West Virginia University at Parkersburg
300 Campus Drive Parkersburg WV 26104
Phone: 304-424-8203 | Fax: 304-424-8315
October 17, 2008
WVU Parkersburg Theatre Department presenting "We Have Always Lived in the Castle" Oct. 24-26.
CONTACT: Andrew Clovis of the Theatre Department, 304-424-8295.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Theatre Department at West Virginia University at Parkersburg continues its celebration of the works of novelist Shirley Jackson with a production of Hugh Wheeler’s adaptation of Jackson’s haunting mystery, "We Have Always Lived in the Castle."
Performances times are 8 p.m., Oct. 24 and Oct. 25 and 2 p.m., Oct. 26. All performances are in the College Theatre. There is no admission fee.
The play tells the story of a neurotic Vermont recluse, Constance Blackwood, who has divorced herself from society after becoming known as “the local Lizzie Borden.” Several years earlier, Constance, it seems, was tried and acquitted of the murder of her parents, siblings and aunt by strychnine poisoning. In fact, the only immediate family members to survive the slaughter were her younger sister, Merricat, a precocious but sullen 14-year-old who has appointed herself as Constance’s guardian, and their now doddering, cantankerous Uncle Julian. The two share her gloomy seclusion with Jonas, a young boy who has been brought in as a companion for Merricat, otherwise known as Mary Katherine. Jonas, roughly age 10, looks on the eerie legends with great glee.
The Blackwood mansion holds great fascination for the local villagers, in part, because many believe that Constance stores vast hoards of money in the family safe. Constance’s distant relatives seem to believe the same. One of them, Charles, returns from abroad to reacquaint himself with Cousin Constance, or, perhaps, with her money. Merricat, Jonas, and Uncle Julian deeply resent his intrusion and alarming events result.
Characters in the play also include two nervous, busy-body neighbor women who come to coax Constance back into local society. Helen Clarke seems truly concerned about the Blackwood family, but her friend, Mrs. Wright, only visits for thrill-seeking reasons.
This fascinating study of obsession and delusion comes complete with ghostly voices and dead bodies. As a special bonus, strawberries and cream will be served along with coffee during the intermission.
The cast includes WVU Parkersburg students Cory Carr as Uncle Julian; Brandi Neogra as Helen Clarke; Jared Van Fossen as Charles Blackwood, and Courtney Windom as Lucille Wright. WVU Parkersburg alumna Megan Jett plays Constance Blackwood. Two veteran child performers complete the cast. Quinn Hartleroad plays Mary Katherine Blackwood and Robin Kelby plays Jonas.
The play is directed by Andrew Clovis and with lights and sound coordinated by Jeff Byrd. Clovis and Byrd designed the set and costumes.
The play is for mature audiences. Additional information is available by contacting the Theatre Department at 304-424-8295.