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‘Chilling’ DWU play ‘Woman in Black’ continues through Friday

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Some experiences are so terrifying that a person needs help to tell the story.

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That’s the premise of “Woman in Black,” the play that Dakota Wesleyan University will present today through Friday. Show times are at 7:30 p.m. each day at the Patten-Wing Theatre in Hughes Hall on DWU’s campus in Mitchell. Tickets are $5 for general admission and are available at the door. DWU students, faculty and staff get one free ticket.

Show director Chris Ferera described the play as a ghost show, saying the main character, Arthur Kipps, hires an actor to “tell this story that has been haunting him for so many years.” That story involves a haunting by a mysterious woman in black.

“Whenever this woman is seen, tragedy strikes,” Ferera said.

If you go:

“Woman in Black” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. today through Friday at the Patten-Wing Theatre in Hughes Hall on Dakota Wesleyan University’s campus in Mitchell. Tickets are $5 for general admission and are available at the door.

Ferera, a 2012 graduate of DWU and veteran of school and community productions, said this is his first time directing. The scary subject matter caught his attention for this play, he said, as well as the unique presentation. Ferera said audience members can expect an interactive experience, including significant alterations to the layout of the Patten-Wing Theatre, and he said parts of the show take place around the audience.

“You’re almost submersed in the show,” he said. “The show also uses lots of imagination.”

He said the show opted for a different running time than is typical. Tuesday’s final dress rehearsal was even open to the public as a preview performance.

At times working as a play within a play, Ferera said the show goes back and forth between Kipps’ current state and his and the actor’s portrayal of the past events that so traumatized him. What exactly those events are, Ferera wanted to keep a surprise.

“It’s going to be a good time, and a nice scare for people,” Ferera said. “It is a really chilling and heart-wrenching tale.”