by Lenise Willis

Before dipping into this week’s eerie productions for the Halloween season, make sure you’re ready for the big day. Halloween is one of the few times you get to put your acting, costuming and make-up skills to the test. But if you’re running out of ideas or time, you can always check out Twin City Stage, which rents out Halloween costumes for a mere $40, including all of the accessories your character will need. The theater’s closet is packed.

As for a terror for your viewing pleasure, Triad Stage continues its thrilling production of Deathtrap, an adrenalinefilled production about a successful playwright who plans a deadly scheme to claim a student’s story as his own. The play runs this week through Nov. 8.

Thursday, Friday and Sunday, UNC Greensboro Theatre performs Machinal, a play inspired by the real-life Ruth Snyder, a convicted murderer who was executed. Performances are in the Brown Building Theatre. Next week, the school will lighten the mood with Cloud 9, a comedy about the Victorian empire and its attitude toward sex.

Open Space Café Theatre is ready for the season with its production of Arsenic and Old Lace, a farcical dark comedy, which runs Friday through next Sunday, Nov. 1. The play features two spinster aunts who are poisoning lonely old men with a glass of homemade elderberry wine laced with arsenic.

Also this week through next Sunday, Community Theatre of Greensboro is releasing Dracula from his coffin to wreak havoc on the stage.

Presenting another Halloween classic this week through next Sunday is Theatre Alliance, which is bringing back the dark transvestite in the musical The Rocky Horror Show, featuring such iconic numbers as The Time Warp.

Next week, Drama Center of City Arts is putting on its Evening of Short Plays: Stage Fright. Each original play, presented by The Drama Center Playwright’s Forum, has a Halloween or horror them and lasts about t0 to 15 minutes. Entry is a suggested donation of $10. The evening will be hosted next weekend, Oct. 29-Nov. 1, at the Stephen D. Hyers Studio theatre in the Greensboro Culture Center. !