Fall play is about skeletons in the closet, darkness on the stairs

By Murphy Obershaw, Staff Writer

Newman’s theater department will be performing the play “Dark at the Top of the Stairs” in one week.

“Dark at the Top of the Stairs” is about the struggles of the Flood family.  Rubien Flood, played by Lucas Farney, is a traveling salesman, and Cora Flood, played by Roo Rusk, is a stay at home mom.  Their marriage gets testy when Rubien starts to keep secrets from his wife.

“It’s about this notion of everybody having dark at the top of their stairs. Everyone has skeletons in their closet,” Matthew Clark said.

Clark plays Morris Lacey, the brother-in-law of Cora, who gets invited to visit the Floods along with his wife Laudy, played by Emily Larkin.

Clark said this role is different from what he is used to, but he thinks it’s been good for him.

“My first true introduction back into theater was playing Autolycus and then all of those different parts in ‘The Winter’s Tale,’” he said. “There’s that 400-year gap in literature between Shakespeare and 1900s American literature... It’s very different, and it’s incredibly good for me to grow as an actor.”

The actors are not the only ones preparing for the production. Keean Bush, a stage manager for the play, said he does a lot to help make sure everything is ready for opening night.

From making sure people show up on time to rehearsal and know their lines to taking notes and calling light and sound cues, he stays pretty involved with the play.

Bush, who is used to approaching plays from an actor’s point of view, now gets to see everything from a theater tech point of view.  From this view he can really see how people develop their characters, he said.

“It’s been a lot different to see the different choices that are made everyday in rehearsal and how much they change their characters and twist it,” he said.  “My favorite thing is seeing the character evolve from first read to end product.”

Performances of “Dark at the Top of the Stairs” will be at 8 p.m. on Oct. 10 - 12 and at 2 p.m. on Oct. 13 in Jabara.

PHOTO: Courtesy Photo. Newman Advancement