Actors reunite for Rockwood-directed murder mysteryWritten by Alissa Romstadt | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Veteran theater director Jennifer Rockwood handpicked a fantastic cast that she’s absolutely in love with for the farcical murder mystery “Murder Among Friends,” opening Nov. 6 at the Village Players Theater.
Rockwood, who has directed plays for UT and the Toledo Repertoire Theatre, among others, is returning to directing after taking a four-year break from theater.
She is director of the first-year experience at UT, working to help freshman students transition from high school to college. Before that, she taught theater for 23 years.
She is still interested in video and TV locally and does freelance work.
The cast includes Rockwood alums, John Meadows, Jim Norman, Jennifer Lake, Kate Abu-Absi, Bill Lancz and Village Players Theater alumnus Matt Black.
“I made some phone calls. Some of my fans came back,” she said. “Working with students, you really have to teach them … A really good actor takes direction and listens and is malleable. They can turn into different things.”
One good thing about Rockwood’s casting is that her actors have excellent timing and improvisational and comedic skills as well, Meadows said. He is returning to stage acting after doing film work for the past 14 years.
Norman, who has been in show business for 30 years, is working with many old friends in new roles.
“They’re such good actors; the characters are all totally different,” he said. “Each production brings its own nuances.”
The Village Players formed in Ottawa Hills and are in their 53rd season, said president of the board Laura Hansen.
“This place has become family,” she said.
Black has not worked with Rockwood before, but has been involved with the Village Players. He came to the audition and fit the part perfectly, she said.
“I’m having a ball after being on hiatus for a while,” Rockwood said. “When directors love the actors and when actors have respect for the director, you can’t help but have a great show.”
Tickets for the show will go fast, she said. Many of the actors haven’t been on stage in a while and their fans want to see them.
The show runs Thursdays – Saturdays Nov. 6-21 at 8 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinee Nov. 15 at the Village Players Theatre, 2740 Upton Ave. Tickets are $14 and $12 for students.
Call the reserve ticket line at (419) 472-6817.