To build some anticipation for Halloween, the Community Playhouse of Lancaster County is performing “A Night of One Acts,” a hair-raising production including “The Unscary Ghost,” “The Nightmare of Frankenstein” and “The Lottery.”
“For a small theater with a not-very-big budget, we put on some awesome shows,” said stage director Catherine Wallace.
“The Unscary Ghost” by Matt Buchanan is loosely based on Oscar Wilde’s “The Canterville Ghost,” and tells the story of Simon the ghost and his struggle to scare the new family who has moved into his haunted house.
“The neat thing about all three of these is all three shows are based on classic pieces of literature,” Wallace said.
“It’s a light-hearted, family-friendly, humorous show,” said the play’s director, Genni Tiffany.
Because the show is in one act, it has a relatively small cast and stars some of the community playhouse’s youngest performers.
“You can really develop characters within each child,” Tiffany said. “I like working with the smaller kids because I like developing their acting. They’re a fabulous cast of very talented actors and actresses.”
Will Stokes, a fifth-grader at Erwin Elementary, plays Simon the ghost.
“Basically, Simon, he’s trying to scare everybody and all, but he can’t do it,” explained Will, who said he enjoys playing such a fun role.
The young actor is joined on stage by Lily Lindsley, who plays Simon’s friend, Ginny.
“It’s really fun,” the third-grader said of her first big role with the playhouse. She wanted to start acting after watching some of the playhouse’s previous performances.
Several of the younger actors also star in “The Nightmare of Frankenstein” and “The Lottery,” directed by Joe Timmons III.
“Some of the cast are in multiple performances,” Timmons said. “They’ve been working twice as hard.”
“The Nightmare of Frankenstein,” adapted by Edward J. Walsh and Robert Thomas Noll, is based on Mary Shelley’s famous novel. Timmons’ interpretation of the play is inspired by the 1935 film “The Bride of Frankenstein” and will focus on the relationship between Frankenstein and the monster.
For a unique spin, “The Nightmare of Frankenstein” will be staged in black and white, like the movie.
“We’ve never done that on stage here. It’ll be a new quality,” Timmons said. “I wanted to challenge myself and challenge the playhouse.”
The last act of the night is “The Lottery” by Brainerd Duffield. Based on Shirley Jackson’s short story, this play takes the audience on an unsettling journey with a dramatic climax.
“It’s all about community festivals and rituals that never go out of style until they shock you,” Wallace said.
A four-legged friend will join the cast for this production, Hadley the dog, who will play Miss Primbrook, and is sure to entertain the audience.
Michael Capra from Lancaster plays Horace Martin in “The Lottery” and the policeman in “The Nightmare of Frankenstein.” This is his second time performing with the playhouse.
“It’s been a pleasure working with the people of the community playhouse,” Capra said. “They’re wonderful and it’s a good support group.”
Local actors in the short plays include Madeleine Essex of Van Wyck in “The Unscary Ghost” and “The Lottery,” and Isabel Kissel of Indian Land in all three.
Wallace says the performances will appeal to anyone.
“Adults would enjoy the children’s show and I think kids would enjoy the other two shows, even though they are more geared for adults,” she said.
However, parents should consider the adult content of “The Lottery,” which contains some suggested violence.
“A Night of One Acts” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 7-8 and 13-15, and at 3 p.m. Sept. 9 at Barr Street Auditorium, 610 E. Meeting St., Lancaster.
The children’s performance will be first, followed by “The Nightmare of Frankenstein” and “The Lottery.”
Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students and seniors and $5 for children under age 5. For tickets, call (803) 285-7451 or buy them at the door.
Cast of “The Unscary Ghost”
Betsy Otis: Madeleine Essex (Van Wyck)
Harold Otis: Max Mercier (Lancaster)
Ginny Otis: Lily Lindsley (Lancaster)
Corey Otis: Ellie Collins (Lancaster)
Frankie Otis: Caroline Collins (Lancaster)
George Otis: Eli Watts (Lancaster)
Simon Canter: Will Stokes (Lancaster)
Dolores Umney: Roberta Phillips (Lancaster)
Alex: Isabella Hoyle (Fort Mill)
Chris: Nykira Sams (Lancaster)
Jamie: Chloe Sistare (Great Falls)
Gloria Goshen: Destinee Goshorn (Lancaster)
Alicia Silverhook: Isabel Kissel (Fort Mill)
Cast of “The Nightmare of Frankenstein”
Frida: Joyce Mahaffey (Lancaster)
Dr. Henry Clerval: Brenner Hartley (Lancaster)
Victor Frankenstein: Tony “Trey” Ellis (Lancaster)
Agatha: Roberta Phillips (Lancaster)
The Creature: Kody Sumner (Kershaw)
Elizabeth: Isabel Kissel (Fort Mill)
Police Officer: Michael Capra (Lancaster)
Captain Walton: Donnie Sims (Lancaster)
Cast of “The Lottery”
Martha Adams: Angel Sams (Lancaster)
Patricia Adams: Nykira Sams (Lancaster)
Betty Barrows: Roberta Phillips (Lancaster)
Linda Bessom: Wendy Cavallone-Ouzts (Lancaster)
Rebekah Delacroix: Beckie Johnson (Lancaster)
Hazel Dunbar: Katherine Foo (Lancaster)
Tommy Dunbar: Eli Watts (Lancaster)
Carolyn Foster: Isabel Kissel (Fort Mill)
Rose Foster: Chloe Sistare (Great Falls)
Elaine Graves: Madeleine Essex (Van Wyck)
Bill Hutchison: Tony “Trey” Ellis (Lancaster)
Davy Hutchison: Lily Lindsley (Lancaster)
Tessie Hutchison: Genni Tiffany (Heath Springs)
Horace Martin: Michael Capra (Lancaster)
Miss Primbrook: Hadley, whose owner is Wendy Cavallone-Ouzts
Belva Summers: Joyce Mahaffey (Lancaster)
Joe Summers: Donnie Sims (Lancaster)
Irene Warner: Heather Turner (Elgin)
Dickie Watson: Will Stokes (Lancaster)
Myrtle Watson: Catie Rowell (Lancaster)
Jack Wilkins: Kody Sumner (Kershaw)
Director of “The Unscary Ghost”: Genni Tiffany (Heath Springs)
Director of “The Nightmare of Frankenstein” and “The Lottery”: Joe Timmons III (Lancaster)
Stage Manager: Catherine Wallace (Kershaw)
Assistant Stage Manager: Catie Rowell (Lancaster)
Set/Light/Sound Designer: Joe Timmons III (Lancaster)
Construction: Chris Smith, (Lancaster), Donnie Sims (Lancaster), Jeff Foo (Lancaster) and Ken Herron (Waxhaw).
Follow Emily Pollok on Twitter @PollokEmily or contact her at (803) 283-1155.
Part of the cast of “The Unscary Ghost,” from left, Destinee Goshorn, Max Mercier, Nykira Sams, Chloe Sistare, Isabella Hoyle, Caroline Collins, Ellie Collins and Madeleine Essex, rehearse a scene from the one-act play. It will be the first performance in “A Night of One Acts,” a Community Playhouse of Lancaster County production opening Sept. 7 in Lancaster.
EMILY POLLOK/The Lancaster News
Joyce Mahaffey, right, argues with Donnie Sims in a scene from “The Lottery.”
EMILY POLLOK/The Lancaster News
September 2, 2018 | Lancaster News, The (SC)
Section: Today’s News