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Community Theater’s ‘Night Watch’ sends chills and thrills

Samantha Bunker, Entertainment Writer
November 14, 2012
Filed under Entertainment, Top Stories

Elaine wanders around her living room in her dark apartment. Something is bothering her, and she is unable to sleep. Her husband wakes and comes to ease her when Elaine releases a blood- curdling scream. She witnessed the lifeless body of a man across the street, or did she?

“Night Watch,” by Lucille Fletcher, is the first thriller the Green Bay Community Theater will perform, showing Nov. 14 to 18.

“This play is unusual for this theater,” said Denise Markowski, GBCT manager. “They usually do romantic comedies or farces, but this time we’re doing something a little different.”

“Night Watch” follows the investigation of whether or not Elaine witnessed a dead body across the street. Similar to “Clue,” the suspense will keep audiences guessing until the end.

“There are a lot of twists and turns in the script,” said Steve Riner, set designer. “It’s a great script, so it’s going to keep people guessing until the very end.”

New to GBCT is professional set designer Steve Riner. Riner had challenges preparing the set for this production because the play is different for GBCT. When walking into the theater, the audience is put into the atmosphere of darkness and suspense. The design helps to portray the meaning and intentions of the play.

Officer Vanelli is played by UWGB alumnus Jonathon Eckelberg. For Eckelberg’s first performance with GBCT, his character responds to Elaine’s call about a potential body and starts the catalyst of events to follow.

“There are a few funny moments, but I like doing these types of shows to keep the audience on their toes and wondering what will happen next,” Eckelberg said. “I get pumped up before every show no matter if it’s my first one or my last one.”

GBCT prides itself on its appeal to a variety of audiences, and families of all ages are encouraged to attend.

“To buy tickets to a show in some of the larger venues, you can spend more than $100,” Markowski said. “We try to keep everything low budget yet we put on a very professional performance.”

What sets GBCT apart from other area theaters is its historical location at the Robert Lee Brault Playhouse, an old church at 122 N. Chestnut Ave. The smaller size allows all audience members a perfect view of the stage. No one is ever more than 40 feet away from the actors on stage.

“This group has been in existence since 1936, and they’ve owned this building for 46 years so it is a solid, established organization,” Markowski said. “They keep the prices affordable so people of all income levels can enjoy it.”

Tickets can be purchased at the Green Bay Community Theater box office open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Thursday (920) 435-6300. Times vary with performance days.