Kirdahy, who co-conceived the piece with Devlin Elliott, and is among the producers of Afraid of the Dark, told Playbill.com that the postponement was in part due to the unavailability of a key cast member and that the creative team is continuing to fine-tune special effects for the production.
Theatrical illusionist Jim Steinmeyer, whose work has been seen in Mary Poppins and Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular, is collaborating on the project. Maberry Theatricals (Kirdahy and Elliott), James Nederlander, Jr. and Craig Haffner produce.
Producers are still aiming for a New York debut of Afraid of the Dark during the 2011-2012 season. The hope is that the work will still play the Little Shubert pending availability. "The show is still moving forward but because of the delay we might have to find another venue, which will determine new dates for the production," Kirdahy said.
Afraid of the Dark announced its Off-Broadway plans in May 2011, but casting was never announced. At this time, a new tenant for the Little Shubert has not been announced for this fall.
In addition to its tantalizing title, Afraid of the Dark is perpetuating its own mystery by keeping the identity of its playwright hidden. Kirdahy and Elliott conceived and developed Afraid of the Dark along with its anonymous author and illusion designer Steinmeyer. Will Frears, who has directed for MCC Theater, Second Stage and the New Group, will direct the four-actor production. Kirdahy said the entire original creative team remains in place.
According to producers, "Afraid of the Dark is at once a play and a singular theatrical experience, depicting as it does the ghoulish and fantastical things that happen when four people, all acquaintances, are visited by a mysterious, cryptic stranger. Afraid of the Dark both raises the hair on one's neck and raises the questions, 'Where does a nightmare end and reality begin?' and 'What makes you afraid of the dark?'"
Steinmeyer's work has been seen in the Broadway productions of Merlin (with magician Doug Henning), Beauty and the Beast, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Into the Woods (2002 revival) and Amour. He has also consulted for Siegfried and Roy and David Copperfield, and designed for Orson Welles, Harry Blackstone, the Pendragons and the Barnum and Bailey Circus.