Montana Actors’ Theatre is starting its 2012-13 season with a chilling play opening on Halloween.
MAT opens Martin McDonagh’s 2003 play “The Pillowman” Wednesday, with the doors and the backstage lounge opening at 7:30 p. m. at the Little Theatre on the west end of Cowan Hall at Montana State University-Northern.
MAT Executive Artistic Director Jay Pyette, who is assistant director and an actor in the play, said that “The Pillowman” is not a Halloween play, but has a “kind of a spooky theme to it. ”
The play, set in a futuristic totalitarian state, tells the story of a playwright accused of a series of murders — tied to themes of plays he has written. MAT veteran Andi Daniel is directing the four-man cast.
Pyette said the show should be especially enjoyable to people who like programs such as “CSI. ”
“Granted there is a gruesome quality to it, but they are never really sure what reality is. It’s kind of a mystery and a thriller …, ” he said. “It absolutely makes you question what is real and what is not real. ”
He complimented McDonagh as one of the best playwrights in the field today, saying his use of language is masterful.
“It really is a compelling script, ” Pyette said.
The format also is a little different, with an arena-theater, or theater-in-the-ound, setting. Pyette said the stage at the Little Theatre has been modified with seating placed right around the action of the play.
“It’s going to be a whole different experience …, ” he said. “That just creates a whole different feeling, of course, to the whole experience. ”
The play runs Wednesday through Saturday this week, with performances Friday and Saturday on Nov. 9-10 and 16-17.
Tickets are available online at http://mtactors.com, with season tickets also available at the website and at Angie’s Wildflowers and Creative Leisure.
Tickets for “The Pillowman” are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. The tickets will be $5-off for the Halloween performance Wed. Season tickets, gaining admission to all six productions this season, are $75.
Northern students gain free admission to MAT productions with a valid student ID.
The season continues with MAT’s production of “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Show” Dec. 7-8, 13-15 and 20-22 at 8 p. m. with additional matinees at 2 p. m. Saturday, Dec. 16, and Saturday, Dec. 23.
The next production set for the season is “Annie, ” followed by “Dog sees God, ” “A Steady Rain” and “The Great American Trailer Park Musical. ”