Woman, Patti Roeder
The Man, Dave Bremer
The Girl, Maggie Rathke
The Young Man, David Swain
in the sixties, when I was just a little punk, one of the great
joys in my life was staying up late on Saturday nights, turning
all the lights off, and watching 'Creature Features' on my little
black and white TV. Those old Universal films from the thirties
featuring Frankenstein and the Wolfman would always give me nightmares,
but I watched them anyway. And I wasn't the only kid who did this.
On Monday mornings my friends and I would all get together at recess
to compare notes on the scariest parts of the previous weekend's
movie. It was "must see TV" for boys my age.
They don't show 'Creature Features' any more, and if they did, I
doubt that the kids of today would be interested in watching those
old classics. Today's kids would find the special effects primitive
and the stories out of date. And who can blame them? Back in the
sixties, those movies were the scariest thing we had. After all,
our lives were relatively fear-free. The kids in my neighborhood
ran around unsupervised. The neighbors all left their doors unlocked.
Nobody thought twice about talking to strangers. The Soviet Union
was about the only thing Americans had to worry about, and in our
hearts we knew that if there was any trouble, we could handle it.
America had never lost a war before, so why should we worry about
the Russians? In the context of our daily lives, having nightmares
about monsters was the most terrifying thing we had to deal with,
and those old-time monsters gave us a nice outlet for our fears.
By the time I was ten years old, however, our little 'Leave it to
Beaver' world had changed. In 1973, America had lost its first war.
People were calling the president a crook. Terrorists had killed
innocent athletes at the Olympics. Phrases like 'religious cult'
and 'serial killer' had become part of our vocabulary. The teachers
at my school constantly lectured us not to talk to, take candy from,
or get in cars with strangers. Our parents were told to inspect
our Halloween candy for needles and razor blades before allowing
us to eat it. Real-life monsters like Richard Speck, Charlie Manson,
and David Berkowitz had captured the attention of the nation. In
this frightening new reality, it seemed kind of silly to get worked
up over vampires, zombies, or giant fire-breathing Japanese lizards.
We needed a new outlet for our fears.
Into this void came Ira Levin, the first of a new breed of horror
writer to acknowledge that a modern audience is no longer terrified
by the monsters of our folklore. In Levin's world, one doesn't have
to travel to Transylvania to find monsters. The "monsters" in his
stories can be your co-workers, your neighbors, or even members
of your own family. The fear is more tangible, because it hits closer
to home. In the classic horror genre, the hero invariably brings
the terror upon himself by opening a cursed Egyptian tomb or by
fooling around with the laws of nature. In this new reality-based
horror genre, one doesn't have to go looking for terror. It's right
around the corner and it can happen to anybody.
Enjoy the play.
by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.
More Photos Page 2
Director, Rob Pold
Technical Director, Shelley Dotson
Stage Manager, Mary Pavia
Assistant Stage Manager, Stephanie Robey
Costume Designer, Carolyn Redding
Costume Crew, Eileen Duban, Diane Oppenheim, Carmel Opre, Patti Roeder, Roxanne Taylor
Dramaturg, Marion Reis
Lighting Designer, Cal Turner
Lighting Crew, Mickey Perkins, Mary Ellen Schutt
Makeup Designer, Carolyn Redding
Makeup Crew, Eileen Duban, Diane Oppenheim, Carmel Opre, Patti Roeder, Roxanne Taylor
Program Editor, Mary Maureen Gentile
Properties Designers, Mark Cunningham, Kathleen Kusper
Properties Crew, Mary VanNest
Set Designer, Jack Uretsky
Set Construction Chair, Joe Delaloye
Set Construction Crew, Ann Cahill, George Dempsey, Mike DeKovic, Mark
Favoino, Kirby Harris, Rick Ptacek, Bill Rotz, Fred Sauers
Set Painting Chair, Tricia Boren, Tim Feeney
Set Painting Crew, Connor Boren, Madison Boren,
Brandon Cejka, Holly Cejka, Rob Pold, Susan Remy
Sound Designer, Brian Abramowitz
Sound Crew, Tim Feeney, Stephanie Williams
Production Box Office Chair, Mary Ellen Schutt
Production Box Office Crew, Ruth Cekal, George Dempsey, Terry Fanning, Terry Kozlowski, Jill Neely, Lori B.
Proksa, Joan Roeder, Paulette Sarussi
Production Group Sales, Carol Clarke, Karen Holbert
Production Lobby Photo Display,
Marjorie Mason Heffernan, Jane Stacy
Production Posters, Kathleen Kusper
Production Publicity Chair, Arlene Page
Production Publicist, Bonnie Hilton
Production Website Photographer,
Mary Maureen Gentile
Production Website, Judy DiVta
About the Play
and the Author
by Marion Reis
The seeds of Ira Levin's taste for mystery and horror were sown in his childhood while reading the books of Edgar Allen Poe, Agatha Christie and Ellery Queen. Born in New York City in 1929, Levin fell in love with the theatre as a boy after his father took him to see his first play, Charley's Aunt. It sparked a desire to become a playwright himself. Walking down Broadway he'd look up, see the playwright's name on a marquee, and say "Oh boy! One of these days . . . "
His education as a writer began at Drake University and was completed at New York University in 1950. Drafted into the service, he wrote training films for the army while working on his first novel A Kiss Before Dying. The novel about a vicious killer won the 23-year old Levin awards and recognition. Levin's first stage success came in 1955 with his adaptation of Mac Hyman's No Time For Sergeants, a comedy with a contrary emotional appeal to his usual work.
Levin continued to write both novels and plays. His greatest success as a writer came when his horror novels Rosemary's Baby, The Stepford Wives, and The Boys from Brazil were adapted to the screen. His ability to balance elements of the fantastic with everyday background details within the context of relentlessly suspenseful plots won him critical praise. Twice he was the winner of the Mystery Writers of America Award, and in 1997 he won the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Horror Writers of America. On accepting this award, he explained his penchant for the mystery genre, "When I started, my ambitions were much higher. I was going to write serious plays and tragedies and the great American novel. But so far, all I've been doing is purely entertainment. When I got out of college, I stopped reading things that weren't fun to read-I don't care what it is, if I'm not having a good time I put it aside. In the long run, I think Agatha Christie's body of work will be respected more than the books many people who were considered literary lights at the time were writing."
Despite the success of his novels, Levin struggled to find an audience for his stage plays. Twenty-three years after No Time for Sergeants, he finally had his second stage hit in 1978 with Deathtrap.
Veronica's Room opened on October 25, 1973 at the Music Box Theatre on Broadway with a cast that included Eileen Heckart and Arthur Kennedy. Initially, it was not the hit that Levin had hoped for, but a survey of productions attests to its staying power. Not a month in 2002 has gone by without one or more productions of Veronica's Room opening in cities all over the country where it gets a more favorable reception than it did earlier in its history. The longevity of Deathtrap and Veronica's Room can be traced to America's love of thrillers. As Levin himself explains, "Thrillers are satisfying deep down because they give you a chance to deal safely with violence and murder. I think they touch deep emotional chords. They touch our fears, anxieties,
guilts. It's a way of exorcising them. It gives the emotions a workout."