The Turn of the Screw at First Folio Theatre

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Mar 23 2012 13:00
Apr 23 2012 08:00

OAK BROOK, IL – First Folio Theatre, at Mayslake Peabody Estate, 31st St. & Rt. 83, begs the question, “Are you afraid of ghosts?” with its production of Henry James’ psychological thriller THE TURN OF THE SCREW. In this chilling stage adaptation by Jeffrey Hatcher, two actors, led by Director Alison C. Vesely, bring all of James’ eccentric characters and spine-tingling moments to life; further heightened by the theaters intimate setting within a remote West Suburban Estate. Now in its 15th season of bringing high quality performances of Shakespeare and other classics to the Chicagoland suburbs, First Folio Theatre will preview THE TURN OF THE SCREW on March 28th, open on March 31 and run through April 29th.

A young governess (Melanie Keller) is left to care for two recently orphaned children in a lonely English manor. As the story unfolds, she begins to see the specters of the former governess and her lover (Nick Sandys) haunting the children. As the governess strives to stop the fiends from taking the children away, one frightening question tortures the would-be heroine: Are the ghosts real, or merely a product of her own fevered mind? The Boston Globe calls THE TURN OF THE SCREW “A portrait of psychological vampirism.” This riveting and intimate classic will seduce audiences and keep them on the the edge of their seats throughout.

Originally published in 1898 as a novella by Henry James, “The Turn of the Screw” was developed into a stage adaptation titled “The Innocents” in 1950, which led to a 1954 opera by Benjamin Britten and a 1961 movie starring Deborah Kerr as The Governess. A 1959 television play version featured Ingrid Bergman. One of the best and most famous stories in the psychological horror genre, “Turn” has inspired countless works including the feature film “The Others” starring Nicole Kidman.

James was an American-born writer who spent much of his life in England. He was a contemporary and friend to writer Edith Wharton and artist John Singer Sargent. Other notable works by James include “Daisy Miller” (1879), “The Portrait of a Lady” (1881), “The Bostonians” (1886), “What Maisie Knew” (1897), “The Wings of a Dove” (1902), and “The Ambassadors” (1903).

Hatcher’s adaptation was originally workshopped and developed at Portland Stage Company’s 6th annual Little Festival of the Unexpected. It received its premiere at the Portland Stage Company in 1996, and was first produced in New York City by Primary Stage in 1999.

All performances take place at the Mayslake Peabody Estate, which is owned and operated by the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. Indoor shows are presented in Mayslake hall, a 35-room Tudor Revival style mansion originally built by coal baron Francis S. Peabody. Completed in 1922, the mansion is on the National Registry of Historic Places. Located at 1717 W 31st St., just off Rt. 83, in Oak Brook, First Folio is easy to get to from either the East-West Tollway (I-88) or the Stevenson Expressway (I-55). Free parking is available on the grounds.
THE TURN OF THE SCREW runs March 28 through April 29 on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sunday Matinees at 3 p.m. Tickets range $26-37 with special discounts for Students and Seniors. Tickets for preview performances are $22. Season subscriptions and individual tickets may be purchased by calling the box office at 630.986.8067 or online at ###

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