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February 22, 2018

Kempner HS Performance: “The Woman in Black”

I. H. Kempner High School’s Catwalk Theatrical Company will be hosting four showings of a stage adaptation of The Woman in Black, starting Nov. 10, in their auditorium at 14777 Voss Rd. Houston, TX.  The play is based on a novella by English author Susan Hill, of Scarborough, Yorkshire.  One of her 60 publications, Hill wrote The Woman in Black over several months in the early 1970s, while residing in a Suffolk seafront home.

Hill was reading many short ghost stories at the time and, inspired by the lack of recently written ghost stories of considerable length, decided to write her own. The novella is about an English gentleman by the name of Arthur Kipps, who recounts to the reader a haunting ghost story from his time as a solicitor.

The novella was first published in 1983, and the 1987 stage adaptation by the late actor and playwright Stephen Mallatratt began its run in 1988 in the West end of London. The play continues to be shown across the world in high schools, colleges, independent theaters, on broadway, and in the Fortune Theater in London. Despite the novella being over 40 years old now, it continues to experience popularity and was adapted for the movie screen by English author, producer, and screenwriter Jane Goldman for the 2012 film, The Woman in Black, starring Daniel Radcliffe.

Kempner’s production of The Woman in Black will be using Stephen Mallatratt’s 1987 adaptation. It will follow a lawyer as he enlists a distrustful actor to help him tell the story of a curse he insists has been cast on him and his family by the apparition of a woman in black. The play is being directed by Kempner’s  Head Theater Director Bobby Ramirez and put on by the Catwalk Theatrical Company,  the school’s official theater production club and company. The Catwalk Theatrical Company is open to any student of I. H. Kempner, whether they are taking any theater classes or not.

This production will be uniquely intimate in that audience members will be seated on the stage rather than around it as is traditionally done. Because of this, seating will be quite limited, and attendants are advised to purchase tickets in advance rather than at the door.

Tickets purchased in advance cost $5, and tickets bought at the door will be $5 for students and $10 for adults. Three showings will be held from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm on Thursday, November 10th, Friday, November 11th, and Saturday, November 12th, 2016. One matinee showing will be held on Saturday, November 12th, from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Presale will end at 11:59 pm on Wednesday, November 9th, 2016.

Tickets for Catwalk productions can be purchased at http://catwalktheatrical.com/tickets

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