FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (3/03)
Marjorie Lyons Playhouse at Centenary College Presents The Bat April 3-5 and 10-13
SHREVEPORT, LA —Creaking doors, unending thunder and lightning and a room enveloped by dark shadows are all elements abundantly present inThe Bat, a murder mystery opening at April 3 at Centenary College's Marjorie Lyons Playhouse.
Considered by many to be the “granddaddy” of stage mysteries, The Bat was written by Mary Roberts Rinehart and Avery Hopwood from Ms. Rinehart’s novel of the same name. It was given its first performance on Broadway in 1920 and it ran for 878 performances. The script has received a new adaptation from Patric McWilliams, who will also be directing.
The thriller revolves around Cornelia Van Gorder, who has rented the summer home of a banker who has reportedly died while away on a trip to Colorado. During her first few days at the house, Cornelia becomes aware of strange happenings and someone’s insistent attempts to break in. She is warned to leave the estate but refuses to do so.
Then it is discovered that a large sum of money is missing from the dead man’s bank and it is suspected that, far from being dead, he stole the money, hid it in the house and is only waiting for the chance to sneak back to retrieve it. However, there is a long list of others who have their eye out for the money: the bank cashier wrongly accused of the crime; a detective trying to clear up the mystery; a doctor who is a close friend of the family; a nephew who is penniless; Cornelia’s niece, who is romantically involved with the cashier; and "The Bat," a murdering thief who has been eluding the local police. Ushering all of these characters in and out of the house is a Japanese butler.
Ruth Doreck stars as Cornelia Van Gorder. A veteran of local theatre, she has been seen in Nine, Into the Woods, Ronantic Notions, Eleemosynary, On the Twentieth Century, Keely and Du and A Perfect Ganesh, for which she received a Times Drama Award for Best Actress.
Anysia Manthos appears as Dale, Cornelia’s niece. She was last seen as Kanga in MLP’s Winnie the Pooh and was in Electra, Wit and The Company’s As You Like It.
Jim Montgomery plays Robert Anderson, the detective who arrives to solve the mystery. Montgomery has numerous credits including, Art, 42nd Street, Romantic Notions, Gross Indecency, Mame and Electra. He has won four Times Drama Awards for A Little Night Music, Peter Pan, The Heiress and The Diary of Anne Frank.
Josh Porter, who was most recently seen in The Wayside Motor Inn, appears as a gardener who arrives in the middle of the night. This season he has been seen in The Shape of Things, Tell Me That You Love Me Junie Moon, Mame, Winnie the Pooh and Three Tall Women.
Susan Wise returns to MLP, after a long absence, as Lizzie, Miss Van Gorder’s maid. She was last seen in The Heiress. After teaching theatre at Marshall High School for 18 years, she is now an acquisition librarian for the Shreve Memorial Library.
John Michael Strange appears as Doctor Welles, a close friend of the family. He was last seen in MLP’s, Mame and won a Times Drama Award for the Shreveport Little Theatre’s production of Greater Tuna.
Don McCoy plays Richard Fleming, the banker’s nephew. He was recently seen as Mr. Banks in the Peter Pan Players production of Mary Poppins. Additionally, he has been seen in Mame and the Shreveport Little Theatre’s A View from a Bridge and Run for Your Wife.
Phillip Brooks, who appeared earlier in the season in The Shape of Things, Tell Me that You Love Me Junie Moon and The Wayside Motor Inn, plays Reginald Beresford, an urbane friend caught in the mystery.
Rounding out the cast are Sloan Folmer, Tim Broderick Jr. and Alex Heiber. Folmer appears as Bun Foo, the Japanese butler; Broderick as an unknown man who stumbles into the proceedings; and Heiber as a dark figure seen lurking about the estate.
Don Hooper is the set and light Designer with costume design by McWilliams. The play will have an original musical underscoring written by Kermit Poling and the sound design is by Adam Boyd. Properties and stage dressing are handled by Sarah Perkins and Megan Taylor. Ashley Beckham is the assistant director/stage manager.
Performances are scheduled for Thursday through Saturday April 3, 4, 5, 10, 11 and12 at 8 p.m., followed by Sunday matinee, April 13 at 2 p.m.
The box office opens Wednesday March 26. It is open daily from noon to 4 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling 318-869-5242. Ticket prices are $13 for adults, $11 for senior citizens, $8 for students and $6 for children.
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