The Independent Eye presents the world premiere of Elizabeth Fuller and Conrad Bishop's Hammers, running at the Old City Stage Works in Philadelphia, through April 20.
The production brings the genre of horror film to the stage, in it's dramatization of the true story of the Winchester "Mystery" House in San Jose, CA. What exists today as a tourist attraction-- a house with a maze of 160 rooms, began as a young heiress' obsession with a message from a spiritualist, who told her that she would only stay alive as long as her house was under construction.
The play features the heiress Sarah Weatherlee, played by Fuller, and her interactions with the young carpenter and tormented foreman. The story is framed by a present day tour guide, leading tourists who get sucked into the terror of the mansion on their way through the house.
Bishop directs Hammers, the first creation of the Eye's "Genesis Ensemble," a workshop devoted to the improvisational evolution of new plays. The play was developed over the course of the year, with 5 or 6 people working each role. Actors participated in and contributed to the development of characters and situations, along with poets, directors, therapists, and movement specialists. The cast is now made up of eight actors, mostly those present in the workshops.
Fuller is also a composer and has written music for Hammers. Fuller and Bishop are producing and founding directors of the theatre, and have been collaborating for 23 years at the Independent Eye, and 37 years in their marriage. Fuller is not to be confused with the also blonde actress/playwright Elizabeth Fuller, of Me and Jezebel.
For tickets or more information about Hammers at the Independent Eye, please call (215) 925-2838.
--By Blair Glaser