Horror turned humorous

Shelby Pendowski

Of Stephen King’s “Night Shift”—a compilation of 20 horror stories, “Children of the Corn” became a fan favorite and later a feature-length film.

Joel Schindlbeck has taken the twisted tale and adapted it to the stage for this year’s Stark Turn Players’ Halloween Horror Musical Parody. “Children of the Corny, The Musical” will premiere at The Dog Story Theater on Oct. 24.

The tale follows a couple on the verge of divorce escaping to California, but as they drive through the outskirts of Nebraska, they accidentally hit a young boy. After an attempt to hide the body in the adult-free Nebraskan town, the couple is thrown into the horror of King’s mind.

“It keeps the exact plot line,” Schindlbeck said. “We just change all of the dialogue, we vamp up the characters so they are extremely cartoonish (versions) of the original characters, and we take the tense situations or events in the movie and we parody them by turning them into either a musical number or into a crazy chase scene or just let the ridiculousness come out through the dialogue itself.”

Amanda Heeran, a GVSU student who plays Sarah in the parody musical, said it is the close atmosphere and meticulous detail that bring the show to life.

“It is a fun theater company and a fun theater experience,” Heeran said. “Because it is in the Dog Story Theater, it is very small, so it’s more intimate than, say, if it was at the Civic or Circle. That is an aspect that I think a lot of our age group appreciates.”

The Dog Story Theater allows each of the audience members to see the show close up, so the audience will see all the details in the production.

Each member of the cast not only plays his or her role in the musical but also helped design all of the set pieces and costumes, Schindlbeck said. Apart from the physical elements, they have also added in bits of character to the show.

“I really enjoy the creative touches,” Heeran said. “Each of the cast members are coming up with different funny things to interject throughout the play, like just a certain timing that people use or voices or intonations. It is little things like that that just make it that much (more funny).”

The cast invites the community to come to a midnight showing of “Children of the Corny, The Musical” on Oct. 25 or to the “spooktacular” costume party on Oct. 26.

“I just wanted to create another opportunity to celebrate the holiday,” Schindlbeck said. “I think that this is a fun way to celebrate the holiday, but you are still participating in something that can be kind of scary.”

Tickets are $12. For more information, visit www.starkturnplayers.org.

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