HT Brings the Haunted House to the Stage This October
HENDERSONVILLE, September 15, 2022 (FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE) Seeking a haunted house experience this Halloween season? Look no further than The Haunting of Hill House, running Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons from October 14 to 23 at Hendersonville Theater. Tickets are $18-25 and are available online at HVLtheatre.org or by calling the Box Office at (828) 692-1082. Groups of 10 or more receive a 10 percent discount.
In a chilling and mystifying study into mounting terror, a small group of “psychically receptive” people are brought together in desolate and deserted Hill House, a brooding, mid-Victorian mansion known as a place of evil. The visitors have come to probe the secrets of the old house and to draw forth the mysterious powers that it is alleged to possess—powers which have brought madness, murder and suicide to those who have lived there in the past. As disturbing events begin to transpire, the house begins to influence (and overtake) the visitors’ psyches. To stay sane, they must be stronger than the traumas the house has brought upon them.
Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel, The Haunting of Hill House, provides the play’s source material. Considered the ultimate haunted house novel, the book has inspired films and a Netflix series. In all of its incarnations, including the play, the house acts as both a backdrop and as character. The novel was adapted for the stage by F. Andrew Leslie.
The Haunting of Hill House is supported by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, the Community Foundation of Henderson County and the City of Hendersonville.
The Haunting of Hill House’s production team includes director Jonathan Forrester, Sara Hassinger as stage manager, lighting designer Pat Durako and sound designer Beth Norris. The ensemble cast features Madison Brightwell of Weaverville; Kai Elijah Hamilton of Saluda; Joshua Kerber of Asheville; Allison Starling of Greer, SC; Sharon Taylor of Asheville; Terry Terranova of Hendersonville; and Blaine Weiss of Asheville.
Forrester is excited to be bringing The Haunting of Hill House to Hendersonville. "When the Netflix series came out, it terrified audiences,” Forrester said. “The original story has inspired countless horror films and books. We are taking the story back to its original incarnation, and I think audiences will find the unnerving story perfect for a Halloween treat."
Jonathan Forrester has been involved with Hendersonville Theatre since 2009. His first production was God’s Favorite in the The Barn located on State Street. From there he went on to produce, direct and stage manage numerous shows for the theatre. He has also directed several productions for Brevard Little Theatre. He currently serves on the board of directors as a member-at-large and executive producer. When not onstage or working behind the scenes, Jonathan is life enrichment director for Trinity View Senior Living Community in Arden.
This is stage manager Sara Hassinger’s eighth production at Hendersonville Theatre, beginning in 2018 with Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. She has also worked at Asheville Community Theatre, Montford Park Players and NC Stage. In her past life, Hassinger was a television director.
Playing housekeeper Mrs. Dudley, Madison Brightwell moved to Asheville three years ago and is making her debut on the Hendersonville stage. Brightwell was a professional actress in her native Britain before relocating to the United States in 1997.
Arthur is played by Kai Elijah Hamilton. Hamilton is no stranger to the Hendersonville Theatre stage. He co-directed and wrote 2021's Haunted Chilling Tales. Before that, he appeared in The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire. Most notably, he directed A Raisin in the Sun and The Turn of the Screw. Hamilton has been with HT for over 15 years.
Joshua Kerber is an Asheville actor who is making his debut at Hendersonville Theatre as Luke. Kerber returned to the stage last year after an eight-year hiatus. Since then he has performed in Sword in the Stone, Clue, Fight Girl Battle World, and Much Ado About Nothing.
Playing Elenora, Allison Starling is so excited to be returning to the Hendersonville Theatre stage. She graduated from North Greenville University in 2017 with a degree in theatre design with a focus in costume.
Bill Terranova, or Terry as his friends know him, recently moved to the area from Charleston, SC. He is making his HT debut as Dr. Montague. Terranova’s favorite roles include Fagin in Oliver, Bellomy in The Fantasticks, Charlie in The Foreigner, and Otto in The Diary of Anne Frank.
Sharon Taylor, who plays Mrs. Montague, lives in West Asheville, having relocated from South Florida where she acted extensively in both community and regional theater. She was last seen in the role of Mrs. White in Clue at the Asheville Community Theater. She is thrilled to be making her Hendersonville Theatre debut.
The cast is completed by Blaine Weiss as Theodora. Weiss is making her debut on the Hendersonville stage. She has appeared at Montford Park Players and Asheville Community Theatre. A former Outward Bound Instructor, Weiss enjoys every minute of the experiential and collaborative process that theatre celebrates.
The show is rated PG due to its frightening and intense content. Showtimes are 7:30 PM on Fridays and Saturdays and 3 PM on Sundays. Running time is approximately 2 1/2 hours with one 15 minute intermission. Hendersonville Theater has made masks optional for patrons, and no proof of vaccination is required to attend a performance.
Since 1966, Hendersonville Theatre has provided an inviting and nurturing environment for live theatre, as well as high-quality, affordable entertainment for the residents of Hendersonville and surrounding areas. Hendersonville Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking behind and in front of the theater.
Hendersonville Theatre is located at 229 South Washington Street. For tickets or more information contact us at 828-692-1082 or online at HVLTheatre.org.