Fine Arts Center to welcome Halloween season with ‘Misery’ | Arts & Entertainment

The Fine Arts Center will be hosting psychological thriller “Misery” for the month of October.

Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, the play follows writer Paul Sheldon, who wakes up captive in the home of his “number one fan” Annie Wilkes.

After Wilkes finishes reading Sheldon’s latest book and discovers her favorite character, Misery, is killed, an enraged Wilkes forces Sheldon to write a new Misery novel — and Sheldon quickly realizes Wilkes has no intention of letting him go.

Having wanted to put on “Misery” for years now, FAC producing artistic director Chris Sheley jumped at the chance when the rights became available.

“It’s a perfect piece to do leading up to Halloween,” Sheley said. “We’ve had good success in the past with psychological thrillers around the holiday Halloween, and so it felt like a good fit to lead into that. Plus, I love the book.”

Directed by SaMi Chester, the play hopes to be a fresh telling of the story for the stage, especially with so many different renditions of “Misery.”

“His feeling was the book was brilliant, the screenplay’s brilliant, the movie was brilliant, but I want to tell my own version of it, and that was that was super exciting to me,” Sheley said.

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“A modern telling of it was really appealing to both of us, and why it felt like he was a good fit to helm the show for us.”

The cast will feature three actors who are making their FAC stage debuts. New York-based Clark Carmichael will play Sheldon, Casey Killoran will play Wilkes and rounding out the cast in the role of Sherriff Buster is Michael Jankowitz.

For audiences, be prepared for a scare, Sheley said. “They should expect to be terrified and very, very tentative to turn off their bedroom lights that night to go to bed,” Sheley said. “The real beauty of it is it’s live theater, so you can’t hit pause. You come into the theater, you sit down, the lights dim, and you just have to hold on and white knuckle it through the roller coaster.”

And that’s just what Sheley is looking forward to.

“You are there in the room with these performers living out the psychological piece. It’s going to be thrilling,” he said.

“That’s what I’m looking forward to, is to hear the gasps from the audience as well as the laughter because it’s an up and down piece, for sure.”

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