A new twist on a suspense classic
opens tonight at the Geffen Playhouse
WAIT UNTIL DARK
By Frederick Knott
Adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher
Directed by Matt Shakman
By Frederick Knott
Adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher
Directed by Matt Shakman
LOS ANGELES, October 16, 2013 – Alison Pill (The Newsroom, Midnight in Paris, In Treatment), Brighid Fleming, Rod McLachlan, Matt McTighe, Adam Stein and Mather Zickel appear in Jeffrey Hatcher’s world premiere adaptation of Wait Until Dark, written by Frederick Knott and directed by Matt Shakman, in the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse, opening tonight
Wait Until Dark marks Matt Shakman’s return to the Geffen Playhouse having previously directed the 2012 acclaimed West Coast premiere of David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People (eight Ovation nominations, including Best Director).
A ground-breaking thriller, Wait Until Dark follows a blind Greenwich Village woman who finds herself in the middle of a con. And a murder. Who is in on it? Desperate and depraved thieves believe Susan is in possession of their big score and set in motion a manipulative psychological war on her vulnerable state. That is, until Susan plunges herself and the audience into the dark in which she exists using it to her advantage.
Frederick Knott’s 1966 play inspired the eponymous film (the following year) and multiple Broadway productions earning Tony and Academy Award nominations for many of the actors involved – including the film’s star, Audrey Hepburn. Knott who wrote the stage and screenplay for Dial M for Murder became known for his strong female characters in peril and haunted his audiences as much with what we imagine as what we actually see with our own eyes.
This world premiere adaptation captures the suspense in a new time/setting.
“I love a good thriller and remember seeing Wait Until Dark at my hometown community theatre when I was 5 or 6,” says director Matt Shakman. “It scared me to death but I loved its pressure-cooker environment, the slow build of the con game, and Susan's great reversal from ultimate victim to ultimate survivor.”
The adaptation moves the play back to a time when guns were rare and the threat of violence was lurking locally and globally. World War II (1944) was a time when most men were away at war except for the draft dodgers, the wounded, and those not fit to serve. These are the men who set out to exploit a blind woman’s vulnerability.
Matt Shakman is the founder and artistic director of the Black Dahlia Theatre in Los Angeles, which was named “one of a dozen young American companies you need to know” by American Theatre Magazine and “Best Small Theatre” by Los Angeles magazine. Matt recently helmed the Off-Broadway production of Secrets of the Trade at Primary Stages. TV directing credits include: Mad Men, The Good Wife, Six Feet Under, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and House. He received the LA Drama Critics Circle Milton Katselas Award for career achievement in direction. He just directed his debut feature film Cut Bank starring John Malkovich, Liam Hemsworth, Billy Bob Thornton and Bruce Dern.
Jeffery Hatcher’s other plays include Broadway: Never Gonna Dance (book). Off-Broadway: Three Viewings and A Picasso at Manhattan Theatre Club; Scotland Road and The Turn of the Screw at Primary Stages; Tuesdays with Morrie (with Mitch Albom) at The Minetta Lane; Murder by Poe, The Turn of the Screw, and The Spy at The Acting Company; Neddy at American Place; and Fellow Travelers at Manhattan Punchline. For film and TV he has written Stage Beauty, Casanova, The Duchess, and episodes of Columbo.
Wait Until Dark begins previews in the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse on Tuesday, October 8, with the official opening on Wednesday, October 16. Tickets are available in-person at the Geffen Playhouse box office, via phone at 310-208-5454 or online at www.geffenplayhouse.org.
The Geffen Playhouse presents
WAIT UNTIL DARK
Written by Frederick Knott
Adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher
Directed by Matt Shakman
Preview Performances: Tuesday, October 8 to Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Opening Night: Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Closing Night: Sunday, November 17, 2013
Brighid Fleming as Gloria
Rod McLachlan as Carlino
Matt McTighe as Sam
Alison Pill as Susan Hendrix
Adam Stein as Roat
Mather Zickel as Mike
Monday No performances
Tuesday – Friday 8:00pm
Saturday 3:00pm; 8:00pm
Sunday 2:00pm; 7:00pm
Ticket prices range from $37 to $77. Tickets are available in-person at the Geffen Playhouse box office, via phone at 310-208-5454 or online at www.geffenplayhouse.org.
BRIGHID FLEMING (GLORIA)
NYCFringe: Woyzeck (The Lafayette Street Theatre). Los Angeles: The Nether (CTG-Kirk Douglas Theatre); Holey Smokes (The Eclectic Company Theatre); To Kill A Mockingbird (The Lex Theatre); Hunter In The Snow (The Stella Adler Theatre) The Last Days of Judas Iscariat (Company of Angels); Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You (The Morgan Wixson Theatre); Woyzeck (The Gangbusters Theatre Company); Wait Until Dark (The Norris Theatre, Palos Verdes); Willie Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (The Madrid Theatre). New Mexico: The Pillowman (The Vortex). Film: Labor Day, The Sacred, Gamer, The Burrowers, Hearts of Desire, A.B.S, TV: Once Upon A Time, Weeds, The Mentalist, Awake, CSI Miami, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Saving Grace, Criminal Minds.
ROD MCLACHLAN (Carlino)
Broadway: Holiday with Laura Linney, Death and the King's Horseman, Our Town, The Real Inspector Hound, Saint Joan, and Timon of Athens, The Government Inspector, Cyrano De Bergerac. At Lincoln Center: When the Rain Stops Falling. New York Shakespeare Festival: Julius Caesar with Martin Sheen and Al Pacino . A member of New York's Atlantic Theater Company, Rod has performed in their productions of Edmund and Clean. Rod just appeared in November at the Mark Taper Forum, and originated the role of the Messenger in David Mamet’s Keep Your Pantheon, part of Two Unrelated Plays at the Kirk Douglas Theater. Also performed Mamet’s School with John Pankow, in New York. Film: Superhero Movie!, The Bulls, National Treasure, Spiderman II, Magnolia,Instinct, Conspiracy Theory, Radioland Murders , Where the Money. Is TV: The Crazy Ones, Mad Men, Medium, Quarterlife, Ugly Betty, Boston Legal, CSI, Numb3rs, Curb Your Enthusiasm.
MATT MCTIGHE (SAM)
Matt McTighe was last seen at the Geffen Playhouse as Irish thug Kevin MaGee in Tracy Letts' Superior Donuts. On television he has guest starred or recurred on Grimm, The Mentalist, Person of Interest, Rizzoli & Isles, Castle, Criminal Minds, Prime Suspect, The Closer, Medium, Bones, CSI: NY & Miami, 24, NCIS, Grey's Anatomy, Friday Night Lights, among others. Other theater credits include playing Tom in William Saroyan's The Time of Your Life (LADCC nomination for "Best Revival") and Hal in Proof with Pacific Resident Theater in Venice. He spent three years as a resident company member of the Tony Award winning Oregon Shakespeare Festival: Richard III, Henry VI p.2&3, Romeo & Juliet, Richard II, Dr. Faustus, Napoli Millionaria!, The Visit, among others. KCACTF Irene Ryan Competition regional winner and Kennedy Center national finalist. Author of the novel HELLA. www.mattmctighe.com.
ALISON PILL (SUSAN)
Alison starred on Broadway in House of Blue Leaves (Outer Critics Circle nomination), The Miracle Worker, Mauritius and The Lieutenant of Inishmore (Tony nomination), and Off-Broadway in This Wide Night (Drama League Nomination), Reasons to be Pretty, Blackbird (Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League nominations), On the Mountain (Lortel nomination) and The Distance from Here (Drama Desk Award – Outstanding Ensemble). Pill’s film work includes Snowpiercer, To Rome With Love, Midnight in Paris, Goon, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Milk, Dan in Real Life, Dear Wendy and Pieces of April. Pill currently stars in the Aaron Sorkin HBO series The Newsroom. Other television work includes the HBO drama In Treatment, The Book of Daniel and Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows.
ADAM STEIN (ROAT)
Adam has performed on and off-Broadway, and in regional theaters around the country, including the Old Globe, Steppenwolf, Williamstown, Seattle Rep and many others. His most recent Los Angeles appearance was in Adam Rapp's Nocturne (directed by Mr. Shakman), for which he was nominated for an Ovation Award. Recently, he's been working in the old-fashioned medium of television, and is currently a writer/producer on the CBS series Under the Dome. He'd like to dedicate this performance to his dad, who really would've gotten a kick out of it.
MATHER ZICKEL (MIKE)
Mather hails from New York City where he studied acting at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and The Shakespeare Lab at the Public Theatre. He spent fifteen years performing in many New York experimental venues, working with some of America’s most creative young playwrights such as Sarah Ruhl, Gina Gionfriddo, and Adam Bock. He is pleased to return to the Geffen where he was seen in By The Way, Meet Vera Stark and David Wiener's Extraordinary Chambers. Mather has appeared in a wide variety of film and television roles. Some of his favorites are Kieran in Rachel Getting Married (Sony Classic), District Attorney Mike Powers in Reno: 911! (Comedy Central), and in the series Man Up for ABC. He will be appearing on the highly anticipated Showtime series Masters of Sex and he recently recurred on Showtime’s House of Lies. Mather will also reprise his lead role in the series Newsreaders for Adult Swim, which is a spin-off to the wildly popular series Children’s Hospital.
FREDERICK KNOTT (PLAYWRIGHT)
Frederick Knott wrote Dial M For Murder and Wait Until Dark – two of the most celebrated suspense plays in modern theatrical history. Born in Hankow, China in 1916 to Quaker missionaries, he went to Cambridge University and then served in the Royal Artillery during the entirety of World War II. After, he retreated to a cottage adjacent to his parents’ home in Sussex, spending eighteen months in near seclusion writing Dial M For Murder. After seven London producers turned it down, the BBC presented it in 1952 as a 90-minute television play, followed by successful West End and Broadway productions, thirty international productions and the now classic 1954 Alfred Hitchcock film which is now one of the AFI’s Top Ten Mystery Films. Notoriously unprolific, his 1961 Broadway play Write Me a Murder starred Denholm Elliot and Kim Hunter. Wait Until Dark opened on Broadway in February 1966 starring Lee Remick, followed by a two-year London run starring Honor Blackman. Audrey Hepburn, Alan Arkin, and Richard Crenna starred in the film version. Knott died in 2002.
JEFFREY HATCHER (ADAPTOR)
Broadway: Never Gonna Dance (book). Off-Broadway: Three Viewings and A Picasso at Manhattan Theatre Club; Scotland Road and The Turn of the Screw at Primary Stages; Tuesdays with Morrie (with Mitch Albom) at The Minetta Lane; Murder by Poe, The Turn of the Screw and The Spy at The Acting Company; Neddy at American Place and Fellow Travelers at Manhattan Punchline. Also Ten Chimneys, Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club, Compleat Female Stage Beauty, A Confederacy of Dunces, The Killing of Sister George, Mrs. Mannerly, Murderers, Ella, Mercy of a Storm, Smash, Armadale, Korczak’s Children, To Fool the Eye, The Falls, A Piece of the Rope, Louder Faster, What’s the Word For, John Gabriel Borkman, An Enemy of the People, Pillars of Society, All the Way with LBJ, The Government Inspector, Cousin Bette, The Good Soldier, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and at The Guthrie, Old Globe, Yale Rep, The Geffen, Seattle Rep, South Coast Rep, and Actors Theater of Louisville, among others. Film/TV: Stage Beauty, Casanova, The Duchess and episodes of Columbo.
MATT SHAKMAN (DIRECTOR)
Matt Shakman returns to the Geffen Playhouse having directed David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People starring Jane Kaczmarek and Jon Tenney (eight Ovation nominations, including Best Director). He is the founder and artistic director of the Black Dahlia Theatre, named by American Theatre magazine as “one of a dozen young American companies you need to know” and by Los Angeles Magazine as Best Small Theatre. Some of his work at the Dahlia includes Hey, Morgan!, David Schulner’s Forgiveness, Jonathan Tolins’ Secrets of the Trade starring John Glover (Ovation Award, Direction; GLAAD Award); Austin Pendleton’s Orson’s Shadow, Richard Kramer’s Theater District (LADCC Award, Direction) and Adam Rapp’s Nocturne. Matt recently helmed Secrets of the Trade off-Broadway at Primary Stages. TV directing credits include: Mad Men, The Good Wife, Six Feet Under, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and House. He received the LA Drama Critics Circle Milton Katselas Award for career achievement in direction. He just directed his debut feature film Cut Bank starring John Malkovich, Liam Hemsworth, Billy Bob Thornton and Bruce Dern.
ABOUT THE GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE
The Geffen Playhouse has been a hub of the Los Angeles theater scene since opening its doors in 1995. Noted for its intimacy and celebrated for its world-renowned mix of classic and contemporary plays, provocative new works and second productions, the Geffen Playhouse continues to present a body of work that has garnered national recognition. Named in honor of entertainment mogul and philanthropist David Geffen, who made the initial donation to the theater, the company was founded by Gilbert Cates, and is currently helmed by Artistic Director Randall Arney, Managing Director Ken Novice, General Manager Behnaz Ataee, Chief Development Officer Regina Miller and Chairman of the Board Frank Mancuso. Proudly associated with UCLA, the Geffen Playhouse welcomes an audience of more than 130,000 each year, and maintains an extensive education and outreach program, designed to engage young people and the community at large in the arts. For more information, please visit www.geffenplayhouse.org.