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GCT opens season with ‘Ravenscroft’ 

Audiences are racking their brains to solve the murder mystery in Don Nigro’s ‘Ravenscroft,’ the opening play of the Garland Civic Theatre’s 49th season.

The plot begins on a snowy night as Inspector Ruffing investigates the mysterious death of Patrick Roarke, a young man who died after a plunge down the stairs of Ravenscroft manor. The inspector interviews five women: Mrs. Ravenscroft, the lady of the manor; Gillian, her deranged daughter; Marcy, a beautiful Viennese governess; Dolly, a nervous and clumsy maid; and Mrs. French, a headstrong cook.

The story behind Patrick’s death becomes more comedic by the second. After wading through a sea of lies and inconceivable facts, Inspector Ruffing realizes the truth is often hard to accept.

According to Kyle McClaran, director and Inspector Ruffing actor, GCT generally opens their seasons with a murder mystery.

“Everything we choose is chosen to please or entertain the audience,” McClaran said. “We generally open with a murder mystery, often an Agatha Christie. But this time we found this really fascinating play and hoped it would be something really exciting for everybody.”

‘Ravenscroft’ is the 54th play McClaran has directed for GCT.

“Theater has just always been my passion,” McClaran said. “And I am one of those very fortunate people that gets to work and live in their passion.”

For Gillian actress Avery Evangeline Baker, being a part of GCT is something new. She made her GCT debut in ‘Ravenscroft’ and said the cast and crew of the play were welcoming and professional.

Crew members include set and costume designer Virgil Hollywood, light designer Joshua Hensley and stage manager Katie Ussery.

Integrating theater into communities like Garland gives people a way to express themselves, according to Baker.

“It’s just another creative outlet just like art, just like dance, just like athletics,” Baker said. “It’s another outlet for people to come and form wonderful communities and form wonderful friendships.”

Don’t miss this production of ‘Ravenscroft’ at the Granville Arts Center, 300 North Fifth Street in downtown Garland. Remaining shows are July 31 and August 7 at 2:30 p.m. and August 5, 6, 12 and 13 at 8 p.m.

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