Halloween Night: The Turn of the Screw

Looking for a good ghost story for Sunday evening? Check out Performance Network's one-night-only concert reading of The Turn of the Screw. The play, written by Jeffrey Hatcher, is based on the classic tale of evil and suspense by Henry James. A preview of Sunday's reading is here.

Author Birthdays: Wilde, O'Neill, Grass

October 16th marks the birthday of authors Oscar Wilde, Eugene O'Neill, and Gunter Grass.

Oscar Wilde was an Irish novelist and playwright who was exiled to France after being convicted for being a gay man. You can read about this imprisonment in one of his poems, The Ballad of Reading Gaol.

Wilde's most famous works include the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray and one of his plays, The Importance of Being Earnest, both of which have been made into films.

Eugene O'Neill was a Nobel-winning American playwright. Some of his plays won Pulitzer Prizes, including Beyond the Horizon, Anna Christie, and Strange Interlude. He also had a Swedish stage acting award named in his honor.

O'Neill's plays are often tragic and pessimistic. This can perhaps be seen the best in his play Long Day's Journey Into Night, which is a sort of biography of his family. The play was made into films in 1962 and 1987.

Günter Grass is a Nobel-winning German novelist. He is probably most well-known in the States for his first novel, The Tin Drum, which is the first in the Danzig Trilogy. The book was also made into a German language film.

The most recent of Grass's works to be translated into English, aside from his autobiography, is called Crabwalk. It describes the sinking of a German refugee ship in 1945 by a Soviet submarine. The ship, MV Wilhelm Gustloff, really existed, though Grass's characters are fictional.

Performance Network: Sonia Flew

A preview of the play Sonia Flew by Melinda Lopez is coming up Thursday (Sept. 23) at Performance Network. The story, based on real events, was written by Melinda Lopez. It follows a young girl who in 1960 is among 14,000 children sent from Cuba in Operation Pedro Pan, through her adulthood in America. Ticket information for the show -- which runs through Oct. 17 -- is here.

Susurrus: A play without stage or actors

A promising fall field trip would be Susurrus, running Wed.-Sun. through Oct. 3 at Matthaei Botanical Gardens. This creation, named for the sound of wind rustling in trees, was written and directed by David Leddy. It is an adult-themed "genre-defying reinterpretation of A Midsummer Night's Dream that weaves snippets of opera and a lesson in bird dissection into a mournful, poignant love story." Participants walk a path, while using headphones to listen to the story. Groups of four people are admitted every 15 minutes. Tickets are $30 in advance at the Michigan League or from the University Musical Society.

Purple Rose Theatre: All new, all Michigan line-up

This week there’s an awesome chance for a sneak preview of the fall season of Purple Rose Theatre Company in Chelsea. On Tuesday Aug. 31 from 6-9 p.m. at the Downtown Library, the company will present a concert reading of ‘Best of Friends‘ -- a new world-premiere comedy by Jeff Daniels. Come watch cast members and director Guy Sanville. If you can’t make it, plan to attend 'Best of Friends' at PRT Oct. 14 - Dec. 18. And when you get a minute, check out the All New, All Michigan line-up, including three additional world premiere plays by Michigan playwrights to celebrate the 20th anniversary season of Purple Rose.

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