Black Box Theatre offers intimate venue for one-act plays

MARQUETTE – Two very different tales are being told tonight at the Black Box Theatre at Northern Michigan University in the form of two, student-directed one-act plays.

The first, “Sorry, Wrong Number” written by Lucille Fletcher is directed by senior theatre major Jackie Wiles as part of her senior capstone project.

It centers around Mrs. Stevenson, a bed-ridden wife who accidentally overhears a murder plot on her telephone while trying to call her husband. She desperately tries to track down the killers as the people on the other end of the line try to dissuade her.

“It’s very tech savvy,” Wiles said of the play. “There’s a lot of technical stuff that goes into the show, a lot of sound effects, light effects and it’s a drama and kind of a mystery. I was just drawn to that. I’m used to doing comedies and I wanted to try something different.”

The second, “How He Lied to Her Husband” by George Bernard Shaw, takes a bit of a lighter tone. It centers around a wife and her beau as they plan to run off together, away from her husband and his prying family.

Filled with quick-witted one-liners, the play is meant to earn plenty of laughs.

“it’s a witty show,” said director and senior theatre major Pierce Huxtable. “There are silly comedies and there are stupid comedies, but it’s just really, really well written. The jokes are incredible.”

The atmosphere in the Black Box Theatre, a small theatre located inside the McClintock building at Northern, puts the audience right into each play, with just a few feet separating spectators from the show.

Huxtable said though the small crowds that gather in the small venue are offered a more intimate experience, it can also be a bit intimidating for amused theatre-goers.

“We only had a few folks in the audience (opening night) but their reaction was great,” Huxtable said. “We had a few chuckles and a few laughs. People oftentimes feel self conscious when they’re in a small group, so it’s a good sign.”

The final shows run at 7:30 p.m. today. Tickets are $1 and can be bought at the door.

Each play lasts roughly 20 minutes, and there is a 10 minute intermission between the two.

Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. Her email address is