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Playhouse presents ghost story

July 2, 2011
The Herald-Star

WELLSBURG - Brooke Hills Playhouse's production of J. M. Barrie's wise and witty ghost story, "Mary Rose," continues today and Sunday and July 7-9 at 8 p.m. and July 10 at 2 p.m.

Reservations are available by calling (304) 737-3344.

The author is best known for creating Peter Pan, but "Mary Rose" is a more eerie fantasy aimed at adults.

The title character of Mary Rose is a young woman with a strange connection to a mysterious Scottish island. The play explores the effects of that connection on Mary Rose and her loved ones.

"It's about ordinary people dealing with the inexplicable," according to director Charles Calabrese of Wintersville.

"A play like this requires actors at the top of their game, because it deals with complex emotions and multi-layered characters, and I've been fortunate enough to have assembled a cast that not only meets but exceeds the demands of the script," said Calabrese.

Manon Misto of Weirton plays the title role of Mary Rose Morland Blake, around whom the natural and supernatural action of the play revolves. The Weir High School student is a veteran of many Brooke Hills Playhouse productions, starting out as an orphan in "Oliver."

Recent Brooke High graduate Mason Barnhart of Wellsburg plays career British Navy officer Simon Blake, who marries Mary Rose and finds himself in circumstances beyond his comprehension.

Barnhart has appeared in numerous children's productions at Brooke Hills and was last seen in "The Kitchen Witches."

Rob DeSantis of Follansbee plays Mary Rose's father, James, an English country squire who collects fine art prints to distract him from the strange goings-on he has experienced. Nancy Longo of Toronto plays her mother, Fanny, who has to deal with the disappearances of her only daughter.

Both are veterans of the playhouse and other community theaters.

The cast also includes Roger Van Horn of Weirton, Joseph Pino of Steubenville, Regina Pino of Steubenville and Dave Zaniesky of Weirton.

The Brooke Hills Playhouse season will continue July 14-17 and 21-23 at 8 p.m. and July 24 at 2 p.m. with Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's fractured fairy tale, "Into the Woods."

The playhouse's 40th season is sponsored by WTOV9 and the Center of Music and Art. Show sponsors include the Wellsburg Kiwanis Club, Koppers, Inc., Kwik King Food Stores, Main Street Bank and Brooke County Rotary Club.

This season patrons may pay for their tickets with credit cards.

Further information about the playhouse and other upcoming shows can be found at its website at

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