BY ENCORE MICHIGAN STAFF
WILLIAMSTON—Williamston Theatre starts 2018 with the world premiere of "Our Lady of Poison" by Joseph Zettelmaier. Performances begin Thursday, Jan. 25 and run through Sunday, Feb. 25.
It is Rome in 1659. Giulia Tofana and her daughter Girolama are beloved apothecaries and skilled poisoners. This mother-daughter team run an infamous underground operation to provide unfortunate wives with an escape from untenable marriages. When the young bride of a nobleman requests their help, an unexpected romance blossoms. But that very love threatens to destroy the life Giulia has built for her family. This play is based on historical events, and it contains Adult Content.
Joseph Zettelmaier is a Michigan playwright and four-time nominee for the Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association Award for best new play for his 2006 work "All Childish Things," "Language Lessons" in 2007, "It Came From Mars" in 2010 and "Dead Man's Shoes" in 2012. He returns to Williamston, which premiered his several of his productions like "Flyover USA," "It Came from Mars" and "And The Creek Don't Rise." His plays "The Stillness Between Breaths" and "It Came From Mars" were selected to appear in the National New Play Network's Festival of New Plays, as well as an Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award in 2009 and in 2011. Zettelmaier is an artistic associate and resident playwright at First Folio Theatre, an at-large ambassador to the National New Play Network and an adjunct lecturer at Eastern Michigan University and Schoolcraft College. There, he teaches dramatic composition, play production, stage management, stage combat and a fundamentals of acting course. He also serves as the executive director for Roustabout Theatre Troupe.
The cast of "Our Lady of Poison" includes two newcomers to the Williamston stage: Janet Hayle and Maeyson Menzel, along with Dani Cochrane who appeared in the world premiere of "Summer Retreat" in 2016. Shannon Ferrante makes her Williamston Theatre directing debut. The production team includes scenic design by Kirk Domer (1984, "Summer Retreat"), lighting design by Shannon Schweitzer ("Beau Jest," "Pulp"), costume design by Karen Kangas-Preston ("Taking Shakespeare," "A Painted Window"), sound design by Julia Garlotte ("Pulp," "The Decade Dance") and props design by Michelle Raymond ("Beau Jest," "The Taming"). The stage manager is Nan Luchini ("Murder for Two," "Summer Retreat").
Performances of "Our Lady of Poison" are held on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and beginning on Saturday, Feb. 3, on Saturdays at 3 p.m. Sunday performances are at 2 p.m. Tickets and pricing information is available and more information can be found online at williamstontheatre.org. The Williamston Theatre is located at 122 S. Putnam St., Williamston. 517-655-7469.
BY ENCORE MICHIGAN STAFF