Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Jeffrey Alan Smith and Rodger Hartley are shown here in Black Hills Community Theatre's upcoming thriller, "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde."

Courtesy Russell Jensen, Sage Studios Professional Photography

A physician’s experiments gone horribly wrong set the stage for thrills and chills as Black Hills Community Theatre presents “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”

Fresh off a successful run of its upbeat, light-hearted musical “Annie,” BHCT turns to the dark side in “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous novella.

In the back alleys of Victorian-era London, Dr. Henry Jekyll experiments with “tinctures and powders” that unleash his sensual and villainous other self, Edward Hyde. Six veteran BHCT actors — Jace Brock, Rodger Hartley, Jason Knox, Michelle Martinson, Jeffrey Alan Smith and Kory Yamada — tackle multiple roles in this spine-tingling story.

BHCT Artistic Director Zach Curtis directs this classic tale of terror. The play was adapted from Stevenson’s story by critically acclaimed American playwright Jeffrey Hatcher.

“He’s written a lot of adaptations of Sherlock Holmes and has written a couple of films. He’s one of the most prolific playwrights in the country,” Curtis said.

Hatcher’s adaptation adds a character, Elizabeth, to bring some romance to the story. Hatcher’s retelling is “fast and fun,” Curtis said. “It’s really dark but in a fun way. It’s got a nice thriller edge. … We want to catch people off guard.”

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Cellist Sarah Hanzel will enhance the eerie mood.

“The cello provides all of the sound for the show. Sarah has composed pieces and she’s arranged some classic pieces of music. All the (sound effects) in the show are all coming from the cello,” Curtis said. “She’s on stage for the entire show and she will score the entire production.”

“Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” contains violence, adult themes and substance abuse, along with twists and turns to keep the audience intrigued.

“We want the audience to go in … with the idea that no one quite knows what they’re about to see,” Curtis said.

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