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Intense thriller, veteran cast hits CT-A stage
by Zack Steen
Oct 07, 2017 | 1040 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Photo by Josh Steen / Veteran actors Clay Nails as Sidney Bruhl and Lynda Whitfield as Helga ten Dorp star in Corinth Theatre-Arts' "Deathtrap." The thriller opens this week at the Crossroads Playhouse.
Photo by Josh Steen / Veteran actors Clay Nails as Sidney Bruhl and Lynda Whitfield as Helga ten Dorp star in Corinth Theatre-Arts' "Deathtrap." The thriller opens this week at the Crossroads Playhouse.
An intense thriller featuring a veteran cast opens this week at the Crossroads Playhouse.

“Deathtrap” sponsored by Hill Family Eye Center is the latest offering in Corinth Theatre-Arts’ 48th season, "A Season of Adventure."

Showtimes include Friday, Oct. 13 and Saturday, Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 15 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for students.

A special “Dress & Donate for Deathtrap” showing is also scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday night.

“Deathtrap” tells the story of successful Broadway thriller writer Sidney Bruhl, played by veteran CT-A actor Clay Nails, who is struggling to overcome a dry spell which has resulted in a string of failures and a shortage of funds. The story was penned by Ira Levin, who may be best known for writing “Rosemary’s Baby.”

A possible break in Bruhl’s fortunes occurs when he receives a script from a student, a thriller which he recognizes immediately as a potential Broadway hit. Bruhl's plan, which he devises with his wife's help, is to offer collaboration to the student, an idea which the younger man quickly accepts.

That’s where suspense mounts steadily, according to Director Josh Steen.

“The plot begins to twist and turn with devilish cleverness, and with such an abundance of thrills, that audiences will be on the edge of their seats until the final minutes of the play,” said Steen, who won best director at last season's CT-A Magnolia Awards.

Nails said playing the lead character in “Deathtrap” is a dream come true.

“This is a bucket list role for me, and one I will treasure forever,” he said. “It’s a dialog driven play, but beautifully written with a lot of dark comedy. Audiences will really enjoy the story, but to tell you any more would be a crime.”

Nails praised his fellow cast-mates, director and producers of the show.

“It's a legitimate Broadway quality show,” he added. “It’s the most ambitious thing this theatre has done in more than 10 years.”

Nails is joined on the stage by four other veteran thespians, including Matthew Wood as Clifford Anderson, June Plaxco as Myra Bruhl, Logan Barnes as Porter Milgrim and Lynda Whitfield as Helga ten Dorp.

“I’m incredibly lucky to be the director of this amazingly talented cast. Since I began working on 'Deathtrap' in late March, I developed a vision for this show that only this veteran cast could fulfill," said Steen, also a CT-A board member. "This is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done onstage anywhere, and our hard work is really paying off. We approached this show differently than people may remember the film, with Michael Cain and Christopher Reeve, by focusing on the intensity of the text. This really is one of the most intense performances to ever grace CT-A’s stage.”

Steen said the play will feature the long-awaited return of Whitfield, who has been a longtime volunteer.

“Everyone should make plans now to see Lynda and the rest of our amazing cast when the show opens this week,” he added.

The group will open the playhouse doors for free for their last full dress rehearsal on Tuesday.

Steen said donations will be accepted.

“It’s a ‘pay what you can’ showing,” said the director. “A donation to CT-A from $5 to $500 gets you in to see one of the most intense shows to ever hit our stage.”

“Deathtrap” isn't appropriate for all ages due to some mild language, gun shots and lighting effects, added Steen.

(Tickets may be purchased at, by calling 662-287-2995 or at the playhouse one hour prior to curtain. Crossroads Playhouse is located at 303 Fulton Drive in Corinth.)

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