The Ruxton Players Stages THE SCARECROW, Now thru 10/19

The award-winning Ruxton Players, residing at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Towson, are pleased to present the first Baltimore production in several decades of the first great American play of the 20th century, The Scarecrow by Percy MacKaye, running tonight, October 11-12 and 18-19, 2013. Funny, touching, poetic, and magical, the play is appropriate for audiences of all ages.

Based on the Nathaniel Hawthorne story "Feathertop," the play, which premiered in 1911, is set in New England at the time of the Salem witch trials. Bess Rickby is a witch who hungers for revenge against her former lover, Justice Merton, who jilted her in order to advance a political career based on an agenda of rooting out witchcraft in the colony. Aided by the diabolical Dickon, Rickby brings a common scarecrow to life, hoping to pass him off as Merton's lovechild, now grown to manhood and seeking restitution. With his eyes now opened to the wonders of this world, however, the scarecrow, called Ravensbane, gradually develops a human conscience, especially upon falling in love with Merton's compassionate and forward-thinking ward, Rachel - much to the consternation of her puritanical fiancé, Richard Talbot. Meanwhile, Dickon sees the opportunity to use Ravensbane to lure not just Merton into his clutches, but Rachel as well. Soon Ravensbane realizes he faces a tragic dilemma: either defy Dickon at the cost of the life he has come to cherish, or allow the evil plan to go forward and thus lose his newfound soul.

The Ruxton Players production will be directed by William Kamberger, who has been named "Baltimore's Best Stage Director" by The City Paper, and who also directed The Players' presentation of The Hasty Heart, which earned this year's award for Best Actor in a Play (Non-Equity) in the Baltimore Broadway World readers' poll.

The Scarecrow stars a distinguished cast of local actors, including John Wright as Ravensbane, Tom Blair as Dickon, J. R. Lyston as Justice Merton, Lea Billingslea as Bess Rickby, Kerry Brady as Rachel, and Mike Ware as Richard Talbot.

Performances are at the Church's Parish Hall, 1401 Carrollton Ave., on Fridays at 8 p.m., and on Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 and may be obtained at the door or by calling 410-823-0122. You may also consult the Church's website,

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