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Interview with the cast and crew of "Wait Until Dark" with Director Josh Blackwood and Actress Chloe Earp

University Theatre Department

STEFFENS: Thank you for joining us for Great Arts at Eastern. We’ve been on hiatus for a while with summer, but we’re back. This is David Steffens, I am, Dean of the College of Fine Arts and pleased to be here with you for Great Arts at Eastern for the first time. We’re previewing today Wait Until Dark, which will be directed by our theater faculty member Josh Blackwood and is presented at the University Theater Center Main Stage this week, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening shows at 7:00 PM. And Sunday matinee at 2:00 PM. Tickets are available through the box office $10.00 for general admission. ENMU students of course have free admission with a valid ID, and we do discount tickets for senior citizens to $7.00 and active military members can also get that same $7 discounted ticket. I’m joined today by director Josh Blackwood, who is also a faculty member in our Department of Theatre, and also by Chloe Earp, who is a student and plays a major role in Wait Until Dark and Josh, can you tell us what’s this production about? What’s the subject matter, and what should an audience expect?

BLACKWOOD: Sure. So, for our particular play, the main character, Susie, is recently blind. And her- her husband has come across a very particular doll. A doll that grown-ups would love to have. And so, throughout the course of the play, Susie uses her- her impairment as a way to get a leg up, as it were, on these three buffoons who are trying to get the doll and what’s inside the doll. But Susie like, “Nope, you’re not going to get it for me. Not going to do it.” So. Throughout the course of the play, we see the change from where Susie is going from a willing participant to a person who is taking control of the situation and putting the three criminals on her turf and in her terms.

STEFFENS: So, would you describe it as a as a crime thriller, a suspenseful. Piece of work?

BLACKWOOD: It’s a suspenseful, suspenseful psychological thriller.

STEFFENS: Very good, and for an audience member who might bring children, what advice would you give them about guidance towards the, you know, PG13? Or what kind of rating would you give it?

BLACKWOOD: Probably. I mean, PG13 would be OK. It’s up to the parents to decide. There is physical violence, they’re smoking on stage, there’s the appearance of drugs on stage. Um, will let parents decide what’s best for their kids, obviously, but I would say probably PG13.

STEFFENS: And how long does it run? What’s the duration?

BLACKWOOD: It’s about 2 ½ hours with intermission.

STEFFENS: Yeah, very good and would we know this playwright’s work from other famous films or plays?

BLACKWOOD: So, this particular play was turned into a film starring Audrey Hepburn. That’s where that’s where its fame comes from.

STEFFENS: Sure. And dial M for murder is that by the same?

BLACKWOOD: Yeah, he also wrote he also wrote Dial M for Murder.

STEFFENS: So, if you’re a Hitchcock fan you may make the connection with this this work as well.


STEFFENS: And Chloe, could you talk to us a little bit about you’re your experience you play a character who’s recently lost sight and what’s that like as an actor, actress?

EARP: It’s quite interesting. You have to see the world in a whole different, different way by not seeing the world and just portraying a blind person accurately has been like, probably the biggest challenge ‘cause, I don’t wanna fake it, you know what I mean? Like, make it look unrealistic. So I think that’s probably been the biggest challenge.

STEFFENS: Yeah, very good and Josh, what experience did you hope that students would have through this work? Why did you select it?

BLACKWOOD: While I was chosen by our Play Selection Committee and I’ve, I’ve, I’ve done the play before previously at other places and fell in love with just the psychology of the play. So hopefully students will- will be able to connect that psychology to see that. Sometimes crime doesn’t have to be blood and gore. Sometimes horror is all in the mind.

STEFFENS: Yeah, very good. Thank you. So once again, the show runs Thursday evening, 7:00 PM, Friday evening, 7:00 PM, Saturday evening, 7:00 PM and Sunday, October 2nd, 2:00 O’clock matinee. Please reach out to our box office if you’d like tickets and we hope to see you there.

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  • Join ENMU College of Fine Arts Dr. David Steffens each week on "Great Arts at Eastern," as he interviews artists, actors, entertainers and musicians about their craft and events they produce at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales. "Great Arts at Eastern" airs once a week about 12:35 p.m. MT on Thursdays on KENW–FM.This program also is available online by clicking the title of an individual episode listed below.