‘The Haunting of Hackley House’ Premieres Oct. 30 at MCC

Haunting Hackley House

A treasured Muskegon landmark provides the backdrop for “The Haunting of Hackley House: A Live Radio Play” on Halloween Eve, Friday, Oct. 30, in MCC’s Overbrook Theater.

The play, which premieres with one show only beginning at 7:30 p.m., was written by Bill Iddings, a Muskegon journalist, actor and playwright, and Teri Nine, a former Muskegon radio personality known as Teri London who is now a hospice nurse and photographer.

Tickets are $5 each and are available at the Overbrook Theater Box Office. Call (231) 777-0324 or e-mail sheila.wahamaki@muskegoncc.edu for more info. The show will also be streamed live on the College’s radio station, MCC Radio.

Staged in the style of live radio drama before the advent of television, the play is set primarily inside the Hackley House. Now a downtown Muskegon tourist attraction, the historic building is the former residence of Charles H. Hackley (1837-1905). The turn-of-the-century lumber baron is considered to be Muskegon’s greatest philanthropist and benefactor. The Hackley House is renowned for its Queen Anne architecture and intricate interior wood carvings.

Iddings and Nine’s original script sets their story in the current year, 2015, being the 110th anniversary of Charles Hackley’s death. In the play, four people — two adults and two children — find themselves inside the mansion on Halloween night. They encounter not only the spirit of Charles Hackley, but also other beings, gods and (maybe) monsters.

The audience will experience these eerie happenings through the magic of imagination and sound because live radio is known as Theater of the Mind. In the words of the authors, “Radio is a world that has to be believed to be seen.”

“The Haunting of Hackley House” is being directed by MCC instructor Sheila Kulp Wahamaki, who heads the college’s theater program. Handling the technical aspects — including sound effects, which were indispensable in the Golden Age of Radio — will be Tom Harryman, a professional actor and director who also is an MCC faculty member.

The cast includes: Craig Powers, Fran Harryman, Steve Royce, Dakotah Salazar, Hannah Erdman, Amber Parker and Aidan Smith.

“The Haunting of Hackley House” is a special offering of the 2015 Muskegon Area Arts and Humanities Festival, aka AhFest, which runs throughout the month of October.