by Lorie Lewis Ham
Just in time for Halloween a play based on Stephen King’s book Misery is opening this weekend at Fresno State. Recently, we chatted with the show’s director, Thomas-Whit Ellis, to learn more. The play was written by William Goldman and this is a Fresno premiere of the show.
KRL: Why did Fresno State choose this particular play?
Thomas: First, the selection of our plays is based on pitches from our directing faculty, deliberation, and logistic considerations. We have other parameters as well including the talent and demographics of our majors. From that, we factor in what can have the maximum impact to the department, students, and community. This show fell into something the department felt was a good choice to include in our season. Very few movies and novels are converted to the stage. This one is based on the work of one of our most celebrated writers and coverts very well as a stage play.
KRL: This feels like a good fit for Halloween season, did that have something to do with choosing to do it now?
Thomas: This was a welcome coincidence.
KRL: Are you a Stephen King fan?
Thomas: I was many years ago. This is one of my favorites.
KRL: For those who aren’t familiar with it, what is the play about?
Thomas: A very well know author travels to his favorite small town in the Rockies, where he hammers out his new works. His car goes off the road during a snowstorm. He is rescued by a woman who happens to be one of his biggest fans. She nurses him back to health in her secluded cabin. There she forces him to costume write a new work based on her tastes. She holds him captive until he complies. He is subjected to a nightmarish several weeks, unable to escape and unable to escape his impending death if his work does not meet her approval.
KRL: Were there any special challenges to directing this play?
Thomas: There are some special effects which are much harder to pull off in the particular theater used for this show.
KRL: When will it be playing?
Thomas: October 28th through November 5th.
KRL: Anything else you would like to add?
Thomas: We have a very talented cast with the addition of Stephen Cloud, a former student who is currently doing rather well with television and film acting.
This production is intended ONLY for mature audiences. No one under 12 admitted.
WHEN: October 28 – October 29 and November 1 – 5, 2022 @ 7:30pm
October 30, 2022 @ 2:00 p.m.
WHERE: Dennis and Cheryl Woods Theatre (Speech Arts building)
5201 N. Maple Ave.
Fresno, CA 93740
TICKETS: $17 – General Admission
$15 – Faculty, Staff, Seniors, Alumni, Military
$10 – All Students
Tickets are available for purchase via our website
or at the University Theatre Box Office, located in the Speech Arts Building, from 12
p.m. to 4 p.m.
Parking is free for shows on Friday through Sunday night. For shows on Tuesday through Thursday night, parking permits are required and can be purchased at dispensers in parking lots on campus.
Fresno State no longer requires masks to be worn indoors, but based on updated guidance from public health experts, the University highly recommends that all students, faculty, and staff, regardless of vaccination status, wear a surgical grade or KN95 mask indoors.
Check out more theatre reviews & other local entertainment articles in our Arts & Entertainment section. And don’t miss out on Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast where we feature mystery stories read by local actors!