‘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
News

Easter Egg hunt horror as skydiver plummets to…

A FAMILY Easter egg hunt ended in horror when a skydiver plummeted to his death in a New York garden after his parachute failed to…

News

Boston Marathon 2014 on high alert, Red Sox…

One year on from the horrific Boston Marathon bombings a ring of steel has been thrown around today's race, and a city stands defiant against…

News

Boston Strong: One year on from Boston Marathon…

  For more than a century the Boston Marathon has been an even centred around sportsmanship, endurance and athleticism, but there's no denying the face…

Local

Hillary Clinton headed to Boston for women's leadership…

Former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to visit Massachusetts Wednesday amid continuing speculation about making another bid for the presidency in 2016.

Television

‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox walk off with…

Red Sox pick up first walk off win of 2014

MLB

Red Sox and Orioles meet Monday morning at…

Red Sox and Orioles meet Monday morning at 11 a.m.

NHL

NHL video highlights: Bruins smack down Red Wings…

NHL video highlights: Bruins smack down Red Wings in Game 2

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.