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Classic 'Wait Until Dark' starts Oct. 13


“Wait Until Dark" uses darkness in two ways to build suspense, put audiences at unease.

By Adam Pulchinski, Free Press correspondent [published in The Free Press, Mankato, MN, 10/7/2011]

Thrillers often use dark­ness to build suspense and give audiences an uneasy, scary feeling.

In Minnesota State Mankato's production of “Wait Until Dark,” there will be the added nail-biter that the main character is blind.

“Wait Until Dark,” by play­wright Frederick Knott, is the story of Susy Hendrix, a recently blinded housewife who unwittingly possesses a doll filled with drugs. Harry Roat, a brutal criminal, coerces two small-time thugs into helping him con Susy into giving up the doll.

A battle of wits follows as Susy and the young girl upstairs launch a defense against the thieves. The drama plays on the themes of dark­ness and light as Susy navi­gates through her sightless world, and the crooks signal each other with light through Venetian blinds.

“It’s a classic thriller,” said director Heather Hamilton.

Most people are probably familiar with the film version of “ Wait Until Dark” from 1967, starring Audrey Hepburn as Susy and Alan Arkin as the criminal.

Playing the part of the strong, blind, 1960s female is senior Charisse Danker. Danker is a double major in the acting program and literature. She has previ­ously been seen in Minnesota State Mankato's pro­duction of “Dracula” as Lucy.

Danker has worked hard to meet that challenge since she was cast in the role. She has done some of the work closing her eyes, learning how to react and move, and studies herself by videotaping what she’s doing. After the cast went off­book for rehearsals, Danker even wore a blindfold on set to train herself to navigate by her other senses.

“It’s a view into a different lifestyle,” Danker said. “ You see the benefits a blind woman has versus people with sight.”

  • What: Minnesota State Mankato Theatre & Dance presents “ Wait Until Dark”
  • When: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13-15 and 19-22; and 2 p.m. Oct. 16, 22 and 23
  • Where: Andreas Theatre, Performing Arts Center
  • Tickets: $16 general admission; $14 discounted; and $11 for Minnesota State Mankato students. 

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