Canterbury Summer Theater’s return to Michigan City begins with ‘The Thin Place’ – Chicago Tribune
“Out of This World” is the theme for the 54th season at the Canterbury Summer Theater in Michigan City.
Drama ‘The Thin Place’, running June 15-18 at the Canterbury Theater, launches a slate of five plays to be produced by what is billed as ‘one of the oldest professional summer companies in the Midwest’ and features artists theaters from across the United States. .
“I look forward to every summer,” said David Graham, who has been involved with Canterbury Summer Theater for over three decades and is in his ninth season as Associate Artistic Director.
“Theatre and live entertainment are coming out of their shells and starting to thrive again as they should.”
Lucas Hnath’s “The Thin Place” premiered off-Broadway in 2019 at Playwrights Horizons in New York.
“The story revolves around two women. Linda is a professional medium. She communicates with the dead. She came from England because the United States is the cradle of spiritualism. She has different types of clients,” said Graham, manager of Canterbury Summer Theatre’s “The Thin Place”.
“There is another woman named Hilda who is a little disturbed. She is trying to reach her deceased grandmother as well as possibly her deceased mother. She falls in love with Linda the medium. They start a friendship.
“Even though Linda admits what she’s doing is some kind of trick, Hilda still believes that Linda really has the power to do what she says she can do. I won’t say too much about that though. only that leads to a very chilling conclusion.
“The Thin Place” makes its Midwestern premiere with performances in Michigan City’s Uptown Arts District.
“One of my goals as a director lately is that I like plays that are theatrical in nature and not really grounded in naturalism in terms of structure and representation,” Graham said. from Chicago’s Edgewater community. .
“I like shows that have strong female heads. I really found ‘The Thin Place’ to be provocative because it works on so many levels. It works like a supernatural thriller, but it also comments on what we need as a human beings and what we should believe in. This is the power of suggestion.
“I like that the play really works on different levels because people need to want to believe certain things and there are people who will convince them that those things are real. The play makes a broader commentary on some of the things happening in society today and it’s a scary story.
The cast consists of Kristina Drendel as Linda, Alice Franssen as Hilda, Max Manfredini as Jerry, and Kendall Shamus as Sylvia. They all get their start in the Canterbury Resident Company.
“We had to audition via Zoom, but that’s the way it is these days,” Graham said.
“I was able to work with them a bit as a director as I evaluated them for roles. They are very talented. There is a good group and I am very excited about the show. I like to do something different every year to kick off the season.
“I think audiences are going to really enjoy ‘The Thin Place.’ When they leave the theater, it’s something that will stay with them afterwards.
The production team for ‘The Thin Place’ includes Leah Mazur, who has worked with the Canterbury Summer Theater for over 10 years, on stage design; Julie Adams on lighting design; Amber Garitt on costumes; and Danie Boyster as stage manager.
“The Thin Place” contains adult themes and language and is recommended for high school students or higher.
“It’s just a really interesting show,” Graham said.
The 2022 season features Louisiana resident Ray Scott Crawford, who is in his 37th season as Artistic Director of Canterbury Summer Theater, directing “Streakin’ Thru the ’70s!” by James A. Rocco and Albert Evans from June 22 to July 2, and “Sylvia” by AR Gurney from August 4 to 6.
Additionally, Stephanie Murry leads ‘The World Goes ‘Round’ with music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb from July 6-16, and Canterbury Summer Theater veteran Lari Leber leads ‘No Way to Treat a Lady’ with a book, music and lyrics. by Douglas J. Cohen, based on the novel by William Goldman, from July 20 to 30.
Season discount cards are $70 for all five shows.
“The Thin Place”
When: 2:15-16 June; 7:30 p.m. June 17; 6:30 p.m. June 18
Where: Canterbury Theater, 807 Franklin Street, Michigan City
Tickets: $20 single, $18 62 or older, $10 student or veteran
Information: 219-874-4269; canterburytheatre.org
Jessi Virtusio is a freelance journalist for the Post-Tribune.