"House On Haunted Hill" Set to Scare Clifton in World Premiere Production


Frederick Loren, eccentric billionaire, invites you to a haunted house party, just in time for Halloween! Kismet Performing Artists Theatre and the Clifton Arts Center present the world premiere production of “House On Haunted Hill” and you’re invited. The press release reads, “When four complete strangers receive the same invitation for the same party on the same night, there's no telling what ghostly mayhem might ensue.” It’s the perfect production for the spookiest time of year.

Based on the 1959 film of the same name and reimagined and written by Michael Susko, an award-winning director, choreographer, playwright, and educator, this premier is a joint fundraiser for Kismet and Clifton Arts Center, Inc., the non-profit that supports the arts center.

This “frightfully murderous” show is directed by Action Theatre Conservatory Studios’ artistic director, Kathleen Kellaigh. Kellaigh is an accomplished actor, director, writer, and teacher whose performance credits include Guiding Light. She and her husband moved to Clifton after the birth of their first child and discovered that there was nothing here for actors looking to learn about or hone their craft. Although the original plan was to wait for retirement, Kellaigh and her husband soon decided that they needed to open their own school, and in 1990 ATC Studios was born. “We’re Clifton’s best-kept secret,” Kellaigh said.

Conveniently located at Main Avenue and Union Avenue in downtown Clifton, ATC Studios has been going strong for over 30 years and offers a wide range of classes in acting and singing for everyone from the beginning performer to the accomplished professional. They have classes for children starting as young as age four in a group called The Great Pretenders, a Tweens class, and their adult division for ages 13 and up. Students study the basics of acting and can take classes on improvisation, Shakespeare, monologue study, and more. Some notable former students include Clifton’s Rachel Zegler (West Side Story, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes) and Federico Castelluccio, who played Furio Giunta on The Sopranos and was a student in ATC Studios’ very first class.

Just before the pandemic, Kellaigh and fellow Cliftonite Maryann Irizarry joined their creative minds with four other artistic women to create Kismet Performing Artists Theatre. The pandemic hampered their ability to get a production up and running but they are thrilled to be presenting “House on Haunted Hill” in Clifton this month. Kellaigh explained that, “This is not community theatre. All artists deserve to be paid.” Proceeds from this premier will ensure that everyone’s hard work is compensated.

The cast of eight, which includes actors from as far away as Ocean Grove, features two Clifton residents. Wilson J. Verzosa has lived in Clifton for six years and has been taking classes at ATC Studios for two years. “House On Haunted Hill” is Verzosa’s first role and performance in a theatrical production. C.W. Robertson, a graduate of Clifton High School, was heavily involved in plays and musicals throughout his high school career. Local theatre-goers may recognize him from several productions with the Theater League of Clifton over the past decade. He is actively pursuing a career in show business and is currently teaching acting classes at ATC Studios.

Don’t miss this chance to see a world premiere right here in Clifton! “House On Haunted Hill” runs from October 20-22 & October 27-29 at the Clifton Arts Center at 900 Clifton Avenue.

Friday and Saturday performances are at 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, October 22 is at 6 p.m. and will be immediately followed by a discussion with the actors and creative team.

Sunday, October 29 is at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $42 in advance + fees and $45 at the door. All seating is reserved.

For more information:
CAC website: cliftonartscenter.org

Kismet PAT Website: kismettheatre.org

Contact number: 973-559-3276

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