The student news site of Stone Bridge High School

The Bulldog Tribune

The student news site of Stone Bridge High School

The Bulldog Tribune

The student news site of Stone Bridge High School

The Bulldog Tribune

Four Terrifying Tales Presented by Stone Bridge’s Theatre Department


Captivatingly mystifying. Strikingly sinister. Absolutely unnerving. Running Dogs’s production of “Tales from a Haunted Bridge” ingeniously portrays the horrors of storytelling in a masterful way that will put even the most unflinching audience members on edge. This unique production is composed of four seemingly different one acts that tie together in the end to create a spine-tingling evening. 

“The Monkey’s Paw” follows Arthur and Irene White, played by juniors Ian Brown and Miranda Ridgley, as they become in possession of a magical paw that grants them three wishes–at a cost. Brown’s portrayal of Arthur White is remarkable in the sense that he is capable of drawing both frustration and sympathy from the audience. His character, Arthur White, is initially seen as a brusque British man who is hard on his son and curt with his wife. However, he also displays a compassionate side in comforting his wife.

Ridgely’s performance as Irene White contrasts Brown’s character well with her subtle presence and calculated movements. An ordinary observer might even miss Irene in the undying suspense; an extraordinary observer would notice that each of Ridgely’s glances is telling and every movement is calculated to cast an ominous anxiety about the stage. 

This sensation was aided by the wonderful set design of Master Carpenter junior Eamon Dunne and senior Foreman Christian Mahmud. The set pieces have been perfectly orchestrated and placed to have a scene where both mourners at a funeral can appear alongside a grieving father within his own living room. The use of the large bridge in the background adds a haunting texture and depth to the simplicity of the English home. “The Monkey’s Paw” nails its draw of subtle suspense. 

The next one act, “In the Office”, written by senior Sofia Stanziola, explores the background of a murder hidden behind the quaint charm of a southern therapy clinic. Stanziola’s writing skillfully jumps from theme to theme before eventually connecting them all together, including ideas ranging from grief to the American dream. This is particularly illustrated well through Stanziola’s own portrayal of Thelma Tillman, a multi-layered working class woman who longs for the appeal of fame and recognition despite being plagued by grief. 

The production is propelled forward through the performance of junior Brenden Bernard as therapist Dr. Grant. Bernard is wonderfully compassionate in a way that touches the hearts of the audience as he supports his clients. “In the Office” is a compelling murder mystery with a slow burn that will leave the audience on the edge of their seats.

When performing a story as well known as “The Tell-Tale Heart”, there are certain expectations from spectators all of which are met spectacularly by the cast and crew. The infamous crazed neighbor is captured by junior Graham Neel through his evocative performance. Not a moment passes during this one act where Neel is unmoving whether it be through the subtle tap, tap, tap, of his foot or his full-on flailing across the stage at the prospect of his own paranoia. Perhaps even more commendable is Neel’s ability to shift from unusually high voice cracks to the deeper, louder roars in his vocal register.

Neel is undeniably a madman fighting his own murderous urges highlighted by junior Abby White in the role of visitor. Her use of contrasting volume from pleading to yelling is sinister and sickening, and yet oddly comedic as the neighbor cowers before her. The lines of humor and horror are blurred not only by White, but also through junior comedic duo Paul Finamore and Ayden Brook as officers. They traverse the blurred lines from comedy to creepy by transitioning back and forth between witty banter to interrogation.

“The Tell-Tale Heart” lives up to its name thanks to sound crew head sophomore Graham Reynolds. Sound effects–including, of course, the heartbeat–were uncanny and impactful. The continuously increasing pounding was hair-raising, with the tha-thump, tha-thump, tha-thump resounding through the auditorium. 

And lastly, to round off the horrific evening, “The One Lane Bridge” begins with the bridge being draped in people, or rather a posse of narrators. These narrators are utterly chilling and unflinching. As they contribute to the story, not once do they shake from their ominous stances and their panicked, panting breath, filling the scene with blood curdling screams. 

Senior Rowan Coon in the role of Eli and senior Sarah Perry as Samantha aid and abet this nightmarish narrative through their startlingly accurate portrayal of how awkwardness can quickly fester into something much more evil. This ambiance is encouraged by lighting crew heads juniors Julia Quezada and Adyansh Das. “The One Lane Bridge” is riddled with the genius of these two as they jump from subtle delicate lighting shifts, to electrifying, edgy flashes and cut-outs of sickly green shadows with billowing, burgeoning fog creating mystique in the background.  

All four one acts highlight the striking peculiarities of how the storytellers relate to their tall tales, each in a way more haunting than the next. One thing is for sure: Running Dog’s production of “Tales from a Haunted Bridge” will leave its viewers shook and shakin’ like a leaf for days. 

About the Contributor
Bridget Lockett
Bridget Lockett, Staff Writer
Bridget Lockett is a sophomore. She loves writing for the Cappies critic team and is excited for her first year on the "Bulldog Tribune". Outside of writing, Bridget enjoys debate, playing saxophone and drums, and rowing on the crew team. Her favorite book is Anne of Green Gables.