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.
LONGTIME ACTOR JOINS THE KING OF PRUSSIA PLAYERS’ STRING OF DIRECTORS WITH “ROPE”.
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 www.kofpplayers.com. 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.