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MOV Players to perform online Halloween show

Photo Provided David Schiemann orchestrates Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Conqueror Worm.”

Don’t believe in ghosts?

The Mid-Ohio Players in Marietta will convert the non-believers with “Night of Fright” to be presented live at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday then as an encore performance to be streamed at 8 p.m. Oct. 30.

Sponsored by The Original Pizza Place, tickets are available online anytime at www.midohiovalleyplayers.org or at the Box Office at 229 W. Putnam St. beginning 90 minutes prior to curtain. Cost is $10.

The evening starts with Players veterans David Grande and Dick Roe telling ghost stories about the theater as they introduce the Players Theater’s resident ghost, Mr. Shea.

David Schiemann will then bring the horror of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Conqueror Worm” to life with the help of Players regulars Tim Tuten and Sarah Rose Drake and newcomer Caleb Bland.

“Night of Fright” then turns to the Appalachian ghost story of “Rawhead and Bloody Bones” with storytellers Rachel Gaston and Bland. The story is about a brutally murdered friend of an old woman’s was restored.

Act 1 ends with a Chamber Theatre adaptation of Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” featuring a cast of 14. Nicholas Rake’s sound design will add an extra layer of all things Halloween to the evening.

Act II celebrates the power of the imagination and the WMOVP crew and social distance theater that entertained during the pandemic lockdown when the theater was unable to open.

Two original radio plays by Will Anderson will be presented, “The Lost Dog” starring Sandia Sommer and Ashton Michael and “Four Bros in a Deer Camp” featuring Bland, Schiemann, Drake, George Gaston, Mark Abicht, David Schiemann, Kirk McCall and Eliz Kinser.

Anderson is a professor in the School of Broadcast and Cinematic Arts at Central Michigan University who contacted the Players after reading a newspaper article about WMOVP Radio Theatre.

“When we were doing WMOVP Radio Theatre last year, Will offered to let us do the two Halloween pieces, but we felt like we could not do them justice over Zoom,” Director Suzanne Walker said. “When we decided to do a ‘Night of Fright,’ I jumped at the chance to bring the two stories to the stage and Will graciously agreed to share his work with us once again.”

Act II and the evening end with another WMOVP favorite. The cast of “Father Knows Best,” Kinser, Jeff Walker, Kathy Biery, Vanessa Rake, Amber Smrek, Sean Shoop and Dyrk Conrad Michael are excited to do an episode of the classic radio drama in front of a live studio audience.

“It has been so much fun to get to work with this cast again and to be in the same room together,” Smrek, who plays the youngest Anderson daughter, Kathy, said. “This episode provides lots of laughs with Halloween chills and thrills mixed in. We hope the audience enjoys it as much as we have enjoyed doing it.”

Biery, who plays Margaret Anderson, said the drawback of performing it on stage is she now has to think about the other half of her attire.

“When we were doing Social Distance Theatre we only had to worry about what to wear from the waist up,” she said.

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