The Tech Players kick off another season of productions Nov. 5 in Derryberry Hall Auditorium, the first time in 24 years the auditorium has been used to house a stage production.
The performances at Derryberry are somewhat of a return for the Tech Players. The auditorium was constructed for theater and musical events, according to director Mark Creter. The first performance in the auditorium was an Agatha Christie mystery called “An Unexpected Guest.” The last performance by the Tech Players in Derryberry was in 1991.
The production is different from Creter’s usual fall musicals.
“Because we were leaving our playhouse and going to be performing somewhere new, I was interested in doing something that was completely different than a musical,” said Creter. “‘Never the Sinner’ is a drama about two intelligent, privileged young men who arbitrarily decide to murder somebody just to see if they could do it. I really liked the script. I think the way John Logan (playwright) uses the actual historical facts and characters make this show a compelling, powerful piece.”
“Never the Sinner” will debut Thursday, Nov. 5. The play tells the true story of two teenagers, Nathan Leopold and Robert Loeb, who in 1920s Chicago set out to commit the perfect crime. Mark Creter and Joe Clark direct the show.
“I am primarily excited about this show because it asks a lot of tough questions of the audience,” said Braden Wahl, who plays Leopold. “Nathan is a very complicated character, and I’m so excited at the opportunity to tackle such a complex role.”
The show is returning to Derryberry Auditorium as the Backdoor Playhouse undergoes renovations. The Playhouse will be closed for two years while new seats, carpets and stage floor are installed. When the Playhouse reopens in 2017, it will have 160 seats as opposed to the 200 it had before.
Although Derryberry’s capacity is greater than Backdoor Playhouse, Creter said he still wants to create an intimate setting in Derryberry.
“We are keeping tickets at 200 and sectioning off parts of the auditorium. We want the audience only in the first nine or 10 rows, not spread out over the entire place.”
The show premieres Nov. 5 with performances scheduled for the 6, 7, 9, 10 and 14 at 8 p.m. A late show will be held Thursday, Nov. 12, at 10 p.m. and a matinee is planned for Nov. 8 at 2 p.m. As with other productions, tickets are on a first come, first served basis. Tickets are free for Tech students with their ID, $5 for non-Tech students, $12 for senior citizens and $15 for general admission.
“I hope people who come will see how much love and effort we put in this show to make it great,” said Samia Anderson, who plays a doctor in the play. “I really hope the audiences love it as much as everyone involved does because it is such a phenomenal show.”