New Haven-based artists set out to save Halloween, create trick-or-treat live performance

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Halloween will look a bit different this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But in New Haven, a group of local artists is making sure the holiday is still celebrated safety by putting on a play in the East Rock neighborhood.

They’ve teamed up to create the East Rock Halloween Project, a socially-distant walking theater project for all ages.

Together, they’ll tell the story of Boitata: a Brazilian folklore about a serpent, who protects endangered forests.

The inspiration for this project came from Addie Gorlin-Han’s 5-year-old neighbor, Alma. Gorlin-Han is a member of the producing team.

“When we were talking about the fact that Halloween might not happen this year in the normal, typical way that kids experience, I saw her face fall,” said Gorlin-Han, of New Haven. “I was like, I have a theater background, I specialize in children’s theater and education, so maybe there was something I could do about it.”

The story will be split into four scenes, told by four teams of artists, in four separate garages. On Halloween, people will make their way from one garage to the next to watch the play.

“We have a live, local musician who will escort, along with some volunteers, [families] from one house to the next,” said Gorlin-Han. “Every single garage performer is performing their piece 10 times, so we’re doing 10 rotations throughout the night.”

Gorlin-Han told News 8 this project serves as a fun event for families on Halloween, but also an employment opportunity for the artists. 

“All of us artists, especially freelance theater artists, have been out of work,” said Gorlin-Han. 

She is hopeful that, at the end of the night, “kids can be empowered to use their imagination in the time of COVID to create a play in their own backyard.”

There are no more spots available for this event on Halloween, but you can contact the East Rock Halloween Project to be added to the waitlist.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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