BRISTOL â€“ Summer isnâ€™t quite over but with soon-to-be changing leaves and fall on the horizon, Lake Compounce is preparing for the next scream season.
Area residents spent Saturday morning participating in a variety of improvised acting drills as part of a second round of auditions in the Lake Compounce ballroom in preparation for Phantom Fall Fest.
â€śI felt like it was awesome. I got to experience and do something that I love with zombies and witches and scaring,â€ť said auditioner Connor Orcutt.
Fellow auditioner Thomas Fontanez said he enjoyed the experience as well as much of the improvisation activities focused on finding something creative within oneself and bringing it outward.
If given the opportunity to wear any sort of ghoulish costume, Fontanez said he would like to act as an undead Santa Claus or Viking. Orcutt felt he would like to be something in league with the likes of the legendary supernatural slasher movie character Freddy Krueger or the comic character The Scarecrow.
Participants were asked to name and act how they might fictionally die in front of judges as well as act as if they were attempting to escape being sucked into a vortex. Auditioners promenaded in spooky walks as well as took turns stalking or fleeing one another in movement drills. Finally, auditioners were asked to sit in a chair and a colleague scarer snuck up behind them to make their best attempt to frighten the individual.
P.J. Griffith consults with RWS Entertainment Group and serves as the director of the Phantom Fall Fest actors. He has extensive career acting experience in TV and theater and also heads up his own business overseeing immersive theater initiatives.
â€śBasically, weâ€™re asking a lot of the actors to be crazy for like four hours at a time,â€ť said Griffith. â€śIn that world, I love working with each one of these actors to build a detailed character, starting in the room today even. These are exercises to get them out of the head and into their bodies, to not think and not think youâ€™re being silly. Building the characters to me is the most fun part.â€ť
According to Lake Compounce Marketing Director Lynsey Winters, the amusement park will feature four haunted houses and three scare zones. As the sun goes down in October, actors will scatter to these locations to execute their terror tactics.
â€śLast time we hired about 30 scare actors and weâ€™re looking to hire about 120 more,â€ť she said. â€śThe event starts on September 30. We have a lot of parts arriving from our production company and weâ€™re looking forward to bringing back a scary Halloween this year.â€ť
Each scare location will feature a different type of theme, said Winters, such as swampy undead horrorscape and a masquerade ball gone wrong. A different attraction will be featured each week of the fest.
Winters noted the park may be having another round of auditions in the near future and other openings for those interested in working with Lake Compounce.