by Jeffrey Hatcher
directed by Ben Wolfe
Penn Field Building C, 3601 South Congress
Box office: (512) 476-0084
Austin Playhouse has been drawn to Hatcher’s work since its production of the classic ghost story The Turn of the Screw last October. This season Austin Playhouse delves back into Hatcher presenting Three Viewings.
Three Viewings is told through a trio of monologues, in which characters engage directly with the audience. Set at three different funerals, the play brings together the stories of three characters and reveals the intricacies of their lives. Although the characters have no real interactions with each other, their stories are woven seamlessly together, combining three short-plays into one complete production.
When produced by Connecticut’s “Theater Works,” the New York Times described the play as a “gripping production” of an “exceedingly successful notion to play upon three unrelated deaths as a means of unmasking three separate lives.”
During the play you will meet Emil, a mild-mannered undertaker secretly in love with a real estate agent who attends all his funerals. His unspoken passion for her leads him to commit crimes while planning a way to confess his true feelings. Next introduced is Mac, a drifter who makers her living stealing jewelry from corpses returns home after her wealthy grandmother dies and leaves her nothing, in an attempt to regain her inheritance. Finally we hear the story of Virginia, the widow of a wheeler-dealer contractor who discovers that her husband’s shady business deals have left her in debt to the banks, her family and the mob.
Hatcher was nominated for the Edgar Award for his adaptation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He has written many other plays including an adaptation of Miss Nelson is Missing! and darker plays such as Murderers, and Murder by Poe.
THE THREE VIEWINGS CAST
Hans Venable as “Emil”
Cyndi Williams as “Virginia”
Jenny Gravenstein as “Mac”