Great Bend Community Theatre’s next production, the murder-suspense drama “Deathtrap,” opens Thursday at the Crest Theater.
Director Karen Kline-Martin said the all-volunteer cast has been working since January to bring the classic thriller by Ira Levin to the stage.
Sidney Bruhl, played by Doug Simmons, is a successful writer of Broadway thrillers who is struggling to overcome a dry spell which has resulted in a string of failures and a shortage of funds. Then he receives a script from a student, which Sidney recognizes could be a potential Broadway hit. Lyle Jones, making his GBCT debut, plays the student, Clifford Anderson.
Sidney devises a plan to offer a collaboration to Clifford, but thereafter the suspense mounts steadily as the plot begins to twist and turn with devilish cleverness. With many thrills — and “laughs in the right places” — the audience will be enthralled until the final, startling last moments of the play.
The audience will meet Sidney’s wife Myra, played by Erin Ferguson; his friend Porter, played by Charlie Dixon; and a colorful psychic, Helga ten Dorp, played by Teresa Frieb.
Dyann Twitchell is the assistant manager and Fiona Esfeld is the stage manager.
Deathtrap is not suitable for young children, Kline-Martin advised. It is filled with suspense; there is some strong language, violence and deadly weapons: swords, guns, a dagger, mace, garrote and battle axe.
Suspense on stage
Some of the cast members said they’ve never seen the 1982 motion picture version of “Deathtrap,” starring Michael Caine as Sidney, Christopher Reeve as Clifford and Dyan Cannon as Myra. Whether playgoers have seen the movie or not, Kline-Martin said the live theater experience is a different show.
“It becomes much more personal because it is so close,” she said. The audience is a few feet from the actors and the set filled with props – some deadly –that have a local history.
“Paul Martin helped decorate the set,” Kline-Martin said. Karen Neuforth from the Barton County Historical Society found a desk and some of the furnishings are from the old Brentwood store.
The crew has given up many evenings over the past five weeks, overcoming illness and other obstacles, and they’ve also had a lot of fun along the way. Kline-Martin encourages community members to join them this week and support the arts in Great Bend.
“A lot of people came together to put this on,” she said. “We in Barton County are so lucky to have Great Bend Community Theatre. It allows for something that you would find in a big city. A lot of people go away for entertainment but next weekend they need to stay here, because this is good. It’s important to support Great Bend.”
If you want to go
Great Bend Community Theatre will present “Deathtrap” with nightly performances Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 22-24, and a Feb. 25 matinee, all at the Crest Theater, 1908 Lakin Ave. The curtain rises at 7:30 p.m. nightly, and the Sunday matinee starts at 2 p.m.
Join the crew for a preshow social hour from 6-7 p.m. on Saturday. Adult beverages and snacks will be served. Tickets are $10 and a limited number are available.
Tickets for the play are $12 and can be purchased at the door. The box office opens one hour prior to each production. Learn more at www.gbct.net.