Simple Machine Presents “The Turn of the Screw”


Classic ghost story staged in two historic Boston homes

(BOSTON)-From November 8 through November 23, 2013, Simple Machine proudly presents Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw, adapted for the stage by Jeffrey Hatcher and directed by M. Bevin O’Gara.

James’ classic story of a young governess charged with caring for two orphaned children at a lonely English country estate is one of the most famous Victorian ghost stories ever written. Hatcher’s adaptation ratchets up the psychological suspense and intimacy of the story with two actors playing all the roles.

The Turn of the Screw will be staged in two historic houses in Boston. The Gibson House Museum in Boston’s famous Back Bay is a beautifully preserved 19th century home that has served as a museum for over 40 years. The Taylor House Bed & Breakfast was built as a residence in the 1850s at the height of Jamaica Plain’s golden age and has been lovingly restored in recent years to its former glory. Although both houses are from the same era, the staging in each will be unique to that location; these remarkable settings will give audiences an authentic and exhilarating atmosphere in which to experience this classic Gothic thriller.

Last March, Simple Machine launched with the New England premiere of the meta-theatrical comedy rogerandtom by Julian Schwab (a play about a play within a play). The Turn of the Screw is Simple Machine’s second venture. The company’s mission is simple: Simple Machine makes theatre that is engaging, accessible, and affordable. Productions focus on the basic elements of, and the necessity of, storytelling. By bringing the audience into the intimate spaces at the Taylor House and the Gibson House, Simple Machine co-founder Stephen Libby hopes to “bring this story to life in a way that no medium other than live theatre ever could. We create work that proves that live theatre is as vital and immediate as ever.”

The story takes place at a secluded English country estate, where a young woman takes a job as a governess to a pair of recently orphaned children. But soon after her arrival, ghostly visions and strange occurrences reveal a sinister presence around her young charges. Is the estate haunted by restless spirits? Are the children somehow complicit? Or has her fear and imagination taken hold of her?

Simple Machine co-founder Anna Waldron plays the eager young governess, determined to protect the children in her care at all costs. Stephen Libby takes on the rest of the characters of the story, from the children’s distant uncle, to the estate’s housekeeper, to the troubled 10-year-old boy.

Director M. Bevin O’Gara says “The Turn of the Screw is the ultimate ghost story. I’ve never done a site-specific show quite like this, so it’s very exciting. It’s a challenge because these are two very different locations. And the potential to see a ghost in these houses…that would be cool…I hope.”

The design team for The Turn of the Screw includes costume design by Emily Woods Hogue and Lighting Design by Ian King. Elizabeth Ramirez will be the Stage Manager.

Performance dates are as follows:

November 8, 9, 10, 15, 21, & 22
Gibson House Museum
137 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02116

November 14, 16, 17, & 23
Taylor House Bed & Breakfast
50 Burroughs Street
Boston, MA 02130

All performances will start at 7:30 pm. The performance runs approximately 80 minutes with no intermission.
Due to the intimate nature of the venues, there will be no late seating.

Tickets are available here for $25.

The press is invited to attend the performance on November 9th at 7:30 pm at the Gibson House.

There will be a reception after the opening night performance on November 8th at the Gibson House.

Please direct all press inquiries to Stephen Libby at 857-574-0550.

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