ORLANDO, Fla. (WSVN) — At Valencia College this semester, the Technical Theater Production class is taking a spine-tingling approach to education.
Instead of traditional assignments, they’ve set an ambitious goal: to create the “Florida Museum of Cursed Artifacts” from scratch. What’s truly remarkable is that this eerie endeavor, which would typically require six months, is slated to be completed in just a month and a half, and it’s being crafted by 68 eager students.
Once finished, the “Florida Museum of Cursed Artifacts” will transform into a hair-raising Halloween attraction, welcoming the public with free admission within Valencia’s Black Box Theater.
Fred Lynn, an instructor, shared her enthusiasm for the project.
“I love working with the kids. I love the interaction, and I love seeing their minds open up and their eyes smiling,” he said “When you tell them something or explain something, they’re like, ‘Oh wow,’ and then they realize they can do it. That’s magic to me.”
The students not only learn to create attractions built to last for at least five years but also develop the skills to adapt to new technology and take cues from art directors. This hands-on experience prepares them for careers in the ever-thriving haunted attraction industry, which rakes in a staggering $682 million annually in the United States alone.
According to Lynn, “The haunted attraction industry is a 682-million-dollar-a-year industry in the United States alone. That’s work!”
Valencia College’s approach is highly welcomed by its students, who appreciate the focus on building a strong portfolio for future employment.
“Oh, 100 percent. Fred really encourages us to put together a great portfolio so that we are set not just in the classroom but also being able to go out into the workforce and show off what we’ve done here to really put us ahead of the other people as we graduate,” said Sarah Ward, a student at the school.
William Cuevas, another student, finds the most rewarding part to be the actual hands-on construction work.
“The most rewarding part, in my opinion, is just the build itself. Working with my hands is something I’ve always enjoyed, being able to physically do something and see your progress at the end of the day,” he said.
Valencia College’s unique approach not only fosters creativity and skills in its students but also prepares them for a thriving industry with open arms. Last semester, the program also took on an original escape room, showcasing its commitment to practical and engaging education.
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