“The Woman in Black” opens Portal Players Dramatic Society’s 37th season on October 10th, which is also our 26th season in our home at the Capitol Theatre. It has been quite a journey from our humble beginnings in the gymnasium of what is now John Paul II School. It is appropriate that our beloved theatre is one of the characters in this ghost play.
Port Alberni’s 78-year old Capitol Theatre plays the role of an empty Victorian theatre, where an old Arthur Kipps relates an eerie story of his youth to a young actor who he has hired to dramatise the story. When they run through the play, however, things begin to go terribly wrong…
Many people are now familiar with the film “The Woman in Black”. However, the stage play takes a different view of the story, which originated as a novel by Susan Hill in 1983 before being transformed for London’s West End stage in 1989 by Stephen Mallatratt, where it still runs. The stage production is notable in that the story is told by just two actors.
Director David McGarry knew that casting this production would be integral to its success; the script rests firmly upon the shoulders of its two male leads. “I knew that we could make this production really special with the right actors, and when I was able to cast Chris Arthurs and Cody Taylor I knew that we had a show!”, says McGarry. Arthurs and Taylor are experienced actors with a long history of roles with Portal Players. “Once we had the cast in place, the pressure was on to ensure that we would have the technical support to bring the show to the next level,” adds Producer Brent Ronning. “The lighting, sound, and special effects would need to be above and beyond what we normally attempt to do in our theatre. We wanted to challenge ourselves creatively to do some different things to inspire ourselves, and bring something memorable to our audience,” continues Ronning. Says McGarry, “When Peter Wienold agreed to work on the complex soundscape for the show, and with my background in lighting design, I knew that we could make this ghost story come to life in our theatre.”
The production team will not divulge any additional secrets of what audiences might expect from the production, but rest assured that there shall be surprises: expect the unexpected.
Join us at the Capitol Theatre for Portal Players’ very special production of this ghost play in October, featuring Chris Arthurs and Cody Taylor. David McGarry does double duty as both director and lighting designer, with sound designer Peter Wienold, stage manager Carrera Schroeder, costume designer Andrea Markiewicz, and property master John Milne. Produced by Brent Ronning.
This excursion into the supernatural plays Fridays and Saturdays, October 10 – November 1, with lounge/box office open at 6:30 pm and performance beginning at 7:30 pm.
On Hallowe’en, Friday, October 31, join us for a special performance beginning at 9:00 pm. Lounge/Box office will open at 6:30 pm — you will have time to explore the haunted, unexplored depths of the Capitol Theatre.
Purchase your tickets here online, at the Capitol Theatre Box Office, and Rollin Art Centre.
***Please note: “The Woman in Black” is a ghost story with sound and lighting effects which may scare small children***
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The Woman in Black
Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30 pm, October 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25, 31, November 1 (2014)
Seussical the Musical
Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30 pm, February 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28, March 6, 7 (2015)
Sunday Matinees, 2:00 pm, February 22, March 1 (2015)
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf
Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30 pm, May 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 29, 30 (2015)
One Act Summer Playhouse Series
Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30 pm, July 17, 18, 24, 25 (2015)