Company’s 51st Season Continues

By: Terry Woods

The Players Theatre Company’s 51st Season Continues

Another spectacular opening is on its way. The Players Theatre Company continues its 51st season with Dial M. for Murder which opens Friday, October 20, 2017 at 8:00 PM at The Owen Theatre, 225 Metcalf Street, Conroe, Texas 77301. Make your plans today.

Dial M for Murder is of course a classic among plays about the subtleties of the perfect murder. A masterpiece that includes a complex plot involving an ingenious plan by an outwardly calm and inwardly sinister man. The subsequent cat-and-mouse game he plays with a police investigator are spellbinding. The audience will remain riveted to their seats as they watch Tony Windice create and control a finely crafted game of cat and mouse with Chief Inspector Hubbard. There are twists and turns with every scene. Be prepared to sit back and feel the spine-tingling intrigue that is Dial M.

The play’s initial path to success was as checkered as the play itself. The playwright Frederick Knott was initially turned down by several producers. Knott’s play was finally brought to life as a BBC Teleplay in the early nineteen fifties. The work won immediate approval from viewers and acclaim from the press. Stage productions then ensued at the Westminster Theatre in London and the Plymouth Theater in New York followed by the movie in 1954. Unfortunately, by that time, the author had sold the rights to Dial M for Murder for a mere 1,000 British pounds. The movie version was directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starred Grace Kelly, Ray Milland, Bob Cummings and John Williams. Knott received payment for writing the screenplay for Hitchcock’s film version (though nothing like the amount Korda received from Warner Bros for the rights) and he received nothing except a credit for the later remake, A Perfect Murder (1999).

The Players’ production of Dial M, will receive tremendous audience approval as the play unfolds on the Owen Theatre stage in October. The Set Design and Lighting Design were perfected by Roger Ormiston. Roger has received critical acclaim for Lighting Design and Set Design in the past. In this play the props and placement of the props is quite important. Faybeth Beckman is the Prop Master as well as the Set Dresser. Faybeth has been a member of the Players Theatre Company for over 30 years. She has worked on stage, backstage and “front of house”. Dial M is directed by Terry Lynn Hale, her expertise has been proven repeatedly for the Players’ in this capacity. The last production she directed was Mousetrap. Terry Lynn took on Agatha Christie then and this time, with the same eloquence, she will take on Alfred Hitchcock. Her Assistant Director is a long-time member of the Players Theatre Company, Barbara Bradford.

The actors in this play define their characters well. This is an ensemble cast of five richly diverse actors. Sarah Steindl (Margo Windice) is new to the Players Theatre Company family.  “And a welcome addition she is,” says Director Terry Lynn. She goes on to say, “Sarah is excited to begin what we all hope to be a long run with the Players Theatre Company family.” Philip Harris (Tony Windice) first appeared in Moon Over Buffalo (2015). He just completed Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Belle’s father) Philip played in last year’s Mousetrap and Disney’s Mermaid.  “Between appearances on the stage, you can find him in the tech booth (lights/sound), at the stage manager’s console, moving sets and working on the Board of Directors”, says Terry Lynn. By day, Philip is an Assistant District Attorney for Montgomery County.

Jeffrey A. Ott (Max Halliday) returns to the Players Theatre Company after a rather long absence. He posted on Facebook that this was his first production in seven years. He teaches theatre arts at York Junior High. About this cast member Terry Lynn says, “Jeff has an extensive resume filled with experience in theatre, film as well as voice-over and print.” David Chapin (Captain Lesgate) most recently appeared on The Owen stage as the Duke of Buckingham in this past season’s Three Musketeers. “David’s resume is impressive and includes film work in addition to a treasure trove of appearances on stage” says the director. Todd Brady (Chief Inspector Hubbard) is making his Players Theatre Company debut. Todd is a retired dentist “with time on my hands and a stronger confidence than I had in my youth. I am also having the time of my life”. Finally, Terry Lynn Hale states, “This cast is amazing to work with.  They are eager and excited to put the work in to make this a good show.” Be sure to order your tickets soon. Dial M is already a winner among the Players Theatre Company productions.

Dial M for Murder opens at The Owen Theatre Friday, October 20 and runs through Saturday, November 4th. Shows are Friday and Saturday nights, October 20, 21, 27, 28, November 3, 4 at 8pm. Sundays, October 22 and 29 at 2pm. For information or to purchase tickets, please call 936-539-4090 or visit our website at www.owentheatre.com.

Also, check out our Facebook page, The Players Theatre Company at facebook.com/ ThePlayersTheatreCompany, for more information about The Players’ upcoming 51st Season. Place Dial M for Murder at the top of the list. The show will be a sure audience pleaser.