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Top 5 Halloween Season Theatrical Plays

Before cinemas and streaming took the spotlight, plays were the heart of storytelling across cultures. From tales enacted around a fire to grand plays in open-air theaters, the horror genre has always found its place. In this piece, I'm diving into my "Top 5 Halloween Season Theatrical Plays." While there's a wealth of options dating back to pre-20th century, I'm focusing on the modern incarnation of theatrical horror plays—five that you absolutely shouldn't miss this season.

Top 5 Halloween Season Theatrical Plays

5. The Crucible by Arthur Miller

No list of horror plays is complete without this gem. Even leaving out the supernatural elements, it's a play that oozes horror. What chills me is its exploration of the persecution of women based on historical events. Despite seeing it countless times, the right mix of tension, beats, actors, and stage magic makes it both electrifying and terrifying.

4. The Haunting of Hill House

No, this isn't the Netflix show, but it's a play that can spook both audiences and actors. Whether presented as a spectacle or in a stripped-down format, it's as much psychological as it is scary. Be warned, though—it can go painfully slow when done wrong. However, its inclusion here is because it captures the essence of a paranormal investigation and the thrills of a haunting.

3. Dracula (1995 stage adaptation by John Godber and Jane Thornton)

While Dracula has been adapted in numerous languages, this stage version, in my humble opinion, reigns supreme. The 1995 adaptation brings Bram Stoker's classic to life in a way that I find most compelling among the myriad versions out there.

2. "The Exorcist Play" by John Pielmeier and William Peter Blatty

Yes, "The Exorcist" earns a spot on my list in various forms—from film to stage. William Peter Blatty's work is unforgettable. With a chilling atmosphere and stage magic, this show has the power to make you bolt out of your seat. It faithfully recreates the movie scenes and carries the novel's haunting essence onto the stage.

1. "Let the Right One In" by Jack Thorne

Adapted into two films, a TV show, and a short story, this title shines beautifully on stage. Whether in amateur or professional productions, it's a stunning and dark Halloween treat. Beyond the surface, it explores the nuances of being different and lonely during crucial adolescence. When executed well, it feels like a living film, making it a must-watch for both theater and film enthusiasts.

While some may argue that these plays aren't the pinnacle of the genre, they hold a special place in my heart. I'm curious—what are your top 5? Drop a comment and share your favorites!

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