Murfreesboro’s Center for the Arts’ production of the 1967 thriller Wait Until Dark began its week-long run Friday night.
Wait Until Dark is a ’60s psychological thriller featuring a blind woman left home alone—until three men claiming to be police officers and friends of her husband arrive. The trio commit to an elaborate scheme to torment the woman for the hours while her husband Sam is at work.
The play opens with a warning from a crew member that, in the second half, the lights in the auditorium will cut to black, leaving the cast and audience in total darkness. The play is intended to hit a primal fear, and the cast of the Center’s production did so impeccably.
Arabelle Pollick made her debut at the Center as Susy, the lead actress. Pollick’s performance started off slowly with little variation showing in her tone of frustration with James Donaldson, who plays her husband Sam. Eventually, the pace of the play picked up as Pollick’s emotional range developed to clearly include her terror.
Her performance, and that of her co-star Joseph Stanley, led the play into the stronger second half when the lights cut and tensions rise.
In one particular scene, Pollick sits at a kitchen table set on stage lit only by the light of a red lamp on a nearby desk. When the men begin to arrive at her apartment, she waits completely still. Her posture and the calmness with which she recites her lines were some of the most fear-inducing moments of the entire performance.
Throughout the play, characters shuffle through the motions of the original script, never missing a beat when items fall, desk drawers refuse to shut properly or the actors themselves slip on the stairs.
Wait Until Dark will run through September 28. Friday and Saturday performances begin at 7:30 and Sunday shows start at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors and students and $11 for children.
For more information, visit the Murfreesboro Center for the Arts website at www.boroarts.org.
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