HARLINGEN — It’s still the witching hour. Time for ghost stories and spooky imaginations wandering through the hallways of the rich and famous. Such is the tale told in “The Turn of the Screw,” opening tonight at the Harlingen Community Theatre.
HARLINGEN — It’s still the witching hour.
Time for ghost stories and spooky imaginations wandering through the hallways of the rich and famous.
Such is the tale told in “The Turn of the Screw,” opening tonight at the Harlingen Community Theatre. The play by Douglas Jones is based on a novella by Henry James. It features a governess in charge of a boy and a girl at a large haunted estate called the Bly House in Essex, England.
The cast has spent the past four weeks rehearsing in eager preparation of the performance.
“It’s going smoothly,” said Max Phipps, 9, dressed in a dapper little suit as the character Miles.
He and his sister Flora live in an English mansion where their uncle played by Justin Hernandez has hired a new governess to look after them.
“There’s a condition and to others it proved prohibitive,” the uncle says to the governess, played by Vanessa Martinez.
“It made them somehow afraid,” he added.
“What is it?” asks the governess.
“That you are to be solely responsible for everything,” he says. “That whatever happens you are never to trouble me, never write me, never complain, but use instead your best judgment.”
This guy’s strange. And what kind of kids are these?
Max for his part is enjoying his role as one of the kids, Miles.
“He wants to be bad in this play,” Max said. “He wants to be kind of nice and evil at the same time.”
Director Carol Kent said she selected the play to fit the time of year.
“It’s a psychological thriller,” she said. “I wanted to do something that would fit in with the holiday season. We’re doing little things, sound effects to make it scary.”
Scary goes to new levels at this English mansion where not only are two kids running about the house but also two ghosts of former servants. The governess begins to wonder if they’re after the children — and she’s solely responsible for them.
One of the biggest challenges, Kent said, was the time crunch.
“We’ve had a short rehearsal schedule,” she said. “Most plays are done in six weeks. We had to do it in four weeks.”
The role of Mrs. Grose, the housekeeper, has presented a delightful challenge to Amy Gonzalez.
“I am loving it,” she said. “She’s just proper. She’s kind of in charge of keeping everything together. There’s this mystery going on. I love getting into costume, putting on makeup.”
IF YOU GO
WHAT: The Turn of the Screw
WHEN: Tonight and tomorrow at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday at 3 p.m.
WHERE: Harlingen Community Theatre
1209 Fair Park Blvd.
ADMISSION: Adults $15
Students ages 18 and under: $5
FOR MORE INFORMATION: 956-412-7529