News Column

'Newsroom's' Alison Pill to star in 'Wait Until Dark' at the Geffen

September 10, 2013


Sept. 10--Alison Pill is finding herself in the dark these days -- for play rehearsals, anyway.

Pill, who plays eager TV news staffer Maggie Jordan on HBO's "The Newsroom," is to star in a new adaptation of Frederick Knott's thriller "Wait Until Dark" opening at the Geffen Playhouse next month.

Pill will be filling the role made famous by Audrey Heburn as a blind woman being manipulated by con men in Greenwich Village. The final scene immerses the audience in the perspective of Pill's character -- it's staged entirely in the dark.

Matt Shakman, founder and artistic director of L.A.'s Black Dahlia Theatre, is directing the production, which will be set in the mid-1940s -- as opposed to the 1960s, the time period the original was set against.

"I love a good thriller and remember seeing 'Wait Until Dark' at my hometown community theatre when I was 5 or 6," Shakman said in a statement. "It scared me to death but I loved its pressure-cooker environment, the slow build of the con game, and Susan's great reversal from ultimate victim to ultimate survivor."

Brighid Fleming, Rod McLachlan, Matt McTighe, Adam Stein and Mather Zickel also are appearing in Jeffrey Hatcher's adaptation.

Pill, whose film appearances include "Midnight in Paris" and "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," has worked on the stage in New York and was nominated for a Tony Award for 2006's "The Lieutenant of Inishmore." Her other Broadway credits include "The House of Blue Leaves," "The Miracle Worker" and Mauritus."

The original version of the play, directed by Arthur Penn, opened on Broadway in February 1966 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. The film version opened a year later, directed by Terence Young and starring Hepburn. She was nominated for an Academy Award for the role.

Opening night is planned for Oct. 16 in the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen. Previews begin Oct. 8.


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