@ The Black Box Theatre, 430 N. Main St.
 

Murderers

By Jeffrey Hatcher, directed by Ceil Herman

  • Jeff Peckham as Gerald Halverson
  • Caryl Kotulak as Lucy Stickler
  • Nora Brown as Minka Lupino
  • Jeff Peckham as Gerald Halverson
  • Jeff Peckham as Gerald Halverson
  • Jeff Peckham as Gerald Halverson
  • Caryl Kotulak as Lucy Stickler
  • Caryl Kotulak as Lucy Stickler
  • Caryl Kotulak as Lucy Stickler
  • Nora Brown as Minka Lupino
  • Nora Brown as Minka Lupino
  • Nora Brown as Minka Lupino
  • Jeff Peckham as Gerald Halverson
  • Caryl Kotulak as Lucy Stickler
  • Nora Brown as Minka Lupino

Apr 25-May 18, 2014

FRI APR 25, MAY 2,9,16*| 8:00 PM
SAT APR 26, MAY 3,10,17*| 8:00 PM
SUN MAY 4,11,18*| 2:30 PM
THU MAY 8 | 7:00 PM
* RUN EXTENDED

Description

No Strings Theatre Company presents "Murderers" by Jeffrey Hatcher, directed by NSTC's Artistic Director, Ceil Herman. "Murderers" consists of three comic monologues about revenge, blackmail, money, justice, jealousy, and murder set in the Riddle Key Luxury Senior Retirement Living Center and Golf Course. "Murderers" stars Jeff Peckham as Gerald Halverson, Caryl Kotulak as Lucy Stickler, and Nora Brown as Minka Lupino. The Scenic and Light Design is by Peter Herman, the Stage Manager is Karen Ross. and Daniel Caroe is the Sound and Light Board Operator.

Director's Note

Jeffrey Hatcher is a prolific American playwright and screenwriter Among his writings are The Turn of the Screw, produced by NSTC in 2003 and Three Viewings, produced by NSTC in 2004 at the Black Box Theatre. The Turn of the Screw uses two actors to tell the entire Henry James story and Three Viewings is a three monologue piece set in a funeral home. Both plays showcase the actors' talents and abilities to bring multiple characters to life, as does Murderers.

Hatcher is also the author of The Compleat Female Stage Beauty, later adapted to a film shortened to Stage BeautyTen Chimneys, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Ella and co-author of Work Song Three Views of Frank Lloyd Wright, Tuesdays with Morrie, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, A Picasso, Scotland Road, Murder by Poe, Neddy, Fellow Travelers, Mrs Mannerly, Mercy of a Storm, Smash Armadale, Korczak's Children, To Fool the Eye, The Falls, A Piece of the Rope, All the Way with LBJ, The Government Inspector, and Work Song (with Eric Simonson). Hatcher authored episodes of the Peter Falk series Columbo He is a member and/or alumnus of The Playwrights' Center, the Dramatists Guild of America, Writers Guild of America and New Dramatists.

In his playwright's note for Murderers, Hatcher mentions that he originally played the role of Gerald Halverson on a bare stage. The first full production with all 3 monologues had no intermission, and Hatcher cautions subsequent productions to keep things simple. We will be taking an intermission after The Man Who Married His Mother-In-Law We saw Murderers in Los Angeles a few years ago (with an intermission) and found it enormously entertaining with all the twists and turns in the plots. I immediately bought the script I have a perfect cast and it was very enjoyable working with them. Thanks to all involved for bringing Murderers to life Enjoy the ride!

Credits

Gerald Halverson
Lucy Stickler
Minka Lupino
Director
Lighting
Written By

Reviews

'Murderers' Slays at BBT - Three extended monologues brought to life

- By Gerald M. Kane , Las Cruces Bulletin

After seeing more than our share of a spate of films and plays with depressing, painful elements (if you want a list, send me an e-mail!), what a relief and joy it was to attend Saturday evening's performance of Jeffrey Hatcher's remarkable comedy "Murderers" currently playing on the stage of the Black Box Theatre through May 11.

We left the theatre with smiles on our faces, so tickled were the many needed laughs we shared, not to mention the cleverness of the plot, the skill of the actors and the overall feel of the play.

Jeffrey Hatcher is no slouch. A former writer of several "Columbo" scripts, which are quite apparent in this production, in addition to a prolific list of plays and scripts for films and television, including the award-winning TV film adaptation of Mitch Albom's "Tuesdays with Morrie," starring Jack Lemon and Hank Azaria.

Superbly directed by BBT's indefatigable Artistic Director Ceil Herman, ably assisted by remarkable Light and Scenic Designer Peter Herman, not to mention a spot- on perfect cast, this is a comedy you must see. Put down your Bulletin, check your calendar, and call for reservations immediately. Word of mouth will hopefully extend the run of this outstanding, thoughtful yet smartly hilarious work.

I could not wait to sit down at the computer to express my feelings about this remarkable play. Originally conceived by Hatcher as a single comic monologue, which he performed to great acclaim, he decided to write two additional monologues along the same vein and cleverly tie them together through a series of twists and turns. All the characters are murderers who reside or work at the Riddle Key Luxury Senior Retirement Living Center and Golf Course. Each tells his or her own story.

Extended monologues are a challenge for the actors and the audience. The actors, of course, must learn the lines and own them. Their stories must come out naturally from their lips, and the audience must suspend belief and feel that the actors are confiding directly to each one of them.

In the hands of a skilled director, characters evolve as a combination of what the playwright has written, along with a pieces of their own personalities, with occasional gentle prodding and suggestions from the director - a true collaboration.

That is exactly what happens on the stage of the Black Box with "Murderers."

A debonair Jeff Peckham playing Murderer One, Gerald Halverson, stars in "The Man Who Marries his Mother-in-Law," the original monologue written by Hatcher. His is a truly bizarre tale with so many twists and turns, you may need to fasten your virtual seatbelt for a very bumpy ride! Each of the personalities in Gerald's bizarre tale takes on unique facial expressions, postures and voice qualities. It is a feat to behold! Peckham's talent cannot be underestimated. There is no way I am going to ruin your surprise with the plethora of spoilers in this tale, but it is just a joy watch unfold before our eyes!

The charming Caryl Kotulack stars as Lucy Stickler in the second monologue "Margaret Faydle Comes to Town." This is a tale swathed in humor, anger, infidelity and revenge. Like the first play, it has many twists and turns, as well as many characters you can clearly see in your mind's eye, thanks to Caryl and Ceil's skill. You will still need to keep your seatbelts fastened for another amazing ride. By the way, for those of us who know Caryl and her amazing philanthropic work in our communty, along with her beloved, recently departed partner David Lemen, it is amazing and a little shocking to hear this classy lady utter some very salty language!

The final monologue, "Match Wits with Minka Lupino" is a tour de force for Nora Brown, who is becoming one of my local favorite actresses. Her natural bright cheery effervescence assists her greatly in portraying the beleaguered office secretary Minka Lupino at the Retirement Living Center and Golf Course. Her stories - there are quite a few - contain even more twists and turns than the previous two, along with a surprise ending to boot! Your seatbelts still need to stay in place!

Did I have a favorite monologue? Not at all! Each of three pieces is a little jewel which has its unique luster, crafted and polished to perfection by three of our town's finest actors and set in place by a superb director who kept the pacing swift. The jewels shined even brighter through Peter Herman's subtle, spot-on lighting design. Bravo Peter!

In sum, I adored this show, and encourage you to make your reservations to see theatre at its finest.

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Auditions Open!

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Sunday, December 3 at 7:00 p.m.

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