ASHLAND When psychic phenomena plague a remote house, a group of investigators decides to unravel the mystery.

That’s the story of "The Haunting of Hill House," a play based on a novel by Shirley Jackson. It will be presented Oct. 23 and 24 at the Paramount Arts Center by the Paramount Players.

Director Melanie Cornelison-Jannotta said the show, which also was made into a movie and a series on Netflicks, is perfect for this time of year.

"I love Halloween and it seems like most other people do, too," she said. "I think it is fun to do a performance around this time of year that has a little ‘scariness.’"

Set in two rooms of a Victorian manor house, the show is set in present day, Cornelison-Jannotta said, and occupied by a single caretaker, Mrs. Dudley, until Dr. Montague leases the house to study the occult forces that live within it. Later, the doctor is joined by other investigators and, even later, his wife and a friend.

"It is definitely a psychological experience for those visiting the house," Cornelison-Jannotta said.

The cast includes Jonathan Maynard as Dr. Montague; Annie Johnson as Mrs. Montague; Kelsey Bender as Eleanor; Tish Maynard as Theodora; Bruce Dearfield as Paul; Dave Owens as Arthur; and Alicia Dennison as Mrs. Dudley.

"Working with a small, experienced cast is great," Cornelison-Jannotta said. "They make my job very easy."

Rick Payne is the costumer; Tatum Rooker is assistant costumer; Allison Hammond is the stage manager; Dave Owens is set designer and construction; Ryan Derifield is assistant stage manager; and Lauren Kazmaryk and Paige Fraley handle props.

Of course, steps will be enforced to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

"All seats are socially distanced. We are following all guidelines from the health department and CDC," Cornelison-Jannotta said. "People are asked to wear a mask as they enter the theater. They can take it off when seated and put it back on if going to the restrooms or to get concessions. A limited number of tickets to each performance will be sold."

(606) 326-2661 |

lward@dailyindependent.com

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