‘The Woman in Black’ creeps into Act II Playhouse

Jered McLenigan in "The Woman in Black." Photo: Mark Garvin
Jered McLenigan in “The Woman in Black.”
Credit: Mark Garvin

With more than 10 Barrymore awards, and a Theater Alliance Lifetime Achievement Award to boot, James J. Christy just might be Philadelphia’s most successful theater director of the last 30 years. And, at 72, he’s not scared to take on new challenges.

Christy is tackling the horror genre for the first time. Adapted from Susan Hill’s novel by Stephen Mallatratt, “The Woman in Black” has been a crowd pleaser on London’s West End since 1987. Christy’s version runs at Act II playhouse through Nov. 24.

What have you learned about the horror genre from this experience?
I’ve been a little stymied with the use of music. I use very little of it in theater – and never to underscore tension. But music is so important to the genre. I had to adjust.

Does it feel cheap to use music that way?
Instead of “cheap,” can we say “manipulative?” Yes, that’s how it feels to me. But I’m just learning about the form. It’s so interesting! Last night there was a moment when the audience gasped. But they collectively giggled directly after the gasp. Is that bad or good?

What are the elements of a good ghost story?
The truth is I still don’t know! I’m in the midst of figuring that out right now. But I think it comes down to the right balance of credibility and surprise. It needs to feel like it could really happen, but we need to be totally surprised at the same time.

Why do we love to be scared? Why is the horror genre so much fun?
It’s not much different than people wanting to see comedies or tragedies. It’s just a different emotional button they want to have tickled. I think genres provide a kind of safety for us: You know what the rules are. You know you’re going to get scared, but the rules of the genre will keep you safe.

“The Woman in Black”
Through Nov. 24
Act II Playhouse
56 E. Butler Ave., Ambler, PA
$23-$42, 215-654-0200
www.act2.org



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

NBA

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.