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Gerald Carpenter: SBCC Theatre’s ‘Machinal’ to Play Out 1920s Murder

The student production runs through Nov. 6 at the campus' 'Interim Theater'

While the Garvin and Jurkowitz Theatres undergo considerable renovations, SBCC’s Theatre Arts Department is camping out in what it calls the “Interim Theater” on the West Campus (just go as if you were going to the Garvin and look for the building that has lights on).

In this venue, Theatre Arts will open its fall semester with a student showcase production of Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal, directed by Katie Laris, with SBCC student actors Matthew Andreas, Megan Connors, Annie Diehl, Jesse Garcia, Viola Hammar, Austin Hunt, Heather Johnson, John Marino, Aaron-Michael Mendoza, Melissa Morgan Squire, Stuart Orenstein, Max Smith, Michael Sullivan and Trevor Thompson.

Machinal is based rather directly on the sensational murder trial of Ruth Snyder, who was charged with killing her husband, Albert, so she could marry her lover, Henry Judd Gray, who also was charged with the murder.

The murder, trial and sentencing were in 1927. Treadwell’s play opened on Broadway in 1928.

The case was also the inspiration for two novels by James M. Cain, Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice. So Snyder, called “Helen” in Treadwell’s play, is clearly an American archetype.

Machinal opens Wednesday, Oct. 20, and runs through Nov. 6. Shows are at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and at 2 p.m. on Sundays, with previews scheduled for Oct. 20-21.

Tickets are $15 for general admission, $12 for seniors and SBCC staff, and $8 students. Tickets are available at the Interim Theater box office, open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, at 805.965.5935.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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