The Woman in Black by Steven Mallatratt
Pit and Balcony Community Theatre, 2011
Directed and designed by Marc Beaudin
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Director’s Note from the Program:
Everyone seems to love a good ghost story. Whether sitting around a campfire on a moonlit night or huddled in a darkened room in a lonely old house, a tale of suspense and terror can transport the most jaded and sober of us to a world of exhilaration and magic. We delight in each howl and moan. Our hearts race with each creak and shriek. It’s fun to be scared. That is, as long as it’s only a story.
But what if it’s not?
What if one has experienced a terrible haunting in person. What if that haunting continues to fill one’s nightmares year after year? One must surely go insane, the ghost finally consuming every fiber of one’s life; or, one must find a way to purge the horror, to free oneself once and for all. This is the one desire of Arthur Kipps, who you will meet in a moment. But will it work?
The truth is, strange things have been happening at London’s Fortune Theatre, this play’s home for the past twenty-one years. Cast and crew members have reported cases of catching glimpses of unaccounted for people, of feeling malevolent presences lurking behind their backs, of hearing noises that can’t be explained. And, we too, in rehearsing this show for you tonight, have noticed a growing strangeness in our theatre: catching movement from the corner of our eyes, hearing what might be footsteps and opening doors. Nothing that we would so dramatically call a ghost, but something seems to be lurking in the shadows of these rooms and halls. Perhaps telling the story of evil hauntings, rather than driving out the darkness, instead gives it power.
Of course, most things that go bump in the night are merely harmless imaginings, benign noises that have easily explained causes. Most things, but can you really be sure about them all?
We hope you enjoy our ghost story, and when it continues to visit your nightmares or seems to take root in your attic or closet, just keep telling yourself, “it’s only a story.”