The Byers-Evans House Museum and Living Room Theatre present Jeffrey Hatcher’s THE TURN OF THE SCREW playing now through February 18th. Central City Opera will provide two special offerings of live musical entertainment on Saturday, January 28 and Saturday, February 18. Prior to the play (at 7:30 pm) in the music room, the Central City Opera Ensemble will offer a half-hour parlor performance of opera excerpts from Britten’s The Turn of the Screw and Menotti’s The Medium, as well as other operas with a ghostly presence. The operatic version of The Turn of the Screw, by Benjamin Britten, is one of the three main stage productions in the 2012 Central City Opera Festival (June 30-August 12).
The library will stand in for a country house deep in the English countryside during the late Victorian period. The play by Jeffrey Hatcher based on the novel by Henry James is an archetypal ghost story laden with psychological terror and intriguing mysteries. The story concerns a young woman hired to care for two children who have recently lost their tutor and governess. During her first week in the house, she discovers the fates of both the current and recently-departed inhabitants of the house.
Irish Augustine and Guy Williams portray the characters in the play. The actors have played extensively in Denver and Fort Collins throughout their careers and appeared together as husband and wife in Osborn’s production of Rashomon at the King Center at Auraria. Edward Osborn directs the play in a three-dimensional environmental style he devised for nine productions at the Byers-Evans House and Grant-Humphreys Mansions in the 1990s. In the staging, the audience is seated in the middle of the action as the actors unfold the story.
“We are playing with the aesthetic distance between actor and audience, which is like that in traditional theatres, whether proscenium or round, large or small, except that at Byers-Evans, that distance is sometimes only a matter of inches,” Osborn says. “This creates an intimacy with characters, setting, mood, and story that is intensely visceral and exciting. The Byers-Evans library is ideal for the setting and mood of this story,” Osborn adds. “It is a natural wedding of venue and play.”
The Byers-Evans House Museum in conjunction with Living Room Theatre presents a reprise of its production of Jeffrey Hatcher’s THE TURN OF THE SCREW playing now and continuing on Fridays and Saturdays, January 27 and 28, and February 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18, 2012. Performances are staged in the library of the Byers-Evans House Museum located at 1310 Bannock Street in Denver. Curtain is at 8:00 p.m., Doors open at 7:20. Seating capacity is limited. Discounts are available for History Colorado members and Central City Opera patrons. For tickets to THE TURN OF THE SCREW and information about the Byers-Evans House Museum, call 303-620-4933 or visit www.byersevanshousemuseum.org. For information on Central City Opera and the 2012 Festival, call the Box Office at 303-292-6700 or go to www.centralcityopera.org/tickets.
PHOTO CREDIT: Eric Weber Studios