A dark and haunting love story from the Smoky Mountains is Waimea Community Theatre’s fall season offering for its 50th anniversary season, part of a collection of “greatest hits” of past seasons being re-staged in 2013-14. Stephen Grant Green will direct the drama “Dark of the Moon.”
Written by Howard Richardson and William Berney, the play appeared originally for 10 months on Broadway in 1945, continuing thereafter in touring, community theater and school productions. Several TV versions have enhanced the popularity of the show with audiences in the U.S. and abroad.
The central characters are John the Witch Boy, played by Chris Simon, and Barbara Allen, played by Hayley Blondin. On the dark side are Felicity Johnson as Conjur Woman and Miguel Bray as Conjur Man. The Fair Witch and the Dark Witch are portrayed by Kat Reuss and Dedrie Miller. Down in the valley folk include Mr. Allen (David Merrin), Mrs. Allen (Dedrie Miller), Uncle Smelicue (Bray), Preacher Haggler (Dan Bal) and Marvin Hudgins (Mick Miller).
Other local folk include Barbara’s brother Floyd Allen, played by Tanner Legler, townfolk Mr. and Mrs. Summey and daughter, Edna, portrayed by Jake Miller, Susan Henneke and Reuss, respectively, Mr. and Mrs. Bergen, played by Victor Pangan and Mari-Jo Allen, with Naia North as Miss Metcalf, Felicity Johnson as Hattie Heffner, Ayushi Purell as Ella Bergen, Destiny Nelson as Mr. Atkins and Pat Estes as Hank.
“Dark of the Moon” is a powerful fantasy set in the Smoky Mountains. Based on a dark Appalachian folk tale, it recounts the story of beautiful Barbara Allen and a mountain witch boy who falls in love with her. John the Witch Boy gets his wish to become human so as to court Barbara, but the bargain turns out to be far costlier than he could have imagined.
The play has generated its share of controversy as Barbara’s family and fellow churchgoers, who are intent on saving her, and other witches, intent on bringing John back into the fold from his human foray, seem to share the common belief that their end justifies any means.
Performance dates for the show at the historic Parker School Theatre in Waimea will be Nov. 8 through 17. Curtain times are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets will be available two weeks before the opening at Waimea General Store and Without Boundaries gift shop in Waimea, and from Suite Possibilities in Kailua-Kona. Ticket prices range from $15 for adults to $10 for children, with discounts for seniors, students and military. Tickets will be available additionally from cast members and at the box office immediately before each performance.
More information on the play and the group’s season schedule are available at waimeacommunitytheatre.org, on its Facebook page or by calling 885-5818.