Hilltop Players bring new and classic tales to Kelly Theater

By Ian Beabout, Online Editor

This semester’s theater season is already off to a terrific start with John Sherwood’s Ramayana – Past in Present. Ramayana, which was penned by a West Liberty University student, is just the first in what promises to be an excellent and eclectic season of shows. In fact Ramayana is outside of the rest of the season; an added ‘bonus’ performance as a special treat for West Liberty and the surrounding community.

The next performance is coming very soon and is entitled Rattlesnake. Rattlesnake is a one man play, written and performed by John Hardy of the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia. Rattlesnake tells the tale of a West Texas man who longs for nothing more than to be a father. After he is stifled romantically and rejected by the local adoption agencies, he runs away to a prairie where he meets the rattlesnake. The man immerses himself in the world of the snake, finding solace and a sense of belonging.  The play will be performed in Kelly Theater on September 8th at 7:30 p.m.

Next on the schedule is another John Hardy play, Poe: Master of the Macabre. Poe is adapted from three of Edgar Allen Poe’s works of horror fiction – William Wilson, The Telltale Heart and The Pit and the Pendulum. William Wilson tells the tale of an evil man who rules those around him with an iron fist. Wilson meets a man who is his double and is soon driven to murder.

The Telltale Heart tells the classic story of a man driven to insanity by regret and the beating of a dead man’s heart, while The Pit and the Pendulum finds its’ narrator in a darkened chamber, tortured by a swinging, razor sharp pendulum that slowly descends upon him. The play is directed by Micheal Aulick and runs October 20-21 and 27-29 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee performance on October 30 at 3:00 p.m.

The final play of the semester is A Christmas Carol: Scrooge and Marley. This is a faithful adaption of Charles Dickens’ classic by Israel Horowitz that retells the famous story in a theatrical context. Lonely miser Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by three terrifying ghosts on Christmas Eve – the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future – who finally convince him to renounce his often cruel ways. The play runs from December 1-2 and 8-10 at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee performance on December 11 at 3:00 p.m.

All in all an exciting semester is ahead for the Hilltop Players and its patrons. If you would like to find out more info, you can visit Kelly Theater’s website here.

Photo by Ian Beabout