In foreground from left are Port Angeles Community Players Danielle Lorentzen, Sharah Truett, John Slevin and Lynne Murphy, with Cheri Trebon, Mark Lorentzen and George Wood in the back, in a scene from “The Haunting of Hill House,” which will stage in Port Angeles starting tonight. (Kate Carter/Port Angeles Community Players)

In foreground from left are Port Angeles Community Players Danielle Lorentzen, Sharah Truett, John Slevin and Lynne Murphy, with Cheri Trebon, Mark Lorentzen and George Wood in the back, in a scene from “The Haunting of Hill House,” which will stage in Port Angeles starting tonight. (Kate Carter/Port Angeles Community Players)

‘Hill House’ haunts Port Angeles stage starting tonight

PORT ANGELES — Sets don’t often play the main character, but in Port Angeles Community Players’ latest show “The Haunting of Hill House,” the brooding house takes center stage.

The play opens in the Port Angeles Community Playhouse, 2235 E. Lauridsen Blvd., tonight and continues Saturday and Feb. 28, March 3-4, 7 and 10-11, with 2 p.m. matinees this Sunday, March 5 and 12.

Not for kids

Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for students; the play is not considered suitable for younger children.

Tuesday performances Feb. 28 and March 7 are $15 for reserved seats or $8 for festival seating at the door.

A new online ticket system at www.pacommunityplayers.com allows visitors to choose a seat and print tickets at home with a small handling fee.

Attendees also can show purchased tickets from a cellphone, said playhouse board President Janet Lucas.

Stage Right Vintage, 106 N. Laurel St., also offers advanced purchase tickets. Hearing devices will be available at each show.

Kathleen Balducci directs the play by F. Andrew Leslie and based on the novel by Shirley Jackson, which is a “solid ghost story with a dark twist,” Balducci said.

“Haunting” follows visitors who come to Hill House to probe its secrets and draw out its alleged mysterious powers.

Brought back to life

Community Players first produced the play in 1998 but chose to revive it because “sometimes it’s fun to be safely scared,” Balducci said.

She directed the 1998 production and said it’s her favorite ghost story.

Today’s special effects, lighting and sound are more sophisticated and add more to the story.

The book has been adapted to film twice, in 1963 and again in 1999, both times under the title “The Haunting.”

The 1963 version is a relatively faithful adaptation and received critical praise. The 1999 version, considerably different from the novel and widely panned by critics, is an overt fantasy horror in which all the main characters are terrorized and two are killed by explicitly supernatural deaths. It was also parodied in “Scary Movie 2” (2001).

Eerie ambiance

Adding to the Port Angeles production’s ambiance, thanks to a recent donation, is new lighting in the playhouse.

“We’ve been very limited in what we could do with equipment that was installed when the building was built — in 1971,” said Mark Lorentzen, light and sound technician.

“I think our audiences will be pleasantly surprised and delighted.”

“Haunting on Hill House” features Sharah Truett as Eleanor Vance, Cherie Trebon as Mrs. Dudley, Danielle Lorentzen as Theadora, George Wood as Dr. Montague, Mark Lorentzen as Luke Sanderson, Lynne Murphy as Mrs. Montague and John Slevin as Arthur Parker.

For more information, call 360-452-6651.

Danielle Lorentzen, left, and Sharah Truett in a scene from “The Haunting of Hill House.” (Kate Carter/Port Angeles Community Players)

Danielle Lorentzen, left, and Sharah Truett in a scene from “The Haunting of Hill House.” (Kate Carter/Port Angeles Community Players)

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