Coastal Rep back lot
Coastal Repertory Theatre is turning its unassuming back lot area into a stage for an unusual one-act production. Photo courtesy Gail Erwin

Coastal Repertory Theatre will host its first live show in more than six months with an outdoor performance of “Sorry, Wrong Number” in the lot behind the Main Street Half Moon Bay theater.

Because of efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the audience will be capped at 45 people. Viewers must bring their own chairs, be spaced appropriately and are required to wear masks at all times.

Though the show is unlike the larger productions Coastal Rep is known for, it promises to be a welcome experience for patrons and volunteers who have been without live theater since the pandemic began over six months ago.

“Everyone is pretty excited about this,” Director Paul Smith said. “They want to get back to work and do this sort of thing.”

The mystery thriller is adapted from Lucielle Fletcher’s script that aired on the “Suspense” radio program in 1943. The play was eventually adapted into a film in 1948 starring Burt Lancaster and Barbara Stanwyck.

The one-act play, set in the 1940s, centers around an invalid who overhears on a crossed phone line that she is the subject of a murder plot. Gradually, the woman’s hysteria builds as more plot twists are revealed.

Smith noted that this play is well suited to the circumstances. Many people are living through the lockdown with a sense of helplessness and dread.

It will run between 30 and 40 minutes, and because the script is more like the radio show than the movie, there is little to no interaction between the five cast members. The lead role of Mrs. Stevenson will be played by Deborah Joves. Ginger Cutter, Gail Erwin, Jaap Tuinman and Rob Hedges are the other cast members on stage and will play multiple roles.

“We’re doing it as a radio show so people can stay in one spot and we can social distance our radio characters,” Smith said.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for children and seniors. Showtime begins at 7 p.m. on Fridays Oct. 2, 9, 16, as well as Saturdays Oct. 3, 10 and 17. Sunday matinees start at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Oct. 4, 11 and 18.

For more information and a list of safety protocols, visit coastalrep.org.

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