with the idea. He also wanted a severed head that would talk.
With months of preparation, Hub17 was transformed into a small twenty-five seat black box theatre in order to bring you five plays in the horror genre that kept the audience on the edge of their seats.
Staten Island playwright, Larry Schwabacher contributed his published play, “The Barn” Kimbra Eberly wrote a Lizzie Borden play and “The fearless Ghost Hunter”, Chris Mancuso wrote “Room 309”, a zombie apocalypse story and Brooke Haramija wrote “Dreams and Wishes” about a one hundred seventy-five year old woman.
We could not have pulled this off without the help of experienced theatre people. Among many, Jodi Garda and Larry Schwabacher, from Staten Island Playwrights collected, Brooke Haramijia from Sundog theatre, Mike Veasey from Seaview and Dori Aspinwall from the Shakesperian theatre group all pitched in with advice and lessons that was so appreciated. The actors also had many challenges not only learning their parts but adding in special effects. Blood packs, homemade vomit, zombie makeup, fake knives that oozed blood were used and timing was crucial to make the effects work.
Other contributors were artist Stephanie Kosinski who painted the tarp canvas, Patti Kelly who helped with changing of the sets, Caitlin Arizmendy who did all the special effect and of course the seventeen actors who spent hours rehearsing and perfecting their parts.
We had so much fun with this challenging show. Everyone went beyond their comfort zone, figuring out how to make things work. There is nothing like this on Staten Island, said producer Kimbra Eberly. All three performance days were sold out. This speaks volumes and It is our hope to start a longstanding tradition of horror theatre on Staten Island.