NEPA Scene Staff

Actors Circle explores ‘The Haunting of Hill House’ at Providence Playhouse in Scranton Sept. 5-15

Actors Circle explores ‘The Haunting of Hill House’ at Providence Playhouse in Scranton Sept. 5-15
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From a press release:

Community theatre group Actors Circle will present the first show of its 38th season, the thriller “The Haunting of Hill House,” based on the gothic horror novel that inspired the recent Netflix series of the same name, at the Providence Playhouse in Scranton on Thursday, Sept. 5 through Sunday, Sept. 15.

The play by F. Andrew Leslie, adapted from the book by Shirley Jackson, is a chilling and mystifying study in mounting terror in which a small group of “psychically receptive” people are brought together in Hill House, a brooding, mid-Victorian mansion known as a place of evil and “contained ill will.”

Led by the learned Dr. Montague, who is conducting research in supernatural phenomena, the visitors have come to probe the secrets of the old house and to draw forth the mysterious powers that it is alleged to possess – powers which have brought madness and death to those who have lived there in the past.

The novel has been adapted to film twice, in 1963 and again in 1999, both times under the title “The Haunting.” A loosely based television adaptation directed by Mike Flanagan was produced for Netflix in 2018.

Directed by Margo L. Azzarelli, the Actors Circle cast features Marnie Azzarelli, Chris Eibach, Kaylah Hodgins, April Holgate, Peter Miles, Susan Parrick, and Rafe Rickard.

Katie Von Bergen is the stage manager, and assistant stage manager Justin O’Hearn is creating live sound effects backstage for the show with Bernard Ott. Bob Spalletta is designing the lighting, and Dominick Azzarelli is the set builder. Jeff Ginsberg is serving as producer.

Actors Marni Azzarelli and Kaylah Hodgins prepare to enter the Hill House.

“The Haunting of Hill House” runs at the Providence Playhouse (1256 Providence Rd., Scranton) on Thursdays though Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. on Sept. 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, and 15. Tickets are $12 for general admission, $10 for seniors, and $8 for students, with the exception of Thursday, Sept. 5, when tickets are $8 for general admission and seniors and $6 for students.

For reservations, call 570-342-9707 or e-mail All reservations are held 10 minutes until showtime.

Actors Circle was formed in 1982. A group of actors was sitting in a circle on the floor of the University of Scranton auditorium and decided on the name for their organization before performing their first production, “The Crucible.” Originally, the group was known as the Jefferson Hall Players, but the University asked them to change the name because there was already a small theater group at the University with that same name.

Over the years, Actors Circle has also performed at other venues, such as the Scranton Cultural Center, the Century Club, the Jewish Community Center, Nay Aug Park, the Everhart Museum, the Lackawanna Children’s Library, the Lackawanna County Courthouse, and the Tripp House.

In 1984, Providence Playhouse became home to Actors Circle. In this small intimate theater, productions such as comedies, dramas, classics, musicals, plays from well-known authors, and obscure, but important playwrights have been performed. Actors Circle has also commissioned original works, such as the adaptation of “Frankenstein” by Scranton native Ted LoRusso and an original play by John McInerney. Other theatrical organizations have also been welcomed to perform in the home of Actors Circle, such as DGM Productions, Inc.

The founders’ mission was to keep live theatre accessible to the general public, as well as to educate and enlighten not only audiences, but actors, directors, technical crew, and stage managers as well. Actors Circle continues to strive to fulfill this goal by providing the community with laughter and thought-provoking performances.