“An Inspector Calls” Opens at Schenectady Civic Players

The third play of Schenectady Civic Players‘ 90th Anniversary Season, An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley, and directed by Patrick White, opens Friday, January 26, and runs through Sunday, February 4, at its 12 South Church Street Playhouse in Schenectady?s historic Stockade district.

An Inspector Calls, written by English dramatist J.B. Priestley, was first performed in 1945 in the Soviet Union.  In 1946 it played in the UK with Ralph Richardson as Inspector Goole.  One of Priestley’s best known works for the stage it is considered one of the classics of mid-20th century English theatre.  Awards include the 1993 Laurence Olivier Award, a 1994 Drama Desk Award, and a 1994 Tony Award for best revival of a play.   It was called a “psychologically adept mystery” by the London Evening Standard.

“An Inspector Calls” l-to-r: Mary N. Williams, Josie Smith, Kim Wafer, and Angilique Powell. Photo by Jenn Moak.

In the Civic Players production a diverse company of the most accomplished actors of color in the Capital Region present the work as if coming upon it at its publication in 1945. They celebrate one of their own coming home from war by performing the play, a British moral thriller set in the dining room of the Birling’s house in Brumley, an industrial city in the North Midlands. It is an evening in Spring in 1912.

“An Inspector Calls” l-to-r: Angilique Powell, Marquis Heath, Kim Wafer, and Emmett Ferris. Photo by Jenn Moak.

A young woman has committed suicide and the eminently respectable Birling family is subject to a routine inquiry in connection with the death. An inspector calls to interrogate the family, and during the course of the evening all members of the group are implicated in some way.  All of them knew her in one capacity or another.  The family, closely knit and friendly at the beginning of the evening, is shown up as selfish, self-centered or cowardly, its good humor turning to acid, before the evening is over.

“An Inspector Calls” In front, Angilique Powell with the full cast behind. Photo by Jenn Moak.

The Civic Players cast features Emmet Ferris (as Mr. Birling), Angelique Powell (as the Inspector), Kim Wafer (as Mrs. Birling), J.R Richards (Gerald Croft), Josie Smith (Shelia Birling), Marquis Heath (Eric Birling), Mary N. Williams (Edna), and Carol Durant, Carmen Lookshire, Jean-Remy Monnay, Luis Ortiz, and, Aileem Penn (as the Help).

An Inspector Calls runs Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (January 26, 27, 28) and Wednesday through Sunday (January 31 through February
4).  Friday and Saturday curtains are at 8 pm. Wednesday and Thursday curtains are at 7:30 pm., and Sundays are matinees only at 2:30 pm.

Tickets $20.  Order on-line at www.civicplayers.org  Or call 518=382=2081

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