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Posted on Mon, Oct 25, 2010 : 11:43 a.m.

Performance Network offers special concert reading of 'The Turn of the Screw'

By Staff

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John Seibert stars in a concert reading of Jeffrey Hatcher's adaptation of Henry James' "The Turn of the Screw."

Photo by Peter Smith

On Sunday, October 31 (Halloween) at 7 p.m., Performance Network Theatre will dim the lights and let the ghosts out of the basement for a one-night only concert reading of Jeffrey Hatcher's "The Turn of the Screw," based on the story by Henry James.

Admission to this event is "pay-what-you-can," with a suggested donation of $10. "The Turn of the Screw" will reunite actors John Seibert and Chelsea Sadler, who were last seen together at PNT in another holiday classic, "Christmas Carol'd."

Based on the provocative tale of suspense and horror, this adaptation gives the famous story yet another turn of its own. A young governess journeys to a lonely English manor house to care for two recently orphaned children. But she is not their first governess. Her predecessor, Miss Jessel, drowned herself when she became pregnant by the sadistic valet, Peter Quint, who was himself found dead soon after. Now the new governess has begun to see the specters of Quint and Jessel, and must find a way to stop the fiends before it is too late. But one frightening question tortures the would-be heroine: Are the ghosts real, or are they the product of her own fevered imagination?

Artistic Director David Wolber said, "I have always loved ghost stories, and have been wanting to get this script into our programming for a few years now. We found great success recently with another Jeffrey Hatcher script, "A Picasso," and I think that 'The Turn of the Screw' is just as good, and, of course, much scarier!" Executive Director Carla Milarch said, "The playwright actually indicates in the script that the show be produced without scenery or even props, in order to put the focus on the characters and the story and draw the audience into the dark shadows of imagination. So doing a concert reading is very close to what audiences would find in a full production."

To warm up the evening a bit, spiced cider, pumpkin treats and hot chocolate will be available at the concessions stand.

Tickets can be ordered by phone at 734-663-0681; online at the Performance Network website; or in person at 120 East Huron Street.