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Sarasota High students to haunt St. Armands in Halloween ‘Thriller’ | Events

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Sarasota High students to haunt St. Armands in Halloween ‘Thriller’
Events, News, Schools
Sarasota High students to haunt St. Armands in Halloween ‘Thriller’

Sarasota, Florida -- As part of a tradition known as Fright Night, Sarasota High School theater students will zombie-walk their way around St. Armands Circle on Halloween on Thursday, October 31.

Their route will end in St. Armands Circle Park with a macabre dance performance of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

With two theater teachers at Sarasota High School this year, approximately 200 students auditioned to be part of the zombie team — twice as many as last year. The candidates had learned and practiced the dance for the past few weeks before trying out; about half of them were selected to be part of the performance this year.     

On Halloween night, the 100 students who were cast in “Thriller” will spend hours in makeup and costume preparation, with the help of SHS parents and alumni members who are known as “latexologists” or “masters of gore.” The students will then head to St. Armands Circle, where they will begin their zombie walk at 6:30 p.m. They will lure unsuspecting tourists and locals to the park, where they will perform the “Thriller” dance at 8 p.m.     

“Our annual Thriller event has grown so big we have people calling us from throughout the community, asking if we would be at their Halloween event,” said Melissa Dweck, who teaches drama at SHS, along with new drama teacher Lacey Knispel. “So many people come to the St. Armands event that we can barely get the students through to do the dance,” said Dweck. “We actually have a mob follow us to our performance location!”     

Sarasota High junior Michelle Kinsey said, “The facial expressions of the people we approach are the highlight of my night. I get to feel famous for 20 minutes of my life, only no one knows it’s me!”     

Cheyenne Griffith, also a junior, said, “Beyond the thrill of performing in front of hundreds of people, we get to invent an entire person and come up with fun but scary backstories about how we ended up in the ‘graves’ we rise from. The performance is an experience we’ll never forget.”     

The St. Armands Circle Fright Night is sponsored by the St. Armands Circle Association. In addition to the Sarasota High School “Thriller” performance, shops and restaurants will be open and booths will offer candy for trick-or-treaters.


Events, News, Schools