‘The Haunting of Hill House’ terrorizes audiences at Town and Country Players

new hope free press haunting of hill house

Bonnie Kappenstein as a possessed Eleanor Vance

October is a month of terror at Town and Country Players, as the Buckingham theater presents “The Haunting of Hill House” by F. Andrew Leslie.

The play, directed by Alana Caraccio, is based on the well-known psychological thriller by the same name written by Shirley Jackson. The scariest version of the work may well reside in the film medium, but this version has an air of danger that only live theater can bring.

In the play, Hill House is an 80-year-old mansion cut off from the rest of the world, and known to be possessed by evil spirits. Enter Dr Montague, played by John Pinot. He has permission from the house’s owner, Luke Sanderson, played by Rob Rosiello, to study the spine-chilling events taking place in the house.

Montague brings with him Eleanor Vance, played by Bonnie Kappenstein, and Theodora, played by Angela Rains. These two women are invited to the house because they already possess psychic abilities. Montague hopes their abilities will give him insight into the evil that walks the hallways of Hill House.

But his plans backfire. The women themselves, and especially Eleanor, are possessed by the house.  Montague realizes this too late with dire consequences.

The cast is rounded out by the ominous Mrs. Dudley, played by Amy Fiscus; Mrs. Montague, a self-declared psychic, played by Lorie Baldwin; and Mrs. Montague’s friend, Arthur Parker, played by Ken Marblestone.

“The Haunting of Hill House” is perfectly set in T&C’s theater, a 200-year -old barn. The special effects in the show maximize the already creepy setting of the theater. The breathing doors, which gave this author nightmares as a child, add to the chilling story taking place on stage.

Caraccio is a long-time fan of Shirley Jackson. She says, “My fear of my bedroom closet was born” [in The Haunting of Hill House].”

“The Haunting of Hill House” plays Oct. 10, 11, 17, 18, 24 and 25 at 8 p.m. Matinee performances are on Oct. 12 and 19 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15, and available by calling (800) 838-3006. They are also available through T&C’s website. This show is not recommended for children under age 13, and I personally agree.

Town and Country Players is a non-profit community theater providing the Central Bucks area with quality theatre for the past 67 years. Located on Route 263 in Buckingham, Town and Country Players is the home of many dedicated individuals whose goal is to bring the theatrical experience to local residents while personally enjoying the effort to the fullest.

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