NWF State College premieres original play by theater professor

Mattie Kelly Arts Center2/19/2016

NICEVILLE - The Humanities, Fine & Performing Arts Division of Northwest Florida State College will premiere an original, historically based thriller by NWF State theater professor Clint Mahle on March 16-19 at 7:30 p.m. in the Sprint Theater of the Mattie Kelly Arts Center.

The theatrical production The Third Side is Mahle’s creation under his pen name, James Clinton. The work is fictionalized but based on a real historical figure – the 16th century playwright Christopher Marlowe, a contemporary and rival of Shakespeare, who was mysteriously killed in 1593, some say assassinated.

Featuring a local cast of 15, the gritty mystery is described as part espionage and part political. It follows a young and proud writer who finds himself in London trying to make his way in the world by climbing the social ladder to success. He finds himself caught between rival forces in the petty intrigues of powerful men and must find his way to survival. The historical Christopher Marlowe is thought to have been connected with the notorious London spy networks of the time, and Marlowe’s plays were often more popular than Shakespeare’s at the time when both lived and wrote in London.

 “I wrote the work as an experiment on writing a new play using the Elizabethan theatrical model,” explained Mahle, who noted that the actors in The Third Side will appear in modern-day dress to present the full length dramatic thriller in contemporary language. “Last spring we presented Hamlet in the Sprint Theater, so it will be an interesting twist to produce a play this spring that is based on the death of Shakespeare’s rival,” said Mahle, who noted that the play explores the idea that “truth” often lies outside the two sides to a story – the third side.

General admission tickets for The Third Side are now on sale for $15 adult and $10 for youth ages 18 and younger. Tickets may also be purchased online through the Mattie Kelly Arts Center website. Box office phone and in-person hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday. Advance purchase is recommended due to the smaller seating capacity in the Sprint Theater.

NWF State College and University of West Florida students may attend dress rehearsal free of charge on Monday, March 14, or Tuesday, March 15, at 7:30 p.m. by showing college ID at the door, or may request one free ticket to the play’s public performance nights by presenting a college ID in person at the box office during regular box office hours or at the door on show nights (space permitting).

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