Rachel Watson is an unhappy woman who longs for a different life. Her only escape is watching a seemingly perfect couple, happy and in love, through the window of a commuter train every day.
When the woman she’s been watching suddenly disappears, Rachel finds herself as a witness and even a suspect in a thrilling mystery.
That’s the plot behind the upcoming Readers’ Theater production of “The Girl on the Train” at The Merc Playhouse, opening Friday (Oct. 13) and continuing through Oct. 22.
Based on the best-selling book written by Paula Hawkins and a subsequent movie, The Merc’s production of “The Girl on the Train” promises suspense and surprises.
“This is definitely a show with some adult language and themes,” said director Jane Orme. “Audiences who have read the book or seen the film will enjoy this interpretation of the story,” she said.
“I love the dialog and short scenes as the perplexing and ghastly story unfolds,” Orme said. “Notable are the special effects and lighting, which allow the audience to image that the characters are somewhere besides sitting on stools reading from scripts. With the cast I have assembled, we’ll go well beyond reading a script and give the audience thrills and chills with this psychological drama.”
Directing a readers’ theater is fun, Orme said, because the entire process takes just two weeks of rehearsal. “However, it’s still a full production script and has a large number of scenes and sound and light cues. Actors must quickly break down the script, find the peaks and valleys, and thoroughly understand who they are portraying.”
All of the actors in “The Girl on the Train” are familiar to The Merc stage, except for first-time actor Rachel Levi, Orme said. The cast includes Megan Schmidt, Sharla Lynn, Phil Quevillon, Ted Laffterty, Wes Wilcox, Mike Carmichael and Orlo Parkinson.
The production crew includes Orlo Parkinson, stage manager; Mike Doran, technical director; Dean Hussey, audio engineer; Kenny Hussey, lighting engineer; and Asher Fisher, sound operator.
Orme has directed many plays at The Merc, including four Readers’ Theaters, and numerous children’s productions.
Performances are 7 p.m. Oct. 13, 14, 20 and 21, and 2 p.m. Oct. 22. Admission is by donation.
“Since it’s Give Methow month, I hope people who see the show will want to be part of our Friends of the Merc family,” Orme said.