Monday, October 22, 2012

Staff Brings Science Fiction to Haunted Happenings

Haunted Happenings, 2011

This year, Haunted Happenings is boldly going where no theme has gone before:  science fiction! The Museum staff is working hard to bring their favorite science fiction characters and stories to life for the event this Sunday.  Renee Compagna, the Museum’s Family Programs Coordinator, admits that this year is a dream come true.  “I’ve always wanted to have a Star Wars’ themed event at the Museum,” she says.  “Having a sci-fi themed event and incorporating Star Wars compliments the temporary exhibition Time Machines: Robots, Rockets and Steampunk.”

Poster for 1954 Disney Adaption of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
The Office of Registrar plans to bring visitors a unique science fiction experience that ties into the exhibit with their ode to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.  "It's sci-fi, written by Jules Verne, and it's very steampunk.  Plus it was such a campy movie," explains Barbara Rathburn, the Museum's Registrar.  Right now, they're working on a sunken shipwreck with a blast on the side that will sit on the Stagecoach lawn in front of a painted backdrop of the Nautilus -- Captain Nemo's high-tech submarine that secretly explores various underwater worlds.  Look for Barbara as she lurks around in her homemade squid costume. 

The science fiction take on Haunted Haunted is filling the Museum departments with enthusiasm and energy.  “Staff are really excited about this year’s theme since it is an area that, as a Museum of Art and Design, that we do not generally get to explore,” Renee says.   I went off to investigate what other departments are planning for the 3,000 visitors expected to join us on Haunted Happenings.
“I need to find some slime – like blood, only green,” Account Clerk Denise Morrell suddenly remembers as she describes to me the Administrative Department’s plan to transform Owl Cottage into a Roswell site.  It won't take long for you to discover the U.F.O (unidentified flying object) that has mysteriously crashed into the children’s activity center.  I won’t give away what the department has up their sleeve for inside the cottage.  Let’s just say that Denise admits her department “doesn't mind doing a little scary.” 

In 2011, the Administration Department recreated Batman's
bat cave in the bottom floor of the Round Barn
Have you ever thought about what kind of music would be played at a Star Trek dance party?  I asked Katie Titterton, Membership Manager, to tell me what music the Development Department believes the Enterprise crew boogies to while cruising in warp drive.  “Mid to late 20th century music—really loud,” she deliberated.  You can find the Development Team enjoying throwing a Star Trek dance party on the Dutton House lawn.  Titterton will dance along with visitors as a generic crew member of the Star Trek Enterprise, but she’s pleased to announce that Shelburne Museum’s Director of Development, Sam Ankerson, will take charge as the famous Captain James T. Kirk. 
Development stuck with the party theme this year after throwing a fun 'pizza' bash
as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles during 2011's Haunted Happenings.

Sara Woodbury and candy, 2011
Enough science fiction, what about the candy? If you recall my Preparing for Haunted Happenings post from a year ago, Curatorial Fellow Sara Woodbury allowed the Education department to stash all 40,000 pieces of candy into her office.  The torch has now been passed to Adult Programs Coordinator, Kim McCray.  Why the office change?  "Because I'm sweet," Kim retorts.  But, she's not bitter about the mounds of boxes taking up an entire wall of her office.  "It's kind of exciting," she confesses. "The boxes constantly remind me that Haunted Happenings is coming up and since this will be my first one I'm really looking forward to it."

Kim McCray and candy, 2012

Haunted Happening is 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 28.  Admission is $5.  Children age 2 and under and members are free. 

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