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Oklahoma State University

Stage version of “In the Heat of the Night” comes to Stillwater

Thursday, October 30, 2014

L.A. Theatre Works will perform the gripping murder mystery “In the Heat of the Night” on Tuesday, Nov. 4, at 8 p.m. in the OSU Seretean Center Concert Hall. Based on a 1965 novel written by John Ball, the story became an Oscar-winning film and an Emmy Award-winning television show.

"In the Heat of the Night"

Set in a small Southern town, the body of a wealthy white man is discovered and police arrest a black stranger passing through town, only to learn the stranger is Virgil Tibbs, a respected homicide detective. Tibbs reluctantly finds himself working with the chief of police to solve the murder, while wrestling with the fear, hatred and prejudices prevalent in the deep South in the 1960s.

Playwright and screenwriter Matt Pelfrey sets his riveting stage adaptation in the environment of gradual change, rebellion, anger, frustration, and stubborn clinging to old ways of life.  Nearly fifty years later, America continues to confront prejudice, stereotyping, and fear that’s evident in the daily headlines.

The play, intended for a mature audience, will contain explicit language that is authentic to the period and underscores the deep-seeded prejudice that is at the heart of the presentation.

The role of Virgil Tibbs will be played by the young up and coming actor Ryan Vincent Anderson. The production also stars a great mix of actors with stage, film, and TV credits, including TV and film star Tom Virtue (“Even Stevens,” “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” “Charmed,” “Entourage,” “Two and a Half Men,” “Iron Man 3” and many more) and Travis Johns, a frequent guest star on TV (“Nip/Tuck,” “Days of Our Lives,” “Ray Donovan,” “The Mentalist” and more).

Other cast members include Michael Hammond who has appeared in Shakespeare Theatre DC and the Williamstown Theatre Festival, and L.A. Theatre Works stalwart, Darren Richardson, whose distinctive voice has been heard in an array of films from “Pirates of the Caribbean” to “X-Men.”

Under the leadership of Producing Director Susan Albert Loewenberg, L.A. Theatre Works has been the foremost radio theater company in the United States for more than two decades. The Philadelphia Inquirer refers to it as "...a national theatrical treasure." An L.A. Theatre Works performance is immediate, spontaneous, and features a first-rate cast, live sound effects, and a connection to the audience rarely felt in a traditional theater setting.

Tickets are $18-$22. OSU students and children 12 and under are $10. Tickets are available online athttp://alliedarts.okstate.edu or by phone at 405-744.2612. Group discounts are available. The ticket office will be open in the concert hall at 6:30 on the night of the performance.

The community is invited to a special Meet the Artists session from 2-3 p.m. in the OSU Student Union Theatre on Nov. 4. Attendees will be able to interact with the cast members and ask questions about the play. This outreach is free and open to the public.

The Seretean Center is on the corner of Knoblock Street and Morrill Avenue. For more information, visit alliedarts.okstate.edu

“In the Heat of the Night” is the third performance in the OSU Allied Arts series. For decades the OSU Allied Arts office has brought the world’s greatest performers to the Oklahoma State University campus. The Allied Arts office seeks to enrich the lives of students through the arts. Allied Arts hosts six performances during the year. For more information about Allied Arts, visit alliedarts.okstate.edu.

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