TAMPA, Fla. — The goal for any theater company is to fill every seat, but for the past 18 months, that was not an option for Stageworks Theatre in Tampa. This month, they are back to full capacity, just in time for their Halloween show.
The name of the show may be "Evil Dead The Musical," but the enthusiasm coming from these actors is more like alive and well.
“Love it, it’s what gives me life, I enjoy being on stage more than anything in the world and I’m more than thankful that I’m on stage right now,” said actor Max Dalton.
“I was so excited I called my mom right after and I was like, ‘mom I got into Evil Dead The Musical,’ and she was so excited for me, it was so good,” said Hannah Perreault.
Max and Hannah are two of eight University of Tampa students in the cast. They said the reason you go into acting is to entertain audiences and they can’t wait to welcome them back.
“To be able to feed off the audience is crucial as an actor and not being able to do that at full capacity is really difficult to get the energy up as an actor,” said Dalton.
The last time Hannah was in a performance, it ended in heartbreak.
“I was in a show right when COVID hit and we closed on opening night,” said Perreault.
Director and UT Professor Karla Hartley said she’s seen her students work too hard not be awarded the attention and applause that we once took for granted in the theater.
“This is what we do and it’s how we feed our souls so if we are not able to do it it's hard, it's really really hard,” said Hartley.
From trap doors to chain saws to cabins in the woods, this show bottles up everything we crave in October.
“Funny, campy, horror, there is a lot of blood,” said Hartley.
If you are sitting in the first three rows, you will be given a poncho because it’s going to be raining blood.
“I don’t think any other show in the world can say they have a 'splatter zone' built-in, like that’s part of the shtick, it’s crazy that we’re able to do something so unique,” said Dalton.
"Evil Dead The Musical" runs from Oct. 15 until Halloween. For more information on showtimes and tickets go to Stageworkstheatre.org.
“You might never see a show quite like this,” said Perreault.