Main Street Players prepare for February mystery-thriller production

ALEXANDER CAIN :::

An enthusiastic cast of five will present playwright Ira Levin’s 1978 play “Deathtrap” next month inside the Main Street Players Theatre in downtown Griffin.

The cast includes Main Street Players alumnus Lisa Boyd as Helga Ten Dorp; Atlanta actor Lee Buechele as Sidney Bruhl; Robbie Burke as Porter Milgrim; actress Diane Dicker as Myra Bruhl and actor Alan Phelps as Clifford Anderson.

“For me, this role is different in that the play is a thriller – but I don’t want to give too much away,” Phelps joked in a recent pre-rehearsal interview with The Grip. “It takes the audience on a ride. It’s almost like something you would find out of one of Agatha Christie’s works. You think that you know what is going on, but you may or may not be correct.”

B.J. Hughes, no stranger to the Main Street Players, is directing the production. Hughes has directed several productions for Main Street Players over the past few years and is a teaching artist at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre and a resident designer at Chattahoochee High School in Atlanta.

“Everybody has an ulterior motive in this production, and, as a director, you have to think about how the audience will be seeing it,” Hughes said.

Hughes also said that the individual actors playing the roles within the production could sway how an audience feels about what is seen on stage, which is why he worked closely with Main Street Players president and artistic director Norman Richardson to find the actors and actresses he felt were best suited for the roles.

“I was offered the role by B.J., who knew me from a performance in “Hallelujah Girls” in a past production,” Lisa Boyd explained. “One thing I have enjoyed about my time with Main Street is that I have been able to explore a lot of characters. I get the challenge of trying not to become stereotyped into a single character role. I love crazy, kind of over-the-top characters, and I focus on the fact that Helga is the comic relief of the show. She’s part of the many elements that show up unexpectedly. Because it’s a small role, I have to carry all sides of her.”

The cast has been gathering for rehearsals for “Deathtrap” since early January. For Robbie Burke, whose time with the Main Street Players reaches back for more than 10 years, bringing a character to life takes him all the way back to his time as student in high school.

“I had an English teacher who taught English through theater. We would have to read a book or short story and we would use all kinds of tricks rather than just writing papers.”

“The first time that I came to Main Street Players was when they had their very first show, and the sets at the time just made me go ‘wow.’ I was blown away. It’s been the quality of their productions that has brought me back for more than 13 years now. I feel like the time that I have been here that I have grown as an actor and gotten better with what I can do on stage. I’ve run the gamut of character roles and ages,” continued Burke.

Main Street Players artistic director Norma Richardson, one of the company founders, agrees with Burke’s remarks.

“Main Street is not really considered a community theater; we are a semi-professional theater that is community-based. Typically everything in a community theater is all volunteer-based, and we try to hire professionals within the industry and try to kick it up a notch. That was always my dream to do that. I think that speaks to the integrity of what you are trying to do, and provides the best production possible within your budget range and the talent that you have available.”

Main Street Players of Griffin will present Ira Levin’s two-act play “Deathtrap” February 6 – 16. Performances will be Thursday – Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.

“I think that if a person has not been to Main Street Players that they will be surprised when they walk in and see the quality of what we are doing. I think that this show will be a lot of fun in addition to keeping the audience on the edge of heir seats with this thriller,” Richardson stated.

For more information on any of the Main Street Players productions, including Ira Levin’s “Deathtrap,” call the Main Street Players at (770) 229-9916. Main Street Players are located at 115 N. Hill St. in Griffin. Ω

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