Review: Civic’s Woman in Black is Spooky Thriller


Now in the intimate Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre at Carmel’s Center for the Performing Arts, The Woman in Black (through Nov. 10) is a chilling play based on the novel by Susan Hill (and one of the longest-running in London’s West End).

The Civic stage production tunes up the terror with clever lighting, props, and unnerving recorded sound. The majority of the action is a flashback of character Mr. Kipps (played by Daniel Scharbrough), who arrives at the late Mrs. Drablow’s estate to find that something horrible has happened. The only other speaking performer is John Michael Goodson, who plays various roles as “the Actor.”

Although the spooky action gets off to a slow start, the play picks up when we first see the “Woman in Black” sashaying down the aisle and through the audience to haunt Mr. Kipps on stage. Spoiler Alert: She pops up throughout the play in various locations, but don’t worry: You’ll soon learn to cover your eyes when you hear the chimes. The thriller really delivers in the final act and left this reviewer with an unshakeable chill.

7 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (5 p.m. on final Saturday), and 2 p.m. on Sunday. $39. Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre, 3 Center Green, Carmel, 843-3800,

Photos courtesy Civic Theatre