Neal Bell's Whodunnit, Spatter Pattern, Gets One-Week Extension to Oct. 31

News   Neal Bell's Whodunnit, Spatter Pattern, Gets One-Week Extension to Oct. 31
The relationship between a screenwriter and a university professor under investigation for a grisly murder is intriguing audiences so much at Playwrights Horizons' intimate Peter Jay Sharp space that Spatter Pattern is being extended an extra week, to Oct. 31.
Peter Frechette in Spatter Pattern
Peter Frechette in Spatter Pattern

Peter Frechette, John Lavelle, Deirdre O'Connell and Darren Pettie star in the world premiere of Neal Bell's Spatter Pattern (or, How I Got Away With It). Performances began Sept. 30 toward an Oct. 10 opening,

Michael Greif (Rent, Never Gonna Dance) directs what's being called a somewhat Hitchcockian tale, making his Playwrights Horizons debut. Performances were announced to Oct. 24 but now go to Oct. 31. Ticket prices for the final week at $45, up from $38.


The play "tracks the story of a screenwriter (Frechette) who becomes entangled in the life of a university professor (Pettie) under investigation for a grisly murder. What begins as self-interest soon gives way to empathy, and a bond between men from seemingly opposite worlds inexorably deepens."

Spatter Pattern is billed as "an eerie, grimly funny whodunit...a brutally honest and touching elegy about survival and the guilt that accompanies it." This is the seventh play by Neal Bell to be produced at Playwrights Horizons, making him the theatre's second most-produced writer. His previous plays at Playwrights Horizons are Two Small Bodies (his first play, produced in the 1977-78 season), Breaking and Entering, Raw Youth, Cold Sweat, On the Bum and Somewhere in the Pacific.

Frechette is a two-time Tony nominee (Eastern Standard, Our Country's Good) who recently appeared in New York Theatre Workshop's Valhalla. John Lavelle appeared in The Graduate; O'Connell was in Moe's Lucky Seven at Playwrights Horizons; and Pettie appeared in Off-Broadway's Hobson's Choice and Unwrap Your Candy and the world premiere of Terrence McNally's Dedication or, The Stuff of Dreams at Williamstown.

Bell's work has been seen at regional theatres across the country, including Berkeley Rep, the Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Rep, the La Jolla Playhouse and Actors Theatre of Louisville, where his 10-minute play Out the Window was a co-winner of the 1990 Heideman Award.

Bell has been a playwright-in-residence at the Yale Drama School and has taught playwriting at New York University, Playwrights Horizons Theater School and the 42nd Street Collective. A recipient of fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment and the Guggenheim Foundation, Bell was awarded an Obie Award in 1992 for Sustained Achievement in Playwriting.

Designers are Mark Wendland (sets), Miranda Hoffman (costumes), Kevin Adams (lighting) and Jill B. C. DuBoff (sound). Original music is by Michael Friedman.

Playwrights Horizons, a writers' theatre, is under the leadership of artistic director Tim Sanford and managing director Leslie Marcus,. The Peter Jay Sharp Theater is a 416 W. 42nd Street, in the PH complex.

The performance schedule for Spatter Pattern will be Tuesdays through Fridays at 7:30 PM, Saturdays at 2:00 & 7:30 PM and Sundays at 2:00 & 7:00 PM.

For subscription and ticket information, call (212) 279 4200, or visit

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