Hudson Reed Ensemble stages ‘The Turn of the Screw’ |

Hudson Reed Ensemble stages ‘The Turn of the Screw’

Hudson Reed Ensemble's "The Turn of the Screw" runs at the Black Box Theatre Oct. 23 through Oct. 31.
Courtesy photo |

If You Go …

What: ‘The Turn of the Screw,’ presented by Hudson Reed Ensemble

Where: Black Box Theatre

When: Friday and Saturday, Oct. 23 & 24, 30 & 31, 7 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 25, 6 p.m.

How much: $25; $15/students


More info: Not recommended for children under 12.

The Hudson Reed Ensemble is bringing some spirits to the stage this Halloween season with a production of Henry James’ timeless ghost story “The Turn of the Screw.”

Over the past two Decembers, the company has produced thoughtful Christmas-themed shows — readings of classic Christmas stories by O. Henry, Dylan Thomas and others in 2013, and a performance of an “It’s a Wonderful Life” radio play last year. Director Kent Reed is aiming to hit a similar seasonal sweet spot with “The Turn of the Screw.”

“For a number of years I’ve wanted to do something for Halloween,” Reed said. “All of the stars aligned so that we could do it this year with a great play.”

Reed considered several different stage adaptations of James’ 1898 novella before settling on this one by Douglas James, which has four primary characters. Chief among them are the naive governess, played by Sarah Stevens, and the creepy children she attends to, portrayed by Jeremy Martin and Paige Northrup in their professional debuts.

“My biggest concern was finding children who could devote the time and talent to it,” Reed said. “These kids have good chops.”

Rounding out the cast are local actors Andy Henderson and Morgan Walsh.

In the play, the governess agrees to take charge of the children from their wealthy father, with an agreement that she never contact him. Soon after she meets the kids, it’s evident that something spooky is going on.

This Gothic chiller’s spooky setting is a character of its own in the play. Reed enlisted Theatre Aspen’s Colin Riebel as technical director to help set the eerie mood on the English moors using a mix of lights, curtains and scrims.

“It’s a very intense show on a lot of levels,” Reed said. “The technical aspects of it are the most complicated things we’ve put up on stage.”

The Hudson Reed Ensemble’s “The Turn of the Screw” opens Friday and runs through Halloween night at the Black Box Theatre.

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