Prepare to be scared

Published 8:03 am Monday, October 22, 2007

By By ERIKA PICKLES / Niles Daily Star
NILES – The Niles Drama Club is getting the opportunity to do something they have never done before.
The crew is turning in their comedy skits, over-sized old-fashioned outfits and tear-jerking endings for a much more intense performance that they hope will make a few people jump out of their seats.
"Vampires at the Mall" will open on Saturday, Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Niles High School auditorium. A second performance will take place on Sunday, Oct. 28 at 2 p.m.
"This is 100 percent opposite from what we've done before. Usually we do comedies, dramas and things along those lines. This play may actually scare a few people," Shane DeMeulenaere, a senior at Niles High School and hitchhiker in the play, said Thursday.
Not only is this the first time the club has stepped outside of its normal plays, but it's also the first time the Drama Club has performed a play written by local author Mike Hauser.
"This has been a huge learning experience for me. There is a reason why the Hollywood actors make so much money. It's because they make a story come to life and that's exactly what these kids are doing with this play," Hauser said.
"Vampires at the Mall" is the story of a group of goth students who are on the fringe. They fall into the power of another goth student, Darlene (played by Heather Antos) who turns out to be a true vampire. Darlene tries to steal their souls and take them on the journey to eternity.
Director of the play and drama club coach Cathy Heide said there are a few dark acts in the play, including one scene where someone is murdered.
"We are very excited about this play. It's been a bit of a struggle trying to find places to rehearse because we were just recently able to come to the high school stage. But the kids are really doing a great job and I think people will be pretty impressed with this play," Heide said.
Antos, who plays the bloodsucking vampire Darlene, said this roll is completely different than anything she has ever done.
"I love it. There are not many horror plays out there so we're hoping to scare people a little bit," she said.
Antos and DeMeulenaere were also thrilled because, since this play is being acted out for the first time ever, the cast and their names will appear as the original cast members to act out the play.
"Our names could be seen by thousands of people and that's such an honor. It's a great feeling, but I think it makes me nervous also because we have to set the standards high for the next people who perform this play," DeMeulenaere said.
Along with the play, DeMeulenaere is directing an Edgar Allan Poe presentation, which is a dramatization of several of his works, including the Tell-Tale Heart, which introduces the production.
Tickets for the play can be purchased at the door for $10. Senior citizens are $8 and students are $5. For more information, call 695-1100.