Theatre Department set to perform Lucille Fletcher’s “Night Watch”
By Ken Narita, Arts and Entertainment Editor
Each Friday and Saturday evenings from March 17 through April 1 the Schoolcraft College Theatre Department presents Lucille Fletcher’s “Night Watch.” The setting is 1970s New York City. The star of the play Elaine Wheeler, played by Keri Tapella, and her husband John wheeler, played by Dalibor Atanaskoski, live in a house next to an empty tenant. From inside the house the Wheelers can see a window covered by a shade in the other house, which turns out to not be as empty as thy thought.
The play is directed by James R. Hartman. Professor Hartman teaches theatre and drama at Schoolcraft.
The play begins with Elaine smoking a cigarette while singing “Frère Jacques” to herself. Her husband comes down the stairs clearly not happy with her being awake. “It’s been three nights in a row. Cigarette butts all over the place… crossword puzzles?” said John expressing his frustration towards his wife. The couple continues to show their annoyance for each other throughout the play.
After some interaction with her husband and the maid Helga, played by Allison Perchman, Elaine is left by herself again. Out of boredom she looks out her window again into the empty house. The lights focus in on her. A look of terror fills her face. She lets out a blood-curdling scream. Once her husband enters the scene again she describes what she saw. “A dead man. He was sitting right there with his eyes wide open. Dead. Dead. Dead!” From this scene on the tension only continues to rise.
Each scene is meant to build the tension. Not only does it build the tension it also adds to the mystery. As each character enters the play they also join the list of possible suspects of the murder. Weather there was a murder or not is also debatable. The police lieutenants, played by Celia Haggerty, seems to doubt Elaine’s claim to have seen a dead body.
“Women call up all the time claiming they shot their husbands all the time,” said the Lieutenant in response to the alleged murder.
Elaine’s claims to have witness a dead body is diluted by her insomnia. “It’s inherited. Daddy had it. Granddaddy suffered from it. We’re night owls, moon people.” said Elaine to her husband. Some other reasons behind her insomnia are brought up during her play. A tragic accident involving an ex-husband may be the cause of her sleepless nights.
The plays runtime is just around 2 hours with just a short intermission in between the two acts. The cast of the play only consist of 9 actors. The entirety of “Night Watch” occurs in a single setting.
“Night Watch” is full of twists and surprise. It is a truly unique production within the horror genre. From the blood-curdling scream to the twist ending it will have the audience anxiously sitting on the edge of their seat.
Both theatre only and dinner theatre performances are available. Theatre only tickets are going for $15. The dinner theatre will cost $27. The dinner includes a salad, poached chicken and dumplings then a German chocolate cake for dessert. The play will be held in the Liberal Arts building inside the theatre on campus. Tickets can be ordered at the Schoolcraft Bookstore or over the phone by calling 734-462-4596.