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The Big Knife

by: Clifford Odets
Directed by: R. Bruce Hyde
Scenic design: Philip Hoks*
Lighting design: Michelle Haugerud*
Costume design: Jeffrey Bleam

* Recipients, KCACTF certificates of merit

April 22 – 27
Performing Arts Center – Center Stage

Clifford Odets' dark drama of Hollywood in the 1940s concerns the dilemma of movie superstar Charlie Castle. Charlie longs to break his studio contract and return to the stage in order to fulfill his early promise as a "serious" actor. But he is thwarted by the megalomaniacal studio head, Stanley Shriner, who blackmails him into signing a new contract by threatening to reveal a criminal secret from Charlie's past. In the background, rumblings of McCarthyism (which later threatened Odets' own screenwriting career) are beginning to be heard in the movie industry. Staged in film noir style, Charlie's story is a fascinating look into the world of powerful gossip columnists, Machiavellian studio flunkies, and Hollywood starlets hungry for a break.

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Cast:

Russell - Ryan Kuczmarsky
Buddy Bliss - Bjorn Anderson
Charlie Castle - John Stenback
Patty Benedict - Elizabeth Morgan
Marion Castle - Emily Deem
Nat Danzinger - Austen Alexander
Smiley Coy - Robert Helland
Connie Bliss - Jennifer Iacarella
Hank Teagle - Brandon Raper
Dixie Evans - Mariane Nahed

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