seven world ghost stories for Halloween

“Kaidan +: Something Strange and Spectral” (courtesy CU Presents)

This spooky season, the Department of Drama and Dance at the University of Colorado at Boulder will bring the Halloween spirit to CU audiences with seven spooky ghost stories. Inspired by a legendary Japanese kabuki play, “Kaidan +: Something Strange and Spectral” has been adapted for modern audiences with global and multicultural ghost stories, including one about Alfred Packer, known as “The Colorado Cannibal “. From October 29 to November 7, the show will be presented at the University Theater.

“My favorite aspect of this show is the multi-ethnic and diverse cast,” said director Cecilia J. Pang. “They are committed and dedicated and have so much to contribute. Seeing all the students from different cultures come together to help realize a unique concept is the most rewarding aspect for me as a director.

As society stabilized in the early 17th century in Japan, the fear and tension of civil war became less of a concern. Around this time, Kabuki, elaborate dramas with stylized songs and dances, became very popular with the common people. The original version of this ghost play, “Tôkaidô Yotsuya Kaidan” (Yotsuya Ghost Story), was first performed during the 7th lunar month of 1825 in Japan. In every Kaidan story there is often a motive for revenge, allowing audiences to reflect on the horrors of revenge. Many scenes end with a bloody and disturbing death.

The style and legends of these plays are still very important to this day, which is why the Department of Drama and Dance chose to add their own twist to these ghost stories.

The spooky stories take place in many different cultural contexts, including a haunted bridge in Australia, a riverbank in Latin America, the terrifying Far West of Colorado, a spooky boarding school in Africa, a haunted domestic residence in Japan, the desolate setting and dark South Pole and a gruesome Scottish battlefield.

The set of “Kaidan +” is rather minimalist with some unique accessories. These include a mysterious, haunted tent and fake snow blowing across the stage in the South Pole story and a fence with a mannequin to represent a ghost in Australian story. After each scene, an image describing the origins of the story is projected onto the stage screen to keep the audience engaged as the actors quickly move on to their next story.

“The most important part of this show was the collaboration aspect,” said director Clara Hoppe. “For example, we had to cut a lot of the show in order to reach our goal of a 90 minute race. With the help of the directing team, comedians, designers and technicians, we were able to select the parts of the show that were essential and bring out the best in each story and cut the parts that were not. not. All in all, it made a great show that hit our run time goals. “

From October 29 to November 7, “Kaidan +, Something Strange and Spectral” will be presented at the University Theater in CU Boulder. Tickets on sale through CU Presents here.

Contact Haley Lauritzen, CU Staff Freelance Writer at [email protected]

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