A new and shocking version of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic tale of depravity, lust, love and horror. On the fog-bound streets of Victorian-era London, Henry Jekyll's experiments with exotic "powders and tinctures" have brought forth his other self—Edward Hyde, a sensualist and villain free to commit the sins Jekyll is too civilized to comprehend. When Hyde meets a woman who stirs his interest, Jekyll fears for her life and decides to end his experiments. But Hyde has other ideas, and so the two sides battle each other in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse to determine who shall be the master and who his slave.
Dr. Henry Jekyll - John Harnetiaux
Gabriel Utterson/Edward Hyde – Bill Becker
Elizabeth Jelkes – Paris Langle
Dr. Lanyon/Edward Hyde – Jordan Dotson
Sir Danvers Carew - Chris MarkerMorse
Inspector/Edward Hyde – Michael Lerma
Poole/Edward Hyde – Sarah Elizabeth Woolsey
Swing – Thomas Webb Sackett
Something wicked this way comes to Riverside Community Players this Halloween season as they prepare to mount Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This new adaptation of Robert Louis Stephenson’s classic tale was written by Jeffrey Hatcher just a few years ago and is incredibly theatrical and thrilling as it tackles the psychological elements of this cautionary tale. Dr. Jekyll has begun to display alarmingly erratic behavior while at the same time; a brutal figure haunts the city's narrow back alleys. Fear practically hangs in the thick London air as audiences watch Mr. Utterson, Jekyll’s solicitor, try to unravel the mystery that is haunting him.
The director, Michael Shane Eastman, is no stranger to classic horror, having directed RCP’s production of Dracula which thrilled audiences back in 2017. “I’m incredibly excited to be back in this Halloween slot,” exclaimed director Michael Shane Eastman. “Our intimate theatre is the perfect space for these intense thrill rides about man’s struggle against the darkness.” Eastman explained that the stage and surrounding area will be transformed into the foggy back alleys of Victorian London where Jack the Ripper is the least of your worries.
“What I love about Hatcher’s script is it really explores the mental battle between Jekyll and Hyde; two imperfect sets of ideals fighting for control of one body and one life” said Eastman. Speaking of controlling one body, in this adaptation Jekyll and Hyde are not played by the same actors. Hyde himself is played by 5 different actors; each one revealing Hyde’s many faces. “It creates a sense paranoia that ties us into Jekyll. Hyde can come out at anytime and he can be hiding anywhere. It’s terrifying for Jekyll, and will be for our audiences as well.”
Playwright Hatcher himself has stated, "In my version the roles are somewhat reversed, as are some aspects of Jekyll and Hyde themselves. One of the arguments I've never quite believed — and I suspect Stevenson didn't believe it either — is that Henry Jekyll is wholly good while Edward Hyde is wholly evil. I'm trying to have some fun with the notion that Jekyll and Hyde play a cat-and-mouse game with each other, and with the question of just who we should be rooting for."