A play that has captivated audiences in London is about to make West Michigan a little uneasy. The Woman in Black, a haunting play, opens on the Hope Summer Repertory Theatre (HSRT) DeWitt stage on July 19 at 8 p.m.
A combination of mystery and ghost story, the play tells the tale of a curse one man believes hangs over his family. Set in a time of horse-drawn carriages and remote houses, a lawyer recounts his visit to a house, which no one can leave or enter after the water rises in the evening. There to settle the accounts of a recently deceased recluse, he encounters the woman in black, and the strange history of the woman who lived in the house.
Not a traditional horror story, Stephen Mallatratt's adaptation of Susan Hill's bestselling book has been linked to the ghost story writing of Charles Dickens, M.R. James, Henry James, and Edith Wharton. It is not a book to be read late at night, or a play to see alone.
HSRT's production features Equity Guest Artists David Colacci and Andrew May as the two men involved in unraveling the story. Colacci, the producing director for HSRT, is familiar to most HSRT audiences from his 17 years of directing and acting (Rumors, Billy Bishop) with the company. He is a resident actor and director for the prestigious Cleveland Play House.
May joins HSRT for the first time, being brought to HSRT by Colacci. May is artistic associate at the Cleveland Playhouse, where he also directs and teaches. May has also appeared in several films and television shows.
Although a first-time director for HSRT, Ron Wilson is a veteran, award-winning director of over 50 productions. He is currently chair of the theatre department at Case Western Reserve University.
The Woman in Black also runs on July 20, 25, 30, August 1, 5, 7, and 9. Because of the limited dates, people are encouraged to get their tickets soon.
While at the box office, be sure to reserve tickets for the other great HSRT main stage shows, including the musical, Footloose, the comedy, Charley's Aunt, and the delightful family musical, Honk. HSRT's "second stage" show is the one-woman comedy Fully Committed, while we enjoy a return to the movies in the cabaret show, Hooray For Hollywood. The Children's Performance Troupe is presenting Judith Viorst's Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and the Grimm's brothers' tale, The Bremen Town Musicians.
Tickets are available now. The ticket office is located in the DeWitt Center, on the Hope College campus, at the corner of 12th Street and Columbia Avenue in Holland. Prices range from $8-$24 for musicals, and $8-$18 for plays. Ticket office hours are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 12 p.m.-5 p.m. on Saturdays, and one hour before all show times. Tickets may also be purchased by calling 616-395-7890.