Monsters, masquerades, Muniz and more: Campus events mark Halloween week


At left, “Frankenstein” is from the “Pictures of Caviar” series in the Vik Muniz retrospective at the Eskenazi Museum of Art.

Post by IU Newsroom intern Amanda N. Marino:

Whether you’re looking for tricks or treats this Halloween, there’s plenty to do at Indiana University Bloomington. Here is just a sampling of the events and exhibitions out there. The full list is so long that it’s scary!

IU Auditorium

Dennis James Hosts Halloween, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28 — IU alumnus and world-renowned organist Dennis James will return to IU Auditorium to help bring “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” to life with an organ accompaniment that is both spooky and satisfying.

There’s more: A pre-show reception gives audience members a chance to meet James, the legend himself.

Based on the novel by Victor Hugo, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” follows Quasimodo, deaf and half blind, as he works in the shadows to protect the beautiful Esmeralda from the evils lurking in Paris.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame image

“The Hunchback of Notre Dame”

The classic story is just one of many silent films James has accompanied on the organ since his debut at IU Auditorium in 1969. After nearly 50 years, his performances have become a Halloween tradition for all ages.

The film events didn’t begin with Halloween, however.

At a time when the Vietnam War provoked protests, James began accompanying silent films as an escape, as a counterculture performance. “I conceived of this as a comic relief to all the intense political activity,” he said.

Over the years, he built a busy touring schedule that keeps him on the road much of the year.

When James prepares for a show with a particular film, he only has about three weeks to see it, find a score or compile one himself and perfect his performance. Then, he often presents the same film in several cities.

At IU, his performances have morphed into a Halloween affair with audiences dressing in costume.

Now, when James returns to IU Auditorium, he asks if anyone attended his first performance there. The people who raise their hands may now have graying hair, but their love of the art remains unchanged.

Eskenazi Museum of Art

Vik Muniz, ongoing, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Special Exhibitions Gallery — This serious retrospective of the artist’s work is, in a sense, a celebration of masquerade. Muniz’s work is rarely what it seems, featuring iconic images he crafted from such materials as peanut butter and jelly, chocolate and diamonds. Even Frankenstein’s monster is recreated in caviar. With its unconventional sense of fun, it’s the perfect show to visit this time of year — and until it closes Feb. 5.

“Muniz in Focus” talk,  2 p.m. Oct. 23 — In conjunction with the Muniz exhibition, Nan Brewer, the Eskenazi Museum’s Lucienne M. Glaubinger Curator of Works on Paper, will discuss the “Pictures of Garbage” series in the Special Exhibitions Gallery.

Waste Land,” 3 p.m. Oct. 23 — Lucy Walker’s 2010 documentary about Muniz will be screened at IU Cinema. Free, but ticketed.

IU Cinema

On Halloween night, Jonny Lee Miller is the monster in Frankenstein.

On Halloween, Jonny Lee Miller will portray the monster in “Frankenstein: Reverse Cast.”

National Theatre Live: “Frankenstein” and “Frankenstein: Reverse Cast,” 3 p.m. Oct. 30  and 7 p.m. Oct. 31 — Most people know the story: Victor Frankenstein created a monster. This stage version, which will be projected at IU Cinema, was directed by Academy Award winner Danny Boyle and stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller. The creature is himself a contradiction, a dichotomy of childlike innocence enveloped in a gruesome form. Unable to befriend humans, the monster seeks out its creator with a heart full of vengeance.

Two separate National Theatre Live performances will be screened at IU Cinema. First, at 3 p.m. Oct. 30, the show will feature Miller as Dr. Frankenstein and Cumberbatch as his monster. Then, at 7 p.m. Oct. 31, the actors will switch roles, so Cumberbatch becomes Frankenstein and Miller the monster. Tickets are $15, or $12 for students.

Mathers Museum of World Cultures

Monsters mask


Monsters!” exhibition, ongoing, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 1 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday — Monsters are strange, frightening and unnatural beings that haunt and terrorize. Walk through a display about monsters from around the world, and learn about their roles in folklore and culture as you go. The exhibition is free and open during Mathers’ normal hours of operation, through Dec. 18.

Halloween Family Fun Fest: Monsters!” 2 p.m. Oct. 30 — Celebrate Halloween by making monsters, playing games and listening to spooky stories inside the Mathers Museum. Go on a scavenger hunt though the “Monsters!” exhibition, and at 3 p.m. enjoy a special presentation by some “mad scientists” from the Department of Chemistry. The entire event is free and open to the public.

Day of the Dead community altar, lighting and reception, until Nov. 1. — The Mathers Museum offers visitors the opportunity to become part of a Mexican cultural tradition celebrated near the time of Halloween. People can bring an offering to its Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) community altar through Nov. 1. These altars are meant to honor and celebrate the lives of friends, family and loved ones who have died. It is customary to leave behind small gifts that loved ones would have enjoyed. The altar itself will be curated by local artists Rachel DiGregorio and Michael Redman.

On the Day of the Dead, the altar will be lit during a ceremony, and a reception will follow. The event from 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 1 is free and open to the public.

Whittenberger Auditorium in the Indiana Memorial Union

Halloween Horror Series, Oct. 26 to 29 — Join the Union Board for a series of terrifying Halloween classics. All films at the Whittenberger are free for IU students with an ID and $2 for other members of the public.

  • “Blair Witch Project,” 8 p.m. Oct. 26 and 11 p.m. Oct. 28 — A found-footage movie tells the terrifying story of three film students who venture out to create a documentary about the Blair Witch, a notorious murderess. Little do they know that some things are better left undocumented.
  • “The Exorcist,” 11 p.m. Oct. 26 and 8 p.m. Oct. 27 — When a young girl begins levitating and speaking in tongues, her worried mother seeks medical care. While doctors can’t help her, a local priest claims he understands the problem, and it is much darker than they can handle alone.
  • “Friday the 13th,” 11 p.m. Oct. 27 and 8 p.m. Oct. 29 — A history of gruesome deaths won’t stop camp counselors from setting up a summer camp near Crystal Lake, but will Jason?
  • “Nightmare on Elm Street,” 8 p.m. Oct. 28 and 11 p.m. Oct. 29 — One, two, Freddy’s coming for you. Three, four, better lock your door. Five, six, grab your crucifix. Seven, eight, gonna stay up late. Nine, ten, never sleep again.

Indiana Memorial Union



Bowling and Billiards Halloween Costume Contest, 9 p.m. Oct. 28 to 1 a.m. Oct. 29 — Come to the IMU in costume for a fun night of bowling and billiards, and stick around until midnight for the judging of the costume contest. The top three costumes will win prizes.

Fine Arts Building

Nosferatu,” 7 p.m. Oct. 26, Fine Arts Room 015 — Join the IU Institute for European Studies as it screens the 1922 horror classic “Nosferatu” inside of the Fine Arts Building. Free food and door prizes will be available at the event.

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