Vermont Theatre Company presents thriller 'Gaslight'

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DUMMERSTON — Vermont Theatre Company will present "Gaslight," a thriller in three acts by Patrick Hamilton on May 3-5 and May 10-12 at the Evening Star Grange.

Hamilton's play introduced the word "gaslighting" into the national lexicon. It became a popular psychoanalytic term to describe a form of psychological abuse in which false information is presented to a victim with the intent of making them doubt their own memory and perception. In recent years the term has entered political commentary as many politicians are accused of demonstrating such abuse on a national scale.

In Victorian London, Bella Manningham fears she is losing her mind. Her husband, Jack, keeps discovering valuable objects are missing, their dog has been mysteriously injured, and every night when Jack leaves the house the gas lamps seem to slowly dim down until they barely cast any light at all. Jack accuses Bella of being behind it all, but she can't remember any of it. Perhaps she is sliding into insanity as her mother did? Bella seems trapped in her home and mind.

But then the charming-but-odd Inspector Rough appears. Rough has a different interpretation of these strange events. He sees evidence of a horrible crime having been committed and another crime in contemplation. Bella is the key to the mystery, if Rough can only convince her to trust her own mind.

VTC's production of "Gaslight" stars Kirby Landers as Bella, Richard Epstein as Jack, Jonathan Kinnersley as Rough, with Olivia McNeely as Nancy, Bridget Mcbride as Elizabeth, and Robert Wellington as the constable. James Gelter is the director with Brenda Seitz as stage manager and Justin Fetterman producing.

Performances are May 3, 4, 10, and 11 at 7:30 p.m. and May 5 and 12 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15 general admission and $13 for students and seniors. For reservations, call 802-258-1344 or email vtcreservations@gmail.com. For more information, visit Vermont Theatre Company on Facebook or visit vermonttheatrecompany.org.

"Gaslight" is part of Vermont Theatre Company's 35th anniversary season.

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