Summon the Witch if You Dare: Baba Yaga at Legends and Lore

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Summon the Witch if You Dare: Baba Yaga at Legends and Lore

Photo courtesy of Ancient Origins

Photo courtesy of Ancient Origins

Photo courtesy of Ancient Origins

Photo courtesy of Ancient Origins

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Ghosts, ghouls, spirits and more! Spooky, scary haunts and creeps galore! Come see all of this and more at Legends and Lore! Old World Wisconsin, in collaboration with Kettle Moraine School for Arts and Performance (KM Perform), is putting on its annual Halloween event, Legends and Lore. Student-led teams are working together to put on several different skits and activities within the event, including the tale of Irishman Jack O’Kent, the Native American tale of the Wendigo, and the Russian myth of Baba Yaga.

The students leading the Baba Yaga event are Writing Focus seniors Riley Haller and Marian Cramer. This is their second year leading the event, though this year they are also leading the Nachtkrapp event. Baba Yaga is a Russian myth about an old woman who typically lives in the woods, flying around in a giant mortar and wielding a pestle. Her house is often described as a hut with chicken legs, roaming around and never remaining in one location. She can choose whether or not to appear and assist those who seek her out in the forest, but she can also choose to harm them. 

Throughout the process thus far, Haller has been working on the more hands-on aspects, such as costumes and masks, while Cramer has been keeping things organized and writing scripts. This year, Theater Focus junior Sylvia LaGalbo will be directing the show, in addition to participating in a different event for Legends and Lore. “My favorite part of being a student leader is getting to work with students who are just as passionate about the event as I am,” says Cramer. She goes on to explain that she and Haller formed “some pretty strong bonds” with their team last year, and “it has been a lot of fun to continue to work with them and feed off of their excitement about getting to work with us again.”

Another aspect of being a student leader is dealing with any challenges that may come along the way. Cramer explains that the biggest challenge so far has been a shortage of actors. Both Baba Yaga and Nachtkrapp are short an actor, which has been difficult to work around because most people already have prior commitments. Haller adds, “Between last year and this year, a lot of changes were made to how things are organized … A couple small communication mishaps … have been somewhat challenging, but overall the experience is going very well.” She goes on to say, “It’s very exciting to see everything coming together.”

Working with Old World Wisconsin on such a big, high-profile event is a rare opportunity for students to show teachers and the professional world what they’re capable of. Riley Haller and Marian Cramer in particular stand out as excellent student leaders, and their efforts both this year and last have been invaluable to the event as a whole. The Baba Yaga event is sure to scare and spook guests all night long, and keep them coming back for more each year. Legends and Lore takes place on October 18, 19, 25, and 26, from 5:30-9:30 PM. Hope to scare you there and remember – Legends and Lore is chock-full of frightful activities that are fun for all, it’s sure to be the highlight event of the fall!