I'LL BE BACK BEFORE MIDNIGHT Comes To American Heartland Theatre 9/11

Opening the 2009-2010 Season at American Heartland Theatre is the wonderfully funny and spooky production I'll Be Back Before Midnight. Somewhere between Agatha Christie and a Hitchcock thriller, this show has audiences laughing out loud one moment and gasping in horror the next. Jan, who is recovering from a nervous breakdown, and her husband, Greg, seek solace in a remote farmhouse where she can recuperate. Things take a turn when laugh-a-minute landlord George tells them of a murder in the house and a ghost that haunts it. Soon Jan finds herself tormented by strange sounds in the night and visions of a vengeful ghost. The situation worsens when Greg's manipulative sister arrives. Is Jan having another breakdown? Is someone trying to drive her mad? I'll Be Back Before Midnight is a first-rate thriller and a wonderfully spooky ghost story.

American Heartland Theatre has assembled a thrilling ensemble that is sure to please. Darren Kennedy (Greg Sanderson) began his acting career in Chicago before moving to Los Angeles where he performed in theatre, film and television. Television credits include CSI, Without A Trace, Gilmore Girls and a recurring role on General Hospital as Dr. O'Donnell. Locally he has been seen in Busybody at The New Theatre, The Lieutenant of Inishmore and Mauritius at the Unicorn Theatre and Perfect Wedding here at American Heartland Theatre. Making her American Heartland Theatre debut is Vanessa Severo (Jan Sanderson). Vanessa's Kansas City credits include A Christmas Carol at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Bright Ideas and The Clean House at The Unicorn Theatre, Much Ado About Nothing at The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, Rumors at The New Theatre, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch with Eubank Productions. She is a collaborator of Hybrid, which created The Coppelia Project and Advice From A Spider.

A veteran to American Heartland Theatre, James A. Wright (George Willoby) will be making his twelfth appearance on our stage. James was last seen at AHT in Murder by the Book, and other notable AHT performances include Married Alive, Twigs, Sylvia, You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, and The Buddy Holly Story. He has performed at many other area venues, including Quality Hill Playhouse, The New Theatre Restaurant, Starlight Theatre, Kansas City Rep, Musical Theatre Heritage, Metropolitan Ensemble, and The Unicorn Theatre. Jan Chapman (Laura Sanderson) is a founding member of Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre where she has performed in A Streetcar Named Desire, View From the Bridge, Frankie & Johnny in the Clair de Lune, The Homecoming and most recently in Kiss of the Spider Woman. She has performed in the very popular Script -in-Hand and Meet-the-Past Series at the KC Public Library and spent a month doing summer stock in the Black Hills of South Dakota in Brighton Beach Memoirs this summer. Jan was last seen at AHT in Perfect Wedding.

Ron Schaeffer is making his American Heartland Theatre directing debut with I'll Be Back Before Midnight. Ron has directed several shows in Kansas City; The Sweet By n' By for Missouri Repertory Theatre, On The Verge at the Unicorn, The Gin Game at the 49th St. Theatre and Only Kidding at the Quality Hill Playhouse, which won him a Best of Theater award for direction. He will be directing The Laramie Project at the University of Missouri-KC, where he is on the graduate faculty. In earlier days Ron stage managed Hair on Broadway, A Cry of Players with Anne Bancroft and Frank Langella at Lincoln Center, as well as Summertree with Blythe Danner at the Forum Theatre and Lincoln Center; plus Rainbow off-Broadway with Meatloaf and The National Lampoon Lemmings with John Belushi, Chevy Chase and Christopher Guest at the Village Gate.

Set design for I'll Be Back Before Midnight is by Del Unruh, lighting design is by Shane Rowse, costume design is by Paul Hough, sound design is by Donna Miller and props design is by William J. Christie.

Written by Peter Colley, I'll Be Back Before Midnight is the perfect opener to the 2009-2010 season. Both funny and thrilling, audiences and critics agree this production is "Phenomenal!" and "Wonderfully Spooky!".

Handicapped entry and seating, as well as assistive listening devices, are available at all performances. An ASL-interpreted performance is scheduled for Wednesday, October 21, 2009 at 7:30PM.


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