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Cast of 17 Presents Complex Murder Mystery

October 01, 2013

“I love this production for our students because it is very much an ensemble play, with 17 characters on stage for the entire play. Some roles are small and others large, but they all are very important in the story.” — Joe Jezewski

A Lanford Wilson murder mystery that presents a complex portrait of good and evil in a small Midwestern town will unfold on the stage at Alma College.

Alma College Theatre presents “The Rimers of Eldritch” at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, Friday, Oct. 11 and Saturday, Oct. 12 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13 in the Remick Heritage Center, Strosacker Theatre. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors 62 and up, and free for Alma College staff, students and youth 18 and under. Seating is reserved. Call (989) 463-7304 for ticket information.

Described as a dark play, “The Rimers’ of Eldritch” was Wilson’s first commercially successful play from early in his career, says faculty director Joe Jezewski.

“I love this production for our students because it is very much an ensemble play, with 17 characters on stage for the entire play,” says Jezewski. “Some roles are small and others large, but they all are very important in the story.”

The play, set in the 1960s in a former mining town with a population of about 70, is a mystery that unfolds after a man is murdered. It is discovered early that the accused murderer is not guilty, but the motive and what really happened isn’t learned until later.

“I view the play as a tapestry,” says Jezewski. “The plot moves back and forth in time and place as you get a picture of this small, decaying Midwestern town and the hypocrisy of the town’s residents.”

“Rimers” suggest frost-bearers or the transmitters of decay, while Eldritch, the name of the town, is a Scottish word that deals with horror, or a “shriek in the night,” says Jezewski. “Eldritch is a town where death and decay, both physically and spiritually, are occurring,” he says.

The play’s set was built using rough-cut lumber reflecting the community’s decaying nature; a series of platforms suggest various locations in the town. The production also features the talents of costume designer Tina Vivian.

The play contains explicit language and adult situations and may not be suitable for children.

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