Saint Michael's Playhouse to Stage WAIT UNTIL DARK, 7/1-11

Saint Michael's Playhouse to Stage WAIT UNTIL DARK, 7/1-11

Producing Artistic Director Chuck Tobin today announced the July 1st opening of Jeffrey Hatcher's area premiere adaptation of Wait Until Dark, written by Frederick Knott at Saint Michael's Playhouse (July 1 - 11). Directed by Sarah Carleton the cast features Abby Lee as Susan, John D. Alexander as Roat, Christian Kohn as Mike, Bill Carmichael as Carlino, David Rossetti as Sam, and introducing Jillian Kenny as Gloria.

This adaptation had its world premiere at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, California in 2013. The Geffen described the play as "A ground-breaking thriller. Wait Until Dark follows a blind Greenwich Village woman who finds herself in the middle of a con, and a murder. Who is in on it? Desperate and depraved thieves believe Susan is in possession of their big score and set in motion a manipulative psychological war on her vulnerable state. That is, until Susan plunges herself and the audience into the dark in which she exists using it to her advantage."

And added, "Frederick Knott's 1966 play inspired the classic film which was released the following year and multiple Broadway productions earning Tony and Academy Award nominations for many of the actors involved - including the film's star, Audrey Hepburn. The adaptation moves the play back to a time when guns were rare and the threat of violence was lurking locally and globally. World War II (1944) was a time when most men were away at war except for the draft dodgers, the wounded, and those not fit to serve. These are the men who set out to exploit a blind woman's vulnerability."

The three remaining productions of the 2015 season are Wait Until Dark, Outside Mullingar, and Woody Guthrie's American Song.

Performances begin on the Playhouse stage on Wednesday, July 1. Performances are Wednesday - Saturday evenings 7/1 - 7/4, Tuesday - Saturday 7/7 - 7/11 (8pm curtain), and Saturday matinees 7/4 and 7/11 (2pm curtain). Single tickets range from $34 to $44. The Playhouse is located at McCarthy Arts Center on the campus of Saint Michael's College, Route 15, Colchester, Vermont. Tickets may be purchased at the Playhouse box office, by calling 802-654-2281, or online at saintmichaelsplayhouse.org.

THE CAST:

ABBY LEE (SUSAN) originated the role of Zoe in the world premiere of Car Talk, with other New York and regional credits that include The Rubber Room, I Had Fun But Drank Way Too Much, The Intervention, Or, West Side Story, Barefoot in the Park. Her most recent credits include the short film 12 Years of Silk, directed by James Sharpe,the lead in a public screenplay at Chicago Dramatists written by Mary Ruth Clarke (Meet The Parents), and a commercial for Shell. Saint Michael's Playhouse credits include Barnum, Talley's Folly, Dames at Sea, Almost Maine, Nunsense, Young Frankenstein.

JOHN D. ALEXANDER (ROAT) is a resident and native of New York City, where he began his acting career at a child. He has appeared in over 70 stage productions, aside from work in film, television, and radio. His most recent film is Lamotta: the Bronx Bull appearing with Paul Sorvino. Other credits include American Buffalo, Bully!, The Tempest, Waiting for Godot, The Man in the Glass Booth, The Cripple of Inishmaan. Saint Michael's Playhouse credits include The Boys Next Door, Big River, The Drowsy Chaperone.

CHRISTIAN KOHN (MIKE) appeared on Broadway in Hollywood Arms along with numerous other credits including the title role in Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, An Ideal Husband, Death of A Salesman, Phaedra directed by JoAnne Akalaitis. Saint Michael's Playhouse credits include Fiddler on the Roof, Tuesdays with Morrie, Rumors, Unnecessary Farce, Over the Pub, Young Frankenstein, Arsenic and Old Lace, Spamalot.

BILL CARMICHAEL (Carlino) appeared on Broadway in Mamma Mia, Les Miserables, Cats, and Peter Pan. Off-Broadway Bill was in the original production of Forbidden Broadway and can be heard on the original cast recording. In Los Angeles he was in the original US premiere of Ragtime, Forever Plaid, Sweeney Todd with Kelsey Grammer. Saint Michael's Playhouse credits include Pirates of Penzance, Barnum, Blithe Spirit, Drowsy Chaperone, Young Frankenstein, Spamalot.

DAVID ROSSETTI (SAM) appeared on Broadway in Annie. Other NYC credits include Nightfall on Miranga Island, The Spidey Project, Thoroughly Modern Millie. National Tours: Joseph...Dreamcoat, Hairspray, Fame. Other favorites: A Chorus Line, Chicago, Hairspray, Diva Diaries, Guys & Dolls, Cabaret. Saint Michael's Playhouse credits include Around the World in 80 Days, The Drowsy Chaperone, Spelling Bee, Dames at Sea, Spamalot.

JILLIAN KENNY (GLORIA) is a rising sophomore at Saint Michael's College. She has appeared in numerous productions at FlynnArts, Lyric Theatre Company, Essex Community Players, Saint Michael's College, Playhouse JR. Wait Until Dark marks Jillian's professional debut.

THE PLAYWRIGHTS:

FREDERICK KNOTT (PLAYWRIGHT) Frederick Knott wrote Dial M For Murder and Wait Until Dark - two of the most celebrated suspense plays in modern theatrical history. Born in Hankow, China in 1916 to Quaker missionaries, he went to Cambridge University and then served in the Royal Artillery during the entirety of World War II. After, he retreated to a cottage adjacent to his parents' home in Sussex, spending eighteen months in near seclusion writing Dial M For Murder. After seven London producers turned it down, the BBC presented it in 1952 as a 90-minute television play, followed by successful West End and Broadway productions, thirty international productions and the now classic 1954 Alfred Hitchcock film which is now one of the AFI's Top Ten Mystery Films. Notoriously unprolific, his 1961 Broadway play Write Me a Murderstarred Denholm Elliot and Kim Hunter. Wait Until Dark opened on Broadway in February 1966 starring Lee Remick, followed by a two-year London run starring Honor Blackman. Audrey Hepburn, Alan Arkin, and Richard Crenna starred in the film version. Knott died in 2002.

JEFFREY HATCHER (ADAPTOR) Broadway: Never Gonna Dance (book). Off-Broadway: Three Viewings and A Picasso at Manhattan Theatre Club; Scotland Road and The Turn of the Screw at Primary Stages; Tuesdays with Morrie (with Mitch Albom) at The Minetta Lane; Murder by Poe, The Turn of the Screw and The Spy at The Acting Company; Neddy at American Place and Fellow Travelers at Manhattan Punchline. Also Ten Chimneys, Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club, Compleat Female Stage Beauty, A Confederacy of Dunces, The Killing of Sister George, Mrs. Mannerly, Murderers, Ella, Mercy of a Storm, Smash, Armadale, Korczak's Children, To Fool the Eye, The Falls, A Piece of the Rope, Louder Faster, What's the Word For, John Gabriel Borkman, An Enemy of the People, Pillars of Society, All the Way with LBJ, The Government Inspector, Cousin Bette, The Good Soldier, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and at The Guthrie, Old Globe, Yale Rep, The Geffen, Seattle Rep, South Coast Rep, and Actors Theater of Louisville, among others. Film/TV: Stage Beauty, Casanova, The Duchess and episodes of Columbo.

SARAH CARLETON (DIRECTOR) This past year Carleton directed Or, by Liz Duffy Adams at Vermont Stage Company and Our Town at University of Vermont. Past directing credits include Almost Maine, She Stoops to Conquer, Greater Tuna,The Arabian Nights, The Beaux Stratagem, Cloud 9, Eurydice, You Can't Take it With You, Compleat Female Stage Beauty, and Rumors. In 2010 Ms. Carleton received the Meritorious Achievement Award in Directing from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for Outstanding and Strong Directorial Work. Saint Michael's Playhouse performance credits include Arsenic and Old Lace, Over the Pub, the Brighton Beach Trilogy, Always' Patsy Cline, Rumors, Boeing-Boeing, How I Learned to Drive, Unnecessary Farce.

THE CREATIVE TEAM: The creative team is lead by director Sarah Carleton and includes Carl Tallent (scenic design), Debra Krajec (costume design), Anthony Pelleccia (lighting design), Zachary Williamson (sound design), Theresa Pierce (property design).

Saint Michael's Playhouse is an Actors' Equity Association theater company operating as an auxiliary enterprise of Saint Michael's College. The Playhouse produces its productions with theater artists from Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional theater nationwide, along with Vermont-based professional actors, directors and designers. Actors' Equity Association is the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States. Tobin adds "We rehearse our shows right here in our theater and design and build our scenery, costumes and props on location with our crew of approximately 70 professional theater artists."

This season marks Producing Artistic Director Chuck Tobin's thirtieth year with the professional theater company. Tobin first worked at the Playhouse in 1986 as an actor appearing in numerous productions and soon after became Associate Producer. In 1997 he became Managing Director and in 2004 assumed full leadership as the theater's first Producing Artistic Director.

"For the past three decades it has been an honor to entertain, educate and enrich Northern Vermont with dynamic and vibrant professional theater." Tobin continued "Twelve years ago I became the theater's Producing Artistic Director and during that time have had the extraordinary experience of seeing the Playhouse blossom into "One of the best regional theaters in America" (NYC Drama League) while continuing its historic role as one of the oldest professional theater companies in Northern Vermont."

Pictured: Abby Lee and John D. Alexander. Photo by Brian MacDonald.

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