FARMINGTON — The University of Maine at Farmington’s first fall production is Frederick Knott’s psychological thriller “Wait Until Dark.”

It will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 20-22, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23, in the UMF Alumni Theater.

It’s directed by Jayne Decker, UMF director of theatre.

The play tells the story of Susy Hendrix, a blind woman who is targeted by drug dealers when her husband transports a doll laden with heroin. The trio of con men will do anything, including murder, to recover the doll. They quickly hatch a plot to deceive Susy and take advantage of her disability, forgetting how the dark of the night can be a great equalizer.

“Performance should challenge students in their craft and our students are very capable, disciplined performers,” Decker said. “The play’s complex fight choreography and sensory demands raise the bar in what we expect of our students and in what they expect of themselves.”

First performed on Broadway in 1966, the play was quickly followed by the film version in 1967 starring Audrey Hepburn. The play and the film garnered multiple Tony, Golden Globe and Academy award nominations. The film’s climax is ranked 10th on Bravo’s “100 Scariest Movie Moments.”

To complement the play, UMF Alumni Theater will reveal its new modular stage floor, which was created by Stan Spilecki, UMF technical director for Alumni Theater and Emery Community Arts Center, and a crew of dedicated work-study students. The new configuration brings the audience very close to the stage and intimately close to the action.

An award-winning playwright, Decker has directed numerous productions at UMF Alumni Theater. Her production “Coyote on a Fence” was awarded a Moss Hart Memorial Award by the New England Theatre Conference. Her other directorial work includes Martin McDonagh’s “The Cripple of Inishmaan,” George Brant’s “Elephant’s Graveyard,” the musicals “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Oliver!” and productions of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

She has also presented workshop productions of her original plays “Good Medicine” and “Stars Falling,” winner of the 2002 Maine Playwriting Award; “Jelly Moonshine” and “Songbird,” a touring play about the Iraq War. “Cracked Shells,” an original play by Decker about domestic violence, was commissioned by Franklin County Network’s Peace in Our Families and was featured at the 2009 Maine Women’s Studies Conference.

This Theatre UMF production is sponsored by the UMF Department of Sound, Performance and Visual Inquiry. The play’s subject matter is of an adult nature.

Cost is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and $5 for students with ID. Tickets are available at the door or by calling 207-778-7465.

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