Madison, CT – August 27, 2018 – Madison Lyric Stage, an award-winning, professional theater company serving the Connecticut Shoreline, will present an audience-immersive production, for a maximum of 35 audience members per night, of the English suspense opera The Turn of the Screw October 5-14 inside the historic Deacon John Grave House in Madison, CT.
Based on the Henry James novella, The Turn of the Screw is a chamber opera, in English, composed by Benjamin Britten with a libretto by Myfanwy Piper. It tells the story of a young Governess for two children in an old manor house. She is hired by the children’s uncle who lives in London and has laid out three stipulations to the Governess: never to write to him about the children, never to inquire about the history of the house, and never to abandon the children. After her arrival, she begins to hear footsteps outside her door and cries in the night. She soon discovers that the ghosts of the former governess and valet are haunting the house and are intent on possessing the children.
Performed Inside an Authentic 1685 House
The Turn of the Screw will be performed inside the 333-year-old Deacon John Grave House, where lucky audience members may feel the spirits of the many generations of the Grave family who have lived there.
Audience members will begin in the large parlor of the house for Act I, moving into the second parlor ‘bedroom’ half-way through Act II. Comfortable padded chairs will encircle the rooms, and the action will take place inches in front of, in back of, and around the audience. The house will be lit by candlelight and, who knows, a ghoulish face may appear at the window or bellow down from the attic above.
“An opera about ghosts, presented by candlelight, in a very old house … what could be better for Halloween,” said Marc Deaton, artistic director of Madison Lyric Stage. “And with only 35 audience members a night, we will be able to make our opera accessible, immediate and realistic.”
The Turn of the Screw will star Abigail Paschke as the Governess, with Alexis Rodda and Marc Deaton as the ghosts, Miss Jessel and Peter Quint, Moriah Perrett and Kayla Fore as the children Miles and Flora, and Allison Lindsay as the housekeeper Mrs. Grose. Deaton also directs. The performance will be accompanied by piano and harp.
The Deacon John Grave House is located at 581 Boston Post Road at Academy Street in Madison. Friday and Saturday performances are at 7:30 p.m., with Sunday matinee performances at 4:00 p.m. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased at madisonlyricstage.org or by calling 203-215-6329.
Pre-Show Theatrical Exhibit
During intermission, attendees can view an exhibition chronicling the history of some of the theatrical troops that have called Madison home, including the Jitney Players, which operated from about 1923 – 1934 and was headquartered in the red Talcott Bradley House, along the Boston Post Road near the Madison Town Green. The exhibition is curated by Ruthann McTyre, director of the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library at Yale University.
Madison Lyric Stage is a winner of a Broadwayworld Connecticut theater award for its 2017 production of Jesus Christ Superstar.
Madison Lyric Stage is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity and arts collective for the Shoreline of Connecticut. Its mission is to present affordable, professional-quality entertainment from the worlds of opera, musical theater and drama. Past productions include: A Little Night Music, Agnes of God, Blithe Spirit, Company, Evita, Godspell, Jesus Christ Superstar, Macbeth, Peter Grimes, Salome, The Glass Menagerie, and many others.
For more information about Madison Lyric Stage, visit madisonlyricstage.org.