Mill City Mystery On Main Street StageBy Susan Bush
12:00AM / Thursday, October 26, 2006
North Adams - Two one-act plays performed by Mill City Productions actors will likely deliver thrills and chills to those who attend one of the troupe's seven performances of "Sorry Wrong Number" and "The Hitchhiker."
|Scene from "Sorry, Wrong Number"[Photo by Liz Urban]|
Both plays were written by Lucille Fletcher.
Performances are set for the Main Street Stage, 55 Main St., on Oct. 26, 27 and 31 [Halloween], and Nov. 3 and 4 at 8 p.m., and Oct. 29 and Nov. 5 at 2 p.m.. Adult admission is $8, students with a student id and senior citizens will be admitted for $6.
Anyone attending the Oct. 31 performance in costume will receive a $1 admission discount, said play Co-director Liz Urban. Tim Mangun is a co-director of the two plays as well.
The plays showcase the talents of a total of 15 actors, some of whom act more than one part, Urban said. The youngest cast members are high school seniors and actors from Williamstown, North Adams, Adams, and Pittsfield will be onstage during the performances.
Will this police sargeant help a woman who's overheard plans for her own murder?[Photo by Liz Urban]
The plays were both originally written and performed as radio plays, Urban said.
"These are very suspenseful," she said.
"Sorry, Wrong Number" is focused on a woman who is described as a "neurotic invalid" whose link to the world is her telephone. When a crossed phone wire permits her to overhear a murder being planned, the woman realizes that she is the target of the planned homicide.
The play follows the woman as she makes attempt after attempt to get help.
"The Hitchhiker" takes the audience on a road trip with "Ronald Adams," who is traveling from Brooklyn to California. Adams meets up with a hitchhiker whose presence cannot be escaped. The suspense builds until Adams passes into new Mexico. That is where things take a turn toward terror.
"The Hitchhiker" was the premise of an episode of the original "Twilight Zone" television series, and that episode is very often included during "marathon broadcasts" of the popular filmed-in-black-and-white program.
Strong acting and implied action create a genuine sense of spine-tingling suspense, Urban said.
"I'm a [Alfred] Hitchcock fan," she said. "It's all about what you don't see."
The characters are all "everyday people" facing frightening situations, and the actors are able to deliver the sense of normal folks who wind up in extremely abnormal circumstances to the stage, Urban said.
"And there are some eerie moments," she said.
Cast members are Phee Mayer, Beth Kozik, Josh Bishoff, Mark Weimer, Jody Kordana, Mike Grogan, Edward Cating, Isa St. Clair, Staci Downey, Lauren Skiffington, Marissa Carlson, Joshua Sprague, Lauren Forbes, Jackie DeGiorgio, and Sam Therrien.
Mill City Productions was founded to introduce stage experience to those interested in performing regardless of expertise, offer performances to community members at affordable ticket prices, and offer a variety of performances.
The troupe's first production was titled "Cheap Laughs, Free Eats." The April 2004 company debut presented three short comedies. A June 2004 collaboration with the Drury High School Drama team took the troupe on the road for performances of "Living With Lady Macbeth" at the International Thespian Festival, Lincoln, Nebraska.
Additional plays and readings followed, and in 2005, the MCP tackled the musical "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown."
The success of the show generated a school-performed follow-up effort titled "Rumpelstiltskin Revisited;" students at the city's Greylock School and the Clarksburg Elementary School as well as families affiliated with Child Care of the Berkshires watched the show.
In November 2005, a production of "HONK! The Musical" was performed. The cast included over 30 elementary school-aged children. This year to date, the troupe has delivered more adult performances during a spring "Hell, Hitmen and Hospitality" presentation and a cabaret titled "Pure Imagination."
Additional information about Mill City Productions is available at a www.millcityproductions.org Internet web site.
Susan Bush may be reached via e-mail at email@example.com or at 802-823-9367.