North Creek Members of the Our Town Theatre Group (OTTG) will be performing a mystery thriller this weekend featuring an eccentric actor and a séance in a Connecticut castle during “Postmortem,” a play by Ken Ludwig.
Director Colleen Potter said she was looking for something different for the fall main stage production, and the OTTG has never produced a mystery thriller before.
“Since our show goes up in October, we figured we’d do something that ties in with the Halloween theme,” Potter said. “I read a couple different plays, and ‘Postmortem’ was the one that really struck me.”
This play poses some logistical challenges for the group, including building sets for the time period, April 1922.
“And all of the technical elements of it, from gunshots to magic theatrics happening on stage,” Potter said. “There’s a séance in one of the scenes that had its own technical elements that posed a challenge.”
There are also challenges for the actors, who are working hard to keep the scenes fun and thrilling, shying away from melodrama.
“We’re trying to keep it more realistic,” Potter said. “The actors are working on keeping their reactions natural and their characters realistic.”
The main character is based on a real actor, William Gillette (1853-1937). In the play, the cast of his latest Broadway revival of “Sherlock Holmes” has assembled for a weekend of relaxation at his medieval castle on a bluff overlooking the Connecticut River.
Ludwig describes his own play this way:
“For entertainment, actor-manager, playwright and heart-throb William Gillette, best known for his 30-year portrayal of the famous crime sleuth Sherlock Holmes, has arranged a séance. Now the scene is set for his greatest role. Someone is trying to murder Gillette and he suspects it is one of his guests. Intrepid, eccentric and wildly romantic, Gillette plans to solve the case himself à la Sherlock Holmes.”