From a scary ghost story at the Outvisible Theatre to a one-man comedy downtown with Lincoln Park native and Chicago-based actor Tim Campos, there is plentiful variety on local stages.
OUTVISIBLE PRESENTS ‘THE TURN OF THE SCREW’
In a run overlapping Halloween, Allen Park’s Outvisible Theatre Company presents Jeffery Hatcher’s adaptation of the ghostly Henry James novella “The Turn of the Screw.”
The show runs 8 p.m. Oct. 19, 20, 22, 26, 27 and 29, and Nov. 2 and 3; 9 p.m. Oct. 31, and 3 p.m. Nov. 4 at Arts Detroit, 18614 Ecorse Road, Allen Park.
Directed by Adriane Galea of Dearborn, the show features Bailey Boudreau of Warren as the man and Claire Jolliffe of West Bloomfield as the governess the first and third weekends, and Michigan native Rachel Dalton, now of Philadelphia, as the governess the second weekend of the run.
Galea said the play is great for Halloween, since it is essentially a ghost story, with the bonus of having a wonderfully written script.
“The audience can come purely for entertainment and a ghost story this time of year,” Galea said. “Or they can come because as literature, this story is smart, well-conceived and structured, and will leave them to have a great conversation on the car ride home.”
Jolliffe said that while the script and the complex character appeal to her, she is excited to be working with Boudreau, whom she said helped shaped her acting career when she was in high school, and with Galea, whose direction she said lets her explore the role while still providing the actors with a clear vision.
Jolliffe said “The Turn of the Screw” is a title which many people have heard without knowing what it is about.
“The plot burrows into your head while the language crawls under your skin,” Jolliffe said. “It’s beautiful, it’s funny, it’s ‘bring a spare pair of pants’ scary. There’s so much packed into this short piece.”
She said the show also resonates with current events.
“It is a play about a woman going through a horrific event, speaking out and not being believed,” Jolliffe said. “Even if the ghosts are all in the governess’ head, she still sees them, and the other characters dismiss her without investigating.”
Dalton said the governess also represents the audience perspective.
“In addition to being an anchor, she may or may not be an unreliable narrator, swaying the audience one way or the other,” Dalton said. “Developing this whimsical, naive woman is something I have really enjoyed.”
She said transferring the novella from page to stage makes a spooky story even scarier.
“It’s almost Halloween,” Dalton said. “Who doesn’t love a good ghost story with repressed Victorian sexuality and creepy children?”
Boudreau said his role as the man is challenging, because he plays multiple characters, often back-to-back.
“Without scene or costume changes, I have to go from being a thirty-something bachelor to a troubled 10-year-old boy, an older female housekeeper, the ghost of a dead valet, a young man in his 20s, and a silent 6-year-old girl,” Boudreau said. “There are times when there is only one word separating two of my characters, so I don’t have the usual luxury of offstage prep.”
Boudreau said the novella, which tells the story from the governess’ perspective, magnifies her impact on the stage.
“There is a ton of ambiguity about what really happens, but to me this play is really about the damage we do to children by assuming they aren’t watching or hearing us,” Boudreau said. “Things children see, hear and feel shape who they becomes as adults, so what messages are we sending each and every day, and how are we influencing them, for better or worse, by our thoughts, words and actions?”
Tickets are $25, with a $5 discount for seniors and a $10 discount for students. The Monday and Halloween night performances are sold on a “pay-what-you-can” basis. To order, call 313-355-8340 or go to OutvisibleTheatre.com.
LINCOLN PARK NATIVE RETURNS TO DETROIT IN ONE-MAN COMEDY
Tim Campos, Lincoln Park native and Chicago-based actor, brings the one-man comedy, “Keep Your Guard Up, Smitty Harbinger” at the Marlene Boll Theatre, inside the Boll YMCA, 1401 Broadway, Detroit.
The show runs 7:30 p.m. Oct. 18 to 20 and 3 p.m. Oct. 21 at the downtown Family YMCA.
The play is an hour-long physical comedy that is “too funny for words.” Inspired by the slapstick comedies of the 1920s with a modern spin, the family friendly show runs the gamut from maintaining the guard booth and lift gate, to avoiding bees and re-directing traffic, as solo toll booth operator Smitty Harbinger deals with the inanity which fate throws his way.
Campos, who both wrote and performs the show, is a 30-year veteran playwright, actor and director. He recently completed a two-year tour of his one-person comedy, “Screw It: Doin’ Time on the Line.”
His other solo shows include “Trapped in the Rubber Room” and “Daniel Sends His Love.” He also wrote, performed and directed the two-person original comedy
Tickets for “Keep Your Guard Up, Smitty Harbinger” are $15, with a $5 discount for students and children. For more information, go to fivecentsshort.com. For tickets, call 313-309-9622 or go to smitty.brownpapertickets.com.