Hidden Stables Equine Rescue Facility will hold its first Haunted Hayrides Oct. 28-30 at 7 p.m.
The hay wagon will tour the fields, where scary scenes of ghouls and goblins await the unwary. Have some cider and cookies afterward to still your beating heart. As the tickets are only $5 each, get your reservations early by call the center at (301) 490-3558.
The center is at 9905 Gorman Road in Laurel. This is the Howard County Gorman Road, not the Prince George's County Gorman Road (Route 198). It's astonishing, but Laurel has three Gorman roads that intersect U.S. 1.
Check out the newest residents of Hidden Stables. There's Baron, a descendant of Seattle Slew. He's going to live at a local farm, not at the center, since the center has no provisions to house stallions.
But the two 18-year-old ponies, Sparky and Lightning, and 25-year-old Jet should be settled into the center's routine now.
Jerry, the 3-year-old thoroughbred, and Stoney, a Morgan horse, have just moved to their new homes.
Atholton High is presenting performances of "Dracula" from Thursday through Halloween.
This timely choice resulted from conversations drama teacher Monica Robbins had with her students: There's nothing for teens to do on Halloween except watch bad movies on video. Actually, there are all sorts of other things to do, but the most amusing pranks are also actionable.
It ought to be a dazzling performance. The seven leads in the play have considerable experience, some of it professional.
Justin Wilson, who plays the count, has just finished a role in the television series "Homicide." Courtney Boll, his foil and downfall as Lucy, read for the role of Sandy in "Homicide." Elisabeth McQueen, who plays Van Helsing, recently won an award for voice.
Beau Kodani, who plays the weirdly insane henchman Renfield, is a nationally ranked twirler.
Colleen Crough, who plays Abigail, has just finished a television commercial.
Seth Kallick, playing Dr. Steward, has been a drama student for four years.
Tiffany Brooke, who plays Ms. Hawker, is an advanced drama student.
A performance of "Dracula" needs more than a superb lead cast. It needs an atmosphere of sepulcher terror, a hint of powers beyond comprehension.
And a high school has to provide it on what would be the Kleenex budget for a professional production. I understand that this performance has succeeded in this goal.
In addition to the cast above, 25 other students are cast as ghouls, vampires and residents of Cairfax Abbey. Their presence magnifies the audience's reactions.
Everyone expects a weird set and some hint of magic in "Dracula." Art teacher Barry Hoskins designed the sets. Some were built by students from the School for Technology. I understand that it has been the focus of several spirited discussions as to its eventual fate: Everyone who's seen it wants Ms. Robbins tried to hire an illusionist to run the special effects in the performance. Alas, his fee was more than the school could afford.
But for a nominal fee and a promise to never divulge the secrets, he agreed to teach the technical crew how to perform some of the stage magic.
As you see the impossible happen before you, remember that this is only a play. It isn't real; it's just the talented efforts of Josh Ridgeway, Matt Brown, Kevin Moore, Pat Weber, Danny Surbrook and Paul Garcia.
The performances of this short play (1 1/2 hours) begin at 7 p.m., except for the Sunday matinee, which begins at 2 p.m.
The cost is $5 per person. The drama department requests that the audience arrive in costume for the Halloween performance. (I wonder why.)
It is not recommended for very young children.
Call the school at (410) 531-1263 for details and directions.
The Montpelier Cultural Arts Center has quite a bit going on in November. The first week in November, the center opens three new exhibitions.
"Facades," an exhibit opening Nov. 3, features works by resident artists Roslyn Logsdon and Linda K. Bernard.
Ms. Logsdon exhibits hooked-rug wall hangings of architectural features and portraits. She is a nationally known artist whose works appear in books on rug hooking.
Ms. Bernard exhibits ceramic works including tile murals, textured plates and even a clock. She not only maintains a studio at the center, but also teaches ceramics there.
These two artists will be honored Nov. 4 at a reception at the mansion from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The exhibit runs until Nov. 28.
Artists who were selected by Deborah Willis for the sixth annual Prince George's County Juried Exhibition will also be honored at the center on Nov. 4, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Their works will also be displayed at the center until Nov. 28.
Ms. Willis is a collection coordinator and curator at the National African American Museum Project of the Smithsonian Institution.
A new two-month exhibit of sculptures by Martha Tabor also opens Nov. 4. Titled "Hand and Soul," the exhibit features sculptures of body casts and found objects reflecting emotion.
The sculptor will also be honored at a reception on Nov. 4, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
For more information about programs at Montpelier Mansion, call the mansion at (301) 953-1993.