‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ to play Friday, Saturday

Wednesday, October 14, 2015 - 11:07
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF ALASKA FINE ARTS ACADEMY - A minimalist stage approach was taken for the Ray Bradbury book “Something Wicked This Way Comes” to keep production expenses down and focus on the story.

Proceeds from this Saturday’s, Oct. 17, presentation of “Something Wicked This Way Comes” at the Alaska Fine Arts Academy in Eagle River are being dedicated to paying off the organization’s recent IRS debt, according to executive director Holly Lindsay.

Monies earned via a silent auction slated to occur in the Academy’s foyer are also earmarked for the debt.

The Academy was notified this fall that it owes $9,000 plus to the IRS based on late tax filings for 2012 and 2013. The Academy is being fined $20 per day until the debt is resolved, Lindsay said.

“We would very much like to get this taken care of so we can move on providing arts and music education to the community,” she said.

The production is being directed by Robert Croley, the AFAA board president.

Based on the 1962 classic book by Ray Bradbury with the same title, Croley said his version addresses the human ability and willingness to overcome the things that go awry in our lives. He admits the irony in the AFAA presenting this play at a time when its board is attempting to overcome financial difficulties.

“Everyone’s life has a bit of misfortune in it,” he said. “It is how you get through that misfortune that defines you.”

The play’s lead characters — 13-year-old friends William Halloway and Jim Nightshade discover something is wrong with the traveling carnival that has set up in their Midwestern town in late October. The carnival leader — “Mr. Dark” — appears to be able to grant any wish. The catch is that he binds the grantees in servitude to himself. Will’s father, Charles Halloway, leads his son and his friend in battling against Mr. Dark.

To keep production expenses down, Croley requested a simple set that easily distinguished between scenes at the carnival and scenes elsewhere in the town.

In keeping with the dark fantasy of the original novel, Kenna Bates, an art instructor with the AFAA, used a digital black and white approach for the backdrop. Her design allows the colorful carousel representing the carnival to be the leading visual as the play’s characters work through way through the plot.

“She is an incredibly talented lady. She pulled the idea from a graphic novel and it completely works for this production,” Croley said. “This play is purposely being done with a minimalist approach if you will. The purpose in that is to keep the focus on the story being presented and not the decoration of the stage.”

Something Wicked This Way Comes is performed Friday, Oct. 16 and Sat., Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $14. Learn more at akfinearts.org.

Facebook comments