News From Terre Haute, Indiana

July 11, 2013

Crossroads Rep offers a scream with ‘The Woman in Black’

Gail Hayes
Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — The summer season at Indiana State University’s Crossroads Repertory Theatre is themed “Three Laughs and a Scream,” and this weekend’s play offers the “scream” portion of the promised fare.

“The Woman in Black” is the second longest-running nonmusical play in London, running for more than 24 consecutive years. It has also been made into a movie starring Daniel Radcliffe. The Gothic horror tale was written by Stephen Mallatratt, based on the novella by Susan Hill. Associate Artistic Director Chris Berchild is directing the play, bringing his flair for special effects to bear on this rendition.

Performances are scheduled for Friday through Sunday and July 19 and 23.

A popular tradition around campfires is to tell ghost stories, and this offering is known as a ghost play.

“Our intent is to make you feel like someone is looking over your shoulder, like a good thriller should,” Berchild said. “If you don’t scream a couple of times or feel the hair rise on your neck, we haven’t done our job.”

The play tells the story of Arthur Kipps (Eddie Urish), once a junior solicitor, who was sent to a small English town to settle the estate of a deceased woman who lived in an isolated, mysterious mansion. What he never expected was that the sight of a wasted-away woman dressed in black would set off a horrific series of events that would change his life forever.

During the play, Kipps hires an actor (Brandon Wentz) who helps him revisit and work through the horror caused by his encounter with the woman. The audience witnesses Kipps reliving the frightful events as the actor forces him to delve into the terrifying details of the past as they re-enact each one.

“Many people think of gory movies when they think of horror. This is not that style of horror,” Berchild explained. “Instead, the Gothic horror genre is the type where there are strange noises and lights turn on for no reason. In the play, Kipps has to deal with his haunting or go mad.”

“The Woman in Black” is such a popular work that it has been translated into a dozen languages and produced in more than 40 countries. The Crossroads Rep interpretation includes many special effects that engage the audience and make tit feel part of the action.

After the Sunday matinee, the audience is invited to stay for a free Sunday Talk. James Wurtz, assistant professor of English at Indiana State, will talk about the world of Gothic horror and how it relates to this play.

Season tickets for all four shows of the “Three Laughs and a Scream” summer season are available for $52. Admission to “The Woman in Black” costs $15. Indiana State students get one free ticket with student ID, while ISU faculty and staff are admitted for a reduced price.

Tickets can be reserved online at www.crossroads or at the box office located inside the New Theater, 540 N. Seventh St.

If you go

• What: “The Woman in Black”

• When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday (4 p.m. Sunday) and July 19 and 23.

• Tickets: $15 general admission; $12 Indiana State faculty and staff; ISU students free with student ID

• Call: 812-237-3333

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