The Civic Theatre Presents ‘Wait Until Dark’
March 11–26, 2022
Fridays @ 7 p.m.
Saturdays @ 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Sundays @ 2 p.m.
The Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre is pleased to present “Wait Until Dark” this March.
A sinister con man, Roat, and two ex-convicts, Mike and Carlino, are about to meet their match. They have traced the location of a mysterious doll, which they are much interested in, to the Greenwich Village apartment of Sam Hendrix and his blind wife, Susy. Sam had apparently been persuaded by a strange woman to transport the doll across the Canadian border, not knowing that sewn inside were several grams of heroin.
When the woman is murdered, the situation becomes more urgent. The con man and his ex-convicts, through a cleverly constructed deception, convince Susy that the police have implicated Sam in the woman’s murder, and the doll, which she believes is the key to his innocence, is evidence. She refuses to reveal its location, and with the help of a young neighbor, figures out she is the victim of a bizarre charade. But when Roat kills his associates, a deadly game of cat and mouse ensues between the two. Susy knows the only way to play fair is by her rules, so when darkness falls, she turns off all the lights, leaving both of them to maneuver in the dark until the game ends.
I spoke with the director and cast of “Wait Until Dark” about why they chose to audition for Civic and for their respective roles. And like the directors and casts before them, they are bringing a high level of professionalism to community theater, a tradition and expectation that has carried with Civic throughout its 100-plus-year history.
For tickets, visit thecenterpresents.org.
Parrish Williams as Carlino
I auditioned for this show because it’s a part that I like. They’ve done it here at Civic before in the late ’90s. I was a little too young to audition for it then, but it made an impression on me, and I’ve just been kind of waiting for it to come back around, and it finally did. As far as the character [Carlino], I wouldn’t say that I identify with my character—it’s an unusual and challenging role for me to play. I don’t typically do this type of character, and I think that’s maybe the reason, more than any other, that I wanted to play a different kind of character.
Mary Kate Tanselle as Gloria
My situation is kind of unique. I didn’t strictly audition; I was asked to play the role. I had some scheduling conflicts, but we’re working through it, and I’m very honored that I was asked and I’m very excited to play this role. I’ve done a lot of musicals at Civic, and I grew up at Jr. Civic, so I’ve been at Civic for a really long time, but I’ve never done a straight play and I’ve never performed in a black box theater, so those are reasons why I was excited to do this show.
As far as connecting with my character, kind of like what Parrish said, I don’t relate directly to [Gloria]. My life is very different than my character’s, but that is part of the beauty of acting—bringing to life somebody’s story that you don’t live every day and sharing it with somebody else.
Izzy Ellis as Gloria (Mary Kate Tanselle’s Understudy)
My situation is pretty similar to Mary Kate’s. We were both in ELF, and I was also honored to be asked to do this. I’m the youngest one here and the only one who can’t drive! It’s been a lot of fun and a little difficult to navigate, personally, because I’m putting pressure on myself and because I don’t exactly relate to [Gloria]. I’ve been trying to find ways to, and it’s been a learning experience. I feel like the [previous] performances that I’ve done here have led me to right now.
Carly Masterson as Susan
I’ve worked with Emily Rogge Tzucker [the director] before on two other projects here with “Pride and Prejudice” and “Much Ado About Nothing,” and she was my professor at Ball State [University]. I was also very interested in the part itself because it presents its own set of challenges. Susan is a blind person who was sighted for the first 26 years of her life and got into an accident and became blind. She’s trying to live in her world now and is figuring out how to be her own person and stick up for herself. She lives in New York City with her husband, Sam, in the 1940s. A lot of stuff happens in this show where she has to try to learn how to take care of herself and has to learn that very quickly. Susan’s powerful and brave, and you see that more throughout the show.
Colby Rison as Sam
I chose to audition for this play because I’m familiar with the movie with Audrey Hepburn and Alan Arkin and because I haven’t been involved in theater a whole lot because of the pandemic. I was looking forward to getting back into it. In terms of my character, I’d say he does his own thing, and I like to do that too. Sam doesn’t really go by the expectations of others with his job, his photography and how he chooses to live his life. Which is what I like to do. I like to do things that interest me, and I don’t really worry about what others are thinking.
Jay Hemphill as Roat
I play Roat, and he is exactly like me! [Laughs] No, no, no—he is the villain of this story, and villains are always fun to play because they’re never a villain to themselves. He’s the hero of his own story and feels like people are in his way and are keeping something from him that belongs to him, and he has to get it back. He is so arrogant and doesn’t understand why things won’t go his way because they should go his way—that’s the way he’s planned them. This is my first production at Civic, and it’s been really fun.
Lukas Robinson as Mike
To piggyback off of “Roat,” this is also my first show here, and it’s an incredibly talented group. It’s been great learning, performing and practicing with them. I haven’t done theater in a while, and it’s worked out really well. Mike is the kind of guy who’s good at what he does. He and Carlino are old buddies, but throughout the show, Mike realizes that it’s not quite as fun as it all seems, and he second guesses himself a lot throughout the show. He’s trying to figure out what he wants to be and what kind of path he has taken.
Emily Rogge Tzucker, Director
“Wait Until Dark” is one of our classic thrillers, so we all come with that expectation of there being twists and turns, of it being scary and exciting. But what I really like about this is that it’s a new version of the play—a new adaptation by Jeffrey Hatcher, who’s a well-known playwright and screenwriter. I think one of the great themes is really about finding your own voice and strength. This version really does that for Susan’s character, and that’s what drew me to it. We really see both female characters really growing in strength and finding their own voices. Overall, it’s a very exciting and fun play. It’s very much about taking charge, and all of the characters in their own way think they have it all figured out, and then they realize they don’t. It’s a funny journey to go on!