The Saint Sebastian Players (SSP) will conclude their 35th season with Susan Hill’s acclaimed ghost story, The Woman in Black.
The story is fraught with intrigue. A lawyer, obsessed with a curse that he believes has been cast over him and his family by the specter of a woman in black, engages a skeptical young actor to help him tell his terrifying story and exorcise the fear that grips him. It all begins innocently enough, but then, as they reach further into his darkest memories, they find themselves caught up in a world of eerie marshes and moaning winds. Stephen Mallatratt’s ingenious stage adaptation, a brilliantly successful study in atmosphere, illusion and controlled horror, has been running in London’s West End for more than 25 years.
Directing The Woman in Black is SSP company member Jack Dugan Carpenter, whose previous SSP directing credits include Measure for Measure and Figments. Dugan is managing director of The Plagiarists and has directed their own productions of These Saints Will Burn and Caesura: A Butchery, among other well regarded productions. The cast features Joe Feliciano as the Actor, Ian Maryfield as Kipps and Billie Rye Bryant as The Woman in Black. SSP company members on the production team include Steven Walanka as production manager, Jim Masini as technical director and Emil Zbella as set designer.
SSP began producing theater in 1982 at its original home, the St. Sebastian parish, located at the corner of Halsted Street and Wellington Avenue on Chicago’s North Side. When the parish closed in 1990, SSP relocated to its current home, St. Bonaventure, at 1625 W. Diversey. During its history, the company has produced original and previously produced dramas, comedies and musicals; original audience-participation mysteries for special events; and the Monologue Matchup Competition. They’ve also provided support for smaller Sebastian Studio Projects produced by company members.
Performances of The Woman in Black will take place April 29–May 22, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. at St. Bonaventure, 1625 W. Diversey..
For tickets or more information, call 773-404-7922 or visit saintsebastianplayers.org.
Graphic by Eryn Walanka
Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts