Lincoln theater program hosts haunted house


Amelia Schafer

Outside the auditorium, Lincoln’s design and workshop class works on the haunted house. It will be held in the auditorium on the 29th of October.

Lia Althouse

This year for Halloween, Lincoln is hosting a haunted house in the auditorium, marking one of several ways in the past few weeks Lincoln has built community through school events. 

The haunted house, created and hosted by the design workshop and theater classes, has been overseen by Jim Peerenboom, Lincoln’s performing arts teacher. 

Peerenboom explained that the idea for the project stemmed from a desire to strengthen community and create positive experiences for students. 

“The idea of a haunted house came up and we brainstormed ways to make that work,”  Peerenboom said. “The easiest tie-in was to have the design workshop [class] do the majority of the planning and then be supported by other theater students and the cabinet.” 

Peerenboom said the design workshop class first took stock of the set pieces they already had, and then brainstormed ideas. Students were then separated into different focus groups, such as lighting and set design. In addition, the haunted house is going to have different stations based on the ideas the students brainstormed.

“I know there’s going to be a tour guide that leads you through different types of horror, such as Victorian forest or creepy piano,”  junior Amelia Schafer said.

Schafer, an IB theater student and teacher’s assistant (TA) for the design workshop class, is in charge of costume design.

“The other TA and I have been teaching kids in our group how to sew,” Schafer said. “But I’m only managing costumes, so I can’t speak on any other groups.” 

One of the things Peerenboom enjoys is the creativity of the project and how it has led to problem-solving and unique ideas. He also enjoys how it combines real-world practicality with creativity.

“Creativity has been our best tool,” he said.

Schafer agreed.

“I’d say that one of the most fun [parts] was brainstorming,” they said. “It’s been fun to see some of our ideas come to life.” 

Safety regulations due to COVID-19, shared space and the lack of a budget have been the main challenges for the design team.

“[Because of] COVID, we have had to focus on keeping things safe for everyone, and we have very little budget to work with,” Peerenboom said. “Also, the auditorium is a busy space, so we can’t set up many things in advance and leave them there—everything needs to be able to be taken down each day.” 

Despite this, the design team is excited to see the end result of their work. The haunted house will be open on Oct. 29, and students can go during their first period class, their eighth period class or after school. If students are interested in going during class, they should ask their first or eighth period teachers to reach out to Peerenboom. 

“I’m honestly looking forward to everyone’s reactions as they get to go through [the haunted house],” Schafer said. “[I can’t wait] for the rest of the school to enjoy this thing we’ve put so much hard work into.”