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Getting a 19th century ghost story onto a black box stage

Oct 22, 2015

Kent Reed is directing the Turn of the Screw, which opens tonight at the Black Box Theatre at Aspen High School.
Credit Patrick Fort / Aspen Public Radio

Kent Reed, the founder and director of the Hudson Reed Ensemble, is showing off his first real Halloween show tonight at Aspen High School's Black Box Theatre. The Turn of the Screw is a class ghost story full of creepy kids, and an old mansion. 

On adapting the show to a black box setting...

"There are a lot of different locations in this play. In the black box, we've set up six locations. Everything from a drawing room, to London, to a lake. We've adapted this space to those various locales. I think it's going to be quite effective. People will enjoy watching us transition from one to another."

Choosing the right kids to play the roles of Flora and Miles...

"That was my greatest fear, finding the right kids to do this parts. Providentially, you find the people that you need...They were the first two kids we auditioned and right away I knew they got the parts...I saw right away, both of these young actors have enough quirkiness about their personalities to be scary children."

On being a psychological thriller...

"You never know if the governess is losing her mind. You don't know if these kids are in tune with supernatural powers - if they're in collusion with these two ghosts...It'll be fun to watch on a lot of different levels. It's not the kind of horror or mayhem that you see in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre."

The shows start at 7 p.m. at the Aspen High School Black Box Theatre. Tickets and more information at