To arrange for interviews and/or photos, to reserve complimentary tickets for reviewers, or for more information, please contact director Barry Childress at 484-744-3567. To confirm ticket prices, please visit King of Prussia Players Website
Please call director Barry Childress at 484-744-3567 to set up dates/times for photo shoots. If you call ahead of time, actors will be ready in costume.

The following are rehearsals at that reviewers are welcome to attend at Upper Merion Area High School: October 26, 7:30pm Nov. 2 and Nov 4 at 7:30pm are dress rehearsals.

Note: If these dates are not convenient for you, please contact the director and we will arrange another time for you to attend.

Barry Childress made his King of Prussia Players’ acting debut in a drama inspired by a real-life crime. Some 13 years later, he takes on the director’s role with the Players—with a drama inspired by a real-life crime.

“Blood Relations” marked Childress’ first time on the KOPP boards, playing Andrew Borden, father (and possible victim) of accused murderess Lizzie Borden. The case was an original “Trial of the Century.” His directing debut with the troupe is Patrick Hamilton’s “Rope”—loosely based on the notorious 1924 Leopold and Loeb case of two university students who tried to commit the perfect crime. Playwright Patrick Hamilton has transferred the action to London for an exploration of secrets, lies, motives and murder.

Brandon (Bill Murray) and Granillo (Wren Thomas Workman) are Oxford University students who have too much money and too little conscience. Brandon decides to end his boredom by plotting the murder of a fellow student, and he persuades a reluctant Granillo to help him do the deed.

The two then deposit the corpse in a trunk and arrange to have a party—using the hiding place as a dinner table. The guests include their victim’s father (Don Caldwell) and aunt (Anna Marie Childress), along with two clueless chatterboxes (Laura Markowski and Denis Wheeler). Also attending are the servant Sabot (Don Kodner) and Rupert Cadell (Clark VanHekken), a friend of Brandon’s. Cadell soon realizes something is amiss and turns his sharp eye and sharper wits to uncovering Brandon and Granillo’s secret.

Childress can appreciate the macabre irony linking his two debuts. “My first part was as a victim,” he says, “and now I’m orchestrating the entire murder scene—the perpetrators and their victims! I like being on this side of the crime!”

“Rope,” for Childress, is a play that explores the mind of a killer, one whose wealth has affected his outlook. “I was fascinated by the way the murderers only seem to care about the proper dress, the right music, a correct drink and the good life, only moments after they have committed murder. They seem unconcerned how their actions will scar all the guests once the crime is discovered.”

He also enjoys the clever dialogue and the way the audience is “in the know.” “Patrick Hamilton has created an intriguing cat-and-mouse game between the characters, as comments are randomly thrown out about the victim and only the killers and the audience understand their real significance.”

The Players’ production is also a chance to acquaint audiences with Hamilton’s original script, which is very different from the 1948 Alfred Hitchcock adaptation. Hitchcock placed the characters in 1940s New York City. The original play is set in London in the late 1920s. For Childress, “The proper, formal British society Hamilton introduces us to really adds to the ‘horrific’ value of the crime.”

Childress hopes that everyone interested in an exciting time will want to get tied up in “Rope.”

The King of Prussia Players present Patrick Hamilton’s drama “Rope” Nov. 6, 7 and 13 at 7:30 and Nov. 14 at 2pm at Upper Merion Area Middle School, 450 Keebler Road in King of Prussia. Advance tickets may be purchased at Reservations are not necessary for tickets at the door, which are $17 for adults; $12 for children under 13 or seniors 65 and older, including Shannondell residents. On opening night only, when you buy one ticket you get a second ticket at half price. Group rates (20 or more people) are available for all performances.


Last updated - October 9, 2009