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May 21, 2014    Bookmark and Share

Reservations Open for The Bat: Sign Language Interpretation Opening Night

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Lizzie Allen (Deb Howard, left) and Cornelia Van Gorder (Jen Cart, right) consult Ouija about the mysterious goings-on in their summer house

Online and telephone reservations are now open for Gaslight Theater's production of The Bat by Mary Roberts Rinehart and Avery Hopwood. The play opens Friday, June 13. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors (60 and up). Reservations are recommended. Make reservations online or call 626-3698.

Opening night, June 13, will offer sign language interpretation, a first for Gaslight.

Production Dates:

  • Friday and Saturday, June 13th and 14th, 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, June 15th, 2:00 matinee
  • Friday and Saturday, June 20th and 21st, 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, June 22nd, 2:00 matinee

Lynette Miller directs, Linda Duarte assists and stage manages, and Jenny Benjamin-Rider produces.

The Story:

A spinster of "a certain age" rents a quiet country house for the summer with her niece and her maid. But "quiet" goes out the window when the Ouija Board predicts an encounter with a Bat.

The handsome young gardener doesn't know his aspidistra from his elbow. The doctor seems to have something other than healing on his mind. The hysterical maid sees gleaming eyes in the dark. The butler is not all he seems.

All this before a visitor is shot dead on the staircase.

And behind it all lurks the mysterious, elusive, fiendishly clever master criminal The Bat. Is he any match for Miss Cornelia Van Gorder?

History:

Mary Roberts Rinehart's "The Bat" opened on Broadway in 1920.  It ran for well over a year and would be made into 3 movies ("The Bat" in 1926 and 1956 and The Bat Whispers in 1930).

Miss Rinehart was a best-selling mystery, romance and humor writer.  She was also a nurse, a war correspondent from the front lines of World War I, an avid outdoorswoman, the founder of a publishing company and a summer resident of Bar Harbor.

When Rinehart died in 1958, the New York Times wrote: "She helped the crime story to grow up, and earned a fortune on the way." The Times also reported that in 1947, her Bar Harbor estate was the scene of art imitating life when her cook tried to shoot her -- she was saved by her butler and chauffeur.   The estate was burned in the great Bar Harbor fire later that year.

Rinehart's stories are marked by strong central female characters, perhaps not unlike herself. And comic-book creator Bob Kane said that the villain of the 1930 film adaptation was an inspiration for his character Batman.

The Augusta Players (now Gaslight Theater) produced The Bat in 1940, directed by the founder of the group, Maybelle Tarr. 

Gaslight Theater's production of "The Bat" is sponsored by J.S. McCarthy Printers.