Joplin Little Theatre (JTL) presents Death Trap, a two-act comedic thriller holding the title for longest running Broadway installment of its genre. Death Trap, written by Ira Levin, is a play inside of a play with many twists, turns and even some blood.

The play follows Sydney Bruhl, played by Greg Greene, a rusty playwright who receives a manuscript from former student, Clifford Anderson, played by Sam Hydar, that’s a guaranteed success, a success Sydney would kill for.

Sam Hydar, JLT veteran, believes that bringing the critically acclaimed production of Death Trap to Joplin is a way to bring the community together.

“I think it’s great for the community to see our own version of something that is so renowned, and to know that even though we might not have all the bells and whistles the bigger theatres have, that allows everyone to come together and show what we can do as a team,” said Hydar.

Death Trap features a five-character cast and one set. Cast auditions were held on Dec. 9, 2019, and cast and crew have put in around the clock hours to create a memorable rendition of Ira Levin’s play, directed by Ashley Trotnic.

Greene, 38-year JLT veteran, has always loved the script and although it’s taken some time for JTL to adapt the play, he is elated he’s the right age to play the character of Sydney Bruhl.

“I saw it [Death Trap] back in the late 70s in New York City, and I just was scared to death and laughed and just thought ‘oh my gosh that’s a great play,’” said Greg Greene.

Greene’s wife, Lisa Greene, plays Sydney’s wife, Myra, an enthusiastic partner who furnishes her and Sydney’s rather ritzy lifestyle amid her husband’s unsuccessful writing career. The Greene’s are no strangers to taking the stage together.

“We’ve done this before. We’ve played husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend, nemesis and we’ve also directed each other, so it’s a natural fit,” said Greene.

Director Ashley Trotnic, Joplin High School Theatre instructor, admits this production has been a huge undertaking.

“I hope [viewers] will be able to see how much hard work was put into the play, by the actors and by the tech crew, but I hope they leave talking about whether or not they expected ‘this’ was going to happen, or whether they were surprised that ‘this’ happened.”

The play, Death Trap, will run from Jan. 29 to Feb. 1. At 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 2 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased at JLTPLAY.com or by phone at (417) 623- 3638. 

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