Psychological thriller 'Laura' opens Jan. 31 at Possum Hall

January 21, 2014

Possum Point Players will bring the thriller "Laura" to the Possum Hall stage beginning Friday, Jan. 31. "Laura" novelist, playwright and screenwriter Vera Caspary wrote thrillers - but not like any other author of her time, male or female. Her specialty was a specific type that she pioneered, the psycho thriller.

Typically, thrillers focus on plot development as opposed to character development. They focus on an action arc as opposed to a psychological arc. But a successful psychological thriller does both, more or less equally. The suspense comes from the human interaction between characters who prey on each other's thoughts, trying to confuse, destroy, or deceive.

"Laura" is a superb example of a perfect melding of all those elements. This haunting story, whose working title was “Ring Twice for Laura,” is about a dead woman. Laura Hunt started as a daring and ambitious secretary at an advertising agency and worked her way up to become a top executive (Caspary had a similar background). Laura 's inability to balance her professional and private lives results in her murder.

If a mystery is a whodunit, this thriller is a how-dunit. And "Laura" satisfies both definitions. Who killed her is certainly a mystery that needs to be solved. A jealous suitor, perhaps? As the facts unfold, the audience is not only startled, it is gripped in nonstop suspense.

John Marino of Lewes directs the stage version of "Laura" with an ensemble cast which includes Matt King of Lewes as Mark McPherson, Stephanie Allman of Lewes as Bessie Clary, Danny Keenan of Georgetown as Danny, Jim Killion of Lewes as Waldo Lydecker, Don Megee of Georgetown as Shelby Carpenter, Chris Polo of Dover as Mrs. Dorgan, Chuck Rafferty of Laurel as Olsen and Kim Klabe of Rehoboth Beach as a young woman.

Shows are 7:30 p.m., Fridays Jan. 31 and Feb. 7; 7 p.m., Saturdays, Feb. 1 and 8; and 2 p.m., Sundays, Feb. 2 and 9, at Possum Hall, 441 Old Laurel Road, Georgetown. Tickets are $18 for adults, $17 for students and seniors. Call 302-856-4560 or visit

Possum Point Players is supported, in part, by grants from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

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