“The Woman in Black” – insights from director James J. Christy

Jim Christy

“I’ve never done a ghost story before. It’s an intriguing form because it plays with latent fears in our imagination and gives us the opportunity to explore what these unknown things are that scare us in our nights and in our nightmares, but knowing that we’re going to get off free because it’s just a story.”

“The book (by Susan Hill) is quite beautifully written. It’s got a lovely style that is a little late-19th century English, but relatively easy to read. She has descriptions of the landscape that are truly gorgeous and mysterious. It’s this marsh-like landscape that is foggy and beautiful. And then there’s this house standing out way out the other side of the water that is separated by a causeway that gets covered with water. So the whole thing is very beautiful and mysterious, but in a weird/scary/empty/wet/marshy kind of way. So it becomes very intriguing to your imagination.”

“One of the things I want to explore in the play is the hero’s attraction to that place. He goes to it just as to a job but something gets him about the place.  Even though he stays to do his job, it seems as if he wants to get to the heart of the thing. The idea of how we get into a fantasy of fear through a kind of attraction/repulsion really interests me a great deal. And there’s a lot of that in the piece.”

This is an angry ghost. This one feels like a pagan ghost who is going to do what she needs to do. She was done a terrible wrong; a terrible, terrible thing has been done to her. But she’s going to extract the maximum vengeance. It seems that her appetite for vengeance is insatiable. That feels like the Furies … once you have let a certain amount of energy out of the bag, it’s never going to give up.

“Her anger has become a part of the place’s ecology. If you live in that area, if you contact that area, her spirit will be there. And then if you see her, you’ve got problems.”

The Woman in Black plays at Act II Playhouse in Ambler from Oct. 29-Nov. 24, 2013. For tickets and information, visit http://www.act2.org or call 215-654-0200.

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1 Response to “The Woman in Black” – insights from director James J. Christy

  1. merle holman says:

    The movie is now on TV with Daniel Radcliff and, if it wasn’t being produced at Act 2 I would not have been able to see it through to the end….scary!! scary!! scary!!. The scenery was so vast that I am curious how this will be created on our stage but knowing the attention to detail I’m sure it will be spectacular (and just as bone chilling.)

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