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‘The Turn of the Screw,’ the best part of the Halloween season

The Thingamajig Theatre Company strikes again with the latest play debut, “The Turn of the Screw.”

Laura and Tim Moore grace the stage again in this adaptation of the Henry James novella.

“It is a story of terror, horror and death,” says the narrator at the beginning of the act, perfect for the Halloween season that is fast-approaching. 

No props are used in the show, and the set is scant. The challenge of performing with so little to work with is expertly met by the actors and owners of the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts and Thingamajig Theatre Company. Laura performs as the would-be heroine governess, while Tim plays a variety of characters including a perplexing narrator, 10-year-old Miles, elderly Mrs. Grose the housekeeper and, on one occasion, the mute little Flora. 

The governess journeys to an English manor house near London to care for two orphaned siblings at the request of the children’s uncle. However, the secrets of the house called “Bly” surface little by little and soon overshadow the splendor of the location. The governess’ predecessor, Miss Jessel, and the mysterious valet, Peter Quint, though both gone, still have a strong presence in the lives of all who live at Bly.

The enrapturing rhythm the play exudes has audience members glued to their seats waiting for every new twist in the story. This one-act show is performed journal-style, with breaks at every scene signifying the end of one day’s writing by the governess.

The heroine is telling the tale through the duration of the story, but what of the other points of view? The plot of the play will keep the audience guessing until the very end about how the story could have been seen from another’s perspective.

Such themes as the innocence of children, the stability of the human mind, the identity of good and evil, and the desires of people, all surface at one point or another in “The Turn of the Screw.” This show will prompt all to ask questions about the “real” world as they see the intensity grow on stage.

With a dash of fright, an ample amount of suspense, and the professional quality acting brought to us by the Moores, this ghost story may just be the best part of the year’s Halloween season. 

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