Spooky Happenings at Guild Hall for Little Ghouls and Grown Up Ghosts Alike

Liz Joyce offers a Halloween-themed puppet show outdoors at Guild Hall this weekend. Photo by Tim Lee.

To celebrate Halloween, Guild Hall is serving up two very different performances — one to bring smiles to its youngest audience members, and one to strike horror into the hearts of those bold enough to venture forth.

For the little ones, award-winning puppeteer Liz Joyce is bringing “Liz Joyce & A Couple of Puppets: Minkie’s Halloween Adventure” to the John Drew Backyard Theater for two live performances on Saturday, October 31, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Joyce believes that puppetry is the gateway to theater, and that this art form breathes beauty and life into storytelling. She founded the beloved Goat on a Boat puppet theater in Sag Harbor in 2001, and her delightful twists on traditional fairy tales and other familiar stories have brought her international fame, including a UNIMA citation, the highest award in American puppetry. She has frequently brought her sell-out shows to the Guild Hall stage.

In this slightly spooky 25-minute performance, geared for kids ages three to seven, Minkie the monkey, Douglas the blue dinosaur, and a few scary creatures join up for a Halloween adventure which explores themes of sharing and friendship.

After the show, each audience member will receive a take-home puppet-making kit, including a pre-recorded lesson with Liz Joyce, and a special Halloween treat from Citarella.

Costumes are encouraged. Each $30 ticket covers one full lawn circle, which can seat two people. All circles are distanced six feet from each other. There are 23 tickets available for each of the two shows. More details can be found on the John Drew Backyard Theater FAQ page at the Guild Hall website.

For the braver adults among us, come back to Guild Hall after dark, if you dare, for an hour of sheer socially-distanced dread with “Stage Fright,” four spine-chilling tales woven in the moonlight on All Hallows’ Eve.

A small company of costumed actors will read short tales of the macabre from the stage of the John Drew Backyard Theater, complimented by eerie sounds, mystifying lights, haunting projections plus some truly terrifying surprises. Stories are by Septimus Dale, B.C. Bridges, Richard Matheson and Neil Gaiman.

The performance is approximately one hour of sheer, socially-distanced dread. Directed by the John Drew Theater Artistic Director Josh Gladstone, who previously created Guild Hall’s popular Ghouled Hall immersive events, as well as having co-produced with Kate Mueth The Haunt at Mulford Farm, which ran on Main Street for several Halloweens in recent years. In addition to Mueth and Gladstone, the evening features Vanessa Walters and Trevor Vaughn.

Bring your own beach chair or perhaps a blankie large enough to cower under. The evening is suitable for adults and children over 11 years of age. Performances are Thursday, October 29, to Saturday, October 31. Shows are at 7 and 9 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and at 6:30, 8 and 9:30 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are $45 per lawn circle (seats one or two members of a quarantine pod). Guild Hall is at 158 Main Street, East Hampton. Visit guildhall.org to reserve.