Carolyn and Jeff Symons, played by Kim Rogers and Randy Humchitt, share a drink with new neighbours Joan and Thomas Devereaux, played by Kristin Forester and Dave Bigelow (from left), in the Nanaimo Theatre Group production of Murder in Green Meadows. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

Nanaimo Theatre Group begins 2018-19 season with ‘Murder in Green Meadows’

Production is a revival of a murder mystery last staged in 1996

The Nanaimo Theatre Group is beginning its 2018-19 season with a revival of a play it last staged in 1996.

Starting on Oct. 21 and running until Nov. 3, the company is bringing to the stage Murder in Green Meadows by American playwright Douglas Post. The murder mystery centres on the relationship between two suburban married couples which turns out to be darker than it seems on the surface.

Ron McAfee is directing the production. He was a lighting director and stage manager the last time NTG did Murder in Green Meadows. Actor Dave Bigelow, one of the lighting operators in 1996, is the other member of the original production involved in the revival.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve done a murder mystery … so after going through and reading a bunch and not being satisfied with them I thought this would be a good one to revive,” McAfee said.

The play features Bigelow and Kristin Forester as Thomas and Joan Devereaux, who move to the community of Green Meadows after Thomas learns of Joan’s affair with their neighbour’s son. The couple moves next door to Carolyn and Jeff Symons, played by Kim Rogers and Randy Humchitt, who have their own past problems as well.

“Unfortunately, history would appear to be about to repeat itself when Joan reveals to Jeff her feelings for him,” McAfee said. “The result is a series of life-altering events for all four characters.”

He said the play was an immediate hit in 1996 and that it still holds up more than 20 years later. McAfee said it’s a timeless story that the author has made some revisions to since it was first staged.

“The problems that the people in the play were having then are very much the problems that people have today,” McAfee said. “Difficulties at work, difficulties in marriages, all those things that happen in any time frame.”

While some murder mysteries can be “transparent,” McAfee said the play’s appeal lies in its unpredictability.

“I would challenge anyone in the audience to know exactly how it’s going to come out in the end,” he said.

WHAT’S ON … Nanaimo Theatre Group production of Murder in Green Meadows comes to the Bailey Studio, 2373 Rosstown Rd., on Oct. 21 and 28 at 2 p.m. and Oct. 18 to 20, 24 to 27 and Oct. 31 to Nov. 3 at 8 p.m.

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