05 rope pic from websiteThe Gilbert Theater’s newest production “Rope” is set to open Jan. 29 and has already sold-out opening day.

The thrilling drama centered around a murder, once used as the basis of the Alfred Hitchcock film “Rope,” will play every weekend until
Feb. 14.”

Tickets are $16 per person, and $14 with senior (55+) and military discount are available for purchase on the theater’s website, or by calling 910-678-7186.

“’Rope’ is basically the opposite of ‘who done it?’ because you already know who’s done the murder and now it’s all about are they going to get away with it,” Matt Gore, director of the play, said. “It's darkly humorous where these two guys kill this 19-year-old young man, stuff him in a chest and decide to have a dinner party around his corpse.”

It’s mostly just a study in tension, and the building of tension and suspense, said Lawrence Carlisle, artistic director at the Gilbert Theater.

Beyond picking the play for the season, Carlisle will be acting in the play in the role of an acquaintance of the two murderers who invite him to the dinner party to flaunt the crime.

My character slowly starts to have some suspicions, he said.

Carlisle said he had not acted in a production for a while and thought it would be exciting to audition and act again.

“I just like the experience of it and having fun with the other performers and learning things from the director to use when I direct things,”
he said.

Carlisle picked “Rope” written by Patrick Hamilton, to include in this year’s season because he liked the story, a thriller, and he didn’t think those are seen often enough in theaters.

“It’s been a little bit of a challenge, you know, I still have to deal with the day-to-day and making sure that things are running smoothly on an administrative level while also learning a whole bunch of lines, worrying about costumes, stuff I usually don't have to worry about,” he said.

“Rope” is loosely based on the “Leopold and Loeb” murder in the 1920s. Guests can look forward to a night of suspense and thrill.

“The practices have been super smooth, I like working here and they have some very dedicated people working here behind the scenes, in the offices,” Gore said.

Things are going fairly well, all things considered, Carlisle said.

The production will be about two hours long with a ten-minute intermission.

Theater staff will conduct temperature checks at the door and offer socially distant seating with only up to 25 people per show. Masks will be required, and the staff will be sanitizing everything between each show.

“I hope people want to come see it, I know things are bad right now in the world, but what I have been trying to do since the start of this pandemic is hopefully have a place where people can come and forget about that even if they do have to wear their masks and socially distance, and not speak to the actors afterwards but some sacrifices have to be made,” Carlisle said.

For more information about the theater, production and tickets, visit https://www.gilberttheater.com

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