Town & Gown Theatre is proud to present the first production of its 68th season, Wait Until Dark – a tense drama written by Frederick Knott. Some audience members may recall that the Broadway hit, which debuted in 1966, was made into a film just one year later with Audrey Hepburn and Alan Arkin as the leads and other notable actors such as Richard Crenna and Efrem Zimbalist Jr. in supporting roles. Hepburn was nominated for an Oscar and Zimbalist Jr. a Golden Globe for their work in the film version of Knott’s play.
Wait Until Dark is set in New York City at the end of the 1960s. It begins with three con men breaking into an apartment to search for a mysterious doll they believe to be hidden inside. The apartment is owned by Susy and Sam Hendrix, a recently married couple who are drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse. While Sam is away for the evening, Susy must match wits with the men to survive. Blinded by a car accident, Susy knows the only way that she can win the game is to wait until dark, when the criminals must play on her terms.
Wait Until Dark is directed by Anna Davis, a veteran of several Town & Gown shows. She first graced the Town and Gown stage in the 2012 production of All My Sons. Over the next few years, she directed four shows at Town & Gown – The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: Abridged; Into the Woods; Annie Get Your Gun; and Frost/Nixon. Davis says of her latest turn at the helm, “Drama is one of my favorite genres, and I couldn’t resist submitting this wonderfully taut thriller from Frederick Knott. Many people remember the film from the 1960s, but there is something special about seeing it live on stage. It is a technical show, a challenging one for the cast and crew, but one that produces a unique theater experience.” The director adds that Wait Until Dark “takes a common childhood fear of being afraid of the dark and turns it on its head. From the opening scene until the final act, it’s the kind of show that will keep everyone guessing.”
The cast of Wait Until Dark includes several Town & Gown veterans and a couple of new talents. Local pediatrician Dr. Scott Martin portrays Roat, the ringleader of the con and a man of obviously evil intent. Patrons may recognize Dr. Martin from his roles in Into the Woods; Annie Get Your Gun; and Frost/Nixon. Timothy Cole plays Mike, a con-man with a conscience – his second role at Town & Gown after his appearance in last season’s Frost/Nixon. Russ Hopper is Carlino, a witless con and self-described “first-grade dropout.” Hopper got his first role in community theater at Town & Gown many years ago during grad school at OSU and has acted around the country in the interim. Audience members may recognize him from recent roles in the Town & Gown productions of The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 and Things My Mother Taught Me.
Kim Cox appears in her fifth Town & Gown production in the lead role of Susy Hendrix, the blind, brilliant, brave young woman who matches wits with the trio of con men. Cox has previously entertained Town & Gown audiences with her performances in The Importance of Being Earnest; The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: Abridged; The Nerd; and The Night of January 16th. Jacob Boyd plays her husband Sam in his tenth role on the Town & Gown Stage. (Klayton Valega will portray Sam on opening night). Stillwater fifth-grader Lulu Goodfox is Gloria, Susy and Sam’s upstairs neighbor kid whose strained relationship with Susy is put to the ultimate test. Goodfox is new to the Town & Gown stage but a veteran of many Stage Right and Pawnee Arts productions. As one of the two police officers who wrap up the action, Jenny Martin shines in her very first community theatre role. Town & Gown Veteran Klayton Valega plays the other police officer (and the role of Sam on opening night). This is his third Town & Gown production after roles in Legally Blonde: The Musical and Love, Sex, and the IRS.
Wait Until Dark is recommended for ages 13 and older. It will run for eight performances, from October 4th through 7th and again from the 11th through the 14th. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday matinees begin at 2:30 p.m. Tickets go on sale Monday, October 1st at 11 a.m. and can be purchased online at www.townandgown.org or by calling the box office at (405) 372-9122. Ticket prices are $14 for adults and $12 for students. Senior tickets for Sunday matinees only are $12. For more information about Wait Until Dark, visit www.townandgown.org or find us on Facebook.