On Halloween, wearing crazy costumes and pretending to be someone —or something— else for the night is the norm. But what about the folks who spend the entire year getting dressed up and being someone else? Is Halloween just a regular day? Louisville has an incredibly rich theatre scene. So, we asked actors from around town about their Halloween plans.
No surprise, a lot of them will spend much of the season onstage. Even if work calls, these actors still have seasonal traditions, favorite candies they can’t keep their hands off of and costume ideas to share. From Frankenstein to Oscar the Grouch, here are our favorite answers — and a generous helping of shameless plugs for their upcoming productions.
Halloween thoughts: As far as I am concerned, the whole month of October is Halloween. Every single night is to be spent snuggling and watching scary movies and stuffing our faces with candy.
What will you be this Halloween? Shh! It’s a secret. As my dear friend, Gertrude Stein would say, “My mystery, is a Mystery, is a mystery.
What was your favorite Halloween costume as a kid? I literally wrapped the crap out of myself entirely in gauze when I was 11, so I could be a mummy cheerleader. It made no sense, but it looked great, especially with my bouncy ponytail hanging out as the only sign of life under that get-up.
What is your favorite candy? I love anything sour. If I walk into a store and there’s a new sour candy I haven’t tried yet, I will immediately rush in to introduce myself. However—those Pumpkin Reese’s—the white chocolate yet pumpkin flavored ones have been winning the race this year. I can’t tell you how many I have consumed this year.
What Louisville Fall traditions do you love? I love going up to Huber’s and having cider and taking my niece and nephews on the pumpkin and apple picking hayrides. We can spend all day up there! It’s also an opportunity for me to get too many mums and cornstalks and pumpkins for the front of my house.
But I have to say that my favorite thing to do is forcing my friends into pumpkin carving parties. You’d really be surprised at how few people carve pumpkins, or never even have. It always turns out to be a good time and everyone leaves with a Jack-o-Lantern and a smile.
Have you performed in any cool scary or Halloween plays in the past? Evil Dead the Musical! In 2015, I got to play Linda and do the choreography. We had a splatter zone that rained blood on the audience. Our cast was so sick and depraved that year, we sought every opportunity to soak the audience in blood. One of my fav moments was choreographing a dance into a cheer and giving all the deadites pom poms that had been doused in blood and sprayed the zone every time we danced with them! Such a great time, that show. Made some of my best friends and best memories.
Upcoming: Victor/Victoria at Pandora Productions
Where you’ve seen him: Acting Against Cancer, Pandora Productions, Theatre [502
What will you be this Halloween? This year, my boyfriend is going to be Cruello De Vil – his own male rendering of Cruella – and I’m going to be a Dalmatian.
What was your favorite Halloween costume as a kid? I wanted to be a vampire one year when I was younger, and as my dad’s a dentist, he fashioned slip-on fangs modeled after my teeth that I could wear around like everything was normal. It was pretty cool just rocking vampire teeth all day.
What is your favorite candy? My favorite candy is definitely anything with chocolate and peanut butter. Reese’s becomes the obvious choice, but I’ll look at anything with that combo.
Do you have any Louisville fall traditions that you love? Every fall, I love how much thought my boyfriend and I put into working on our costumes. We start the conversation in September and throw out a lot of ideas before settling. We’ve been Tarzan and Jane, Fiyero and Elphaba, and Hercules and Hades.
Have you performed in a cool or scary Halloween plays? I always look forward to performing The Rocky Horror Ball every fall with Acting Against Cancer and working to make each year’s performance better than the year before.
Onstage Now: The Rocky Horror Ball
What will you be this Halloween? Black. That’s scary enough for some folks.
What was your favorite Halloween costume as a kid? I was a hobo once. Which really means my mother used some of my older cousin’s too big clothes to dress me up. We’ve never been big on planning ahead.
What is your favorite candy? Original Twizzlers. Not any of the fancy variations kids these days get with fillings and pull apart foolishness. Just the originals like God intended.
Do you have any Louisville fall traditions that you love? People being surprised about warm days in October. And the Garvin Gate Blues Festival.
Have you performed in any scary/or Halloween plays in the past? I played a voodoo priest with Whodunnit one year. They let me butcher a Haitian accent for that one. Who knows if that’s all my character butchered…
Upcoming: Green’s improv group Tenuous Reality will be hosting Rush Trowel Entertainment’s production “The Soul of Christmas” at the Bomhard Theater.
What will you be this Halloween? A supportive wife working the Titus box office for Kentucky Shakespeare. (*Massie’s husband Kyle Ware, is currently killing it in Titus.)
What was your favorite Halloween costume as a kid? My favorite costume as a kid was a country singing vampire. I had a big red long curly wig that made me feel so glamorous, so Reba! I’d also seen Elvira recently and was fascinated. My “country vamp” was me sorting thru it all.
What is your favorite Candy? Whoppers. Gotta love that malt flavor!
Do you love any Louisville fall traditions? I love talking about going to Huber’s. And one day, I just might do it! But definitely seeing Halloween shows like Titus and Dracula and attending a local fundraising party at Nunnlea are a few Halloween favorites.
Have you performed in any cool or scary Halloween plays?
I performed in Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit in college where I died and came back as a ghost to haunt my husband (along with his ex-wife who was also haunting him). It was one of the most fun plays I’ve had the pleasure to be in around Halloween.
Onstage Now: Kentucky Opera’s Dead Man Walking
What will you be this Halloween? Frankenstein’s creature, which is essentially Swamp Thing in the Romantic era.
What was your favorite Halloween costume as a kid? My mom and pawpaw made quite an elaborate Oscar the Grouch costume that had me inside a real garbage can with a hinged lid. They rigged up suspenders and cut the bottom of the can out so I could put my head down, which closed the lid, and walk around just like on Sesame Street.
What is your favorite candy? My favorite store candy is Reece’s Pieces, solely because of the movie E.T.
Do you love any Louisville Fall traditions? Raking leaves the old-fashioned way—with a rake. We used to rake leaves into cardboard boxes from my pawpaw’s furniture store, so the nostalgic smells of raked leaves and cardboard are deep in my personal mythology.
Have you performed in any cool or scary Halloween plays? Every Thanksgiving, the 15 cousins would descend into my grandparent’s basement and build a haunted house (I know—Thanksgiving). We’d charge a quarter, but Uncle Ed would always hand us a $5 or $10. We rigged up a story-telling severed head, threw a lot of bean bags in the dark, and tied a lot of stuff from the rafters. I’m still doing that.
Onstage Now: Creature: A Wretched Frankenstein Puppet Adaptation
Where you’ve seen her: Actors Theatre
What will you be this Halloween? Arya Stark. I bought a sword yesterday, so I’m pretty stoked.
What was your favorite Halloween costume as a kid? I’m from Kansas, so growing up, I was Dorothy three years in a row. My last year of college I was a parking ticket and laid on top of people’s cars.
What is your favorite candy: The darkest of dark chocolate. If you have milk chocolate, I will leave.
Do you love any Louisville Fall traditions? I love all the haunted houses! And I hear Dracula is pretty cool…
Have you performed in any Halloween or scary plays? The only other “scary” play I’ve done was a middle school production of Willy Wonka.
Onstage now: As Mina in Dracula at Actors Theatre of Louisville.
Where you’ve seen her: Touring with Kentucky Shakespeare’s educational outreach
What will you be this Halloween? Maybe a tooth fairy? I always get my costumes last minute.
What was your favorite Halloween costume as a kid? I was a witch or fairy almost every year as a child. One time I had sewed an elaborate Laura Ingalls Wilder costume, which I was quite proud of as a 10-year-old.
What is your favorite candy? Everything chocolate.
Do you have any Louisville fall traditions that you love? Walking around St. James Art Fair.
Have you performed in any scary or Halloween plays? I’ve never been in a Halloween play, but I always love seeing Titus Andronicus around Halloween.
Onstage now: at a school near you doing Shakespeare programs
Where you’ve seen him: StageOne, Theatre , The Necessary Theatre
What are you going to be this year for Halloween? Something underwhelming.
What was your favorite Halloween costume as a kid? The Joker (Jack Nicholson)
What is your favorite candy? Peanut M&Ms
What is your favorite Louisville Fall tradition? The first pot of chili of the season always feels like the first time I’ve breathed in months.
Have you performed in any cool or scary Halloween plays? My very first play was an adaption of Dracula, and it impressed upon me how much theatre can feed both the artists and the audience. So much fun.
Upcoming: These days Brooks spends his time behind the scenes at StageOne Children’s Theatre
Do you have any Halloween plans this year? We’re working a party at The Henry Clay—The Time Travelers Social. I’ll be Bonnie Parker alongside Corey (her fiancé) as Clyde Barrow.
What was your favorite Halloween costume as a kid? As boring as it is, I remember being a witch once and being super into it. My mom tells me that I was specifically Winifred from Hocus Pocus as a child, which makes so much sense. I reprised that role in college as well for a Halloween fundraiser.
What’s your favorite candy? Reese’s. Freaking love Reese’s
Do you have any Louisville Fall traditions? I go to Huber’s every fall to pick a pumpkin. This year was a little different when Corey proposed in the apple orchard. It’s where we had one of our very first dates.
Did you ever perform in a scary or Halloween show? I was in a play called “Blood Relations” in college where I played Lizzie Borden. I also got to do a candlelight reading of Macbeth at Resurfaces with Kentucky Shakespeare as one of the witches
Upcoming: Planning a kickass wedding
Where you’ve seen him: Actors Theatre of Louisville
What will you be for Halloween? I’m thinking of going as Agent Cooper from Twin Peaks in honor of the return that aired this year. Although I always have huge ambitions for costumes and never follow through.
Favorite Halloween costume as a kid? I used to go home and put on my Batman costume every day after school. Except on Halloween one year, when we didn’t have enough time, so I put on a black garbage bag and went as a piece of charcoal.
What’s your favorite candy? I’m very partial to English chocolate, but I can really get down on a Snickers. Take note Louisville.
What is your favorite Louisville fall tradition? Between performances of Dracula and catching up on sleep, I’d love to see what Waverly Hills is like.
Did you ever perform in a scary or Halloween play?
Dracula is my first scary play! It’ll be holding a very significant place in my heart.
Onstage now: Dracula
Where you’ve seen him: Kentucky Shakespeare, Va Va Vixens
What will you be this Halloween? If I’m lucky asleep, but as I take my nephew and nieces trick or treating, probably a werewolf. I have all the stuff in my closet plus my nephew likes werewolves right now.
What was your favorite Halloween costume as a kid? Vampires, well Dracula, I wanted to play Dracula when I was younger after watching “Bram Stoker’s Dracula.”
What is your favorite candy? I’m torn between Whatchamacallits, and Peanut Butter Snickers.
Do you have any Louisville fall traditions that you love? Va Va Vixens and the amount of strange and wonderful things that people put on and perform for Halloween. There’s burlesque, parties, clubs, dances, and even adult trick or treating where they hand out those little shots in bottles at certain houses when you take kids.
I’ve been wowed by the Titus that Kentucky Shakespeare puts on. The location is extremely creepy and the effects are terrifying especially the closer you are to the stage. It’s really a wonderful time of the year.
Have you performed in any cool or scary or Halloween plays? For the last few years, I have done Va Va’s Halloween show. (Word is, this year he’s a lascivious lycanthrope, but we can’t confirm without a full moon.)
Onstage Now: Va Va Vamp
Where you’ve seen him: Kentucky Shakespeare, StageOne, Theatre , The Chamber Theatre
What will you be for Halloween this year? I don’t like to put on a costume unless you are paying me.