VAN WERT — The Van Wert Civic Theatre will be showing its dark side with “Assassins” this weekend.
The musical details the stories of nine individuals who assassinated or attempted to assassinate United States presidents. Though the show didn’t pack the house, director Christa Manning said it went over very well in its opening weekend last week.
“It’s a very different show so you’re never quite sure how the audience will react,” Manning admitted. “This is art for art’s sake, not that one show in the season that’s going to sell out or the one in the season to pay the bills, but it’s the one that says ‘We have a statement to make and here it is.’”
It tells the stories of presidential assassins John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, Charles Guiteau, Leon Czologosz and others who made attempts, tied together through the music and lyrics of Stephen Sondheim.
Manning described the musical as one that is very subjective and challenges its audience in an area theater normally doesn’t.
“John Wilkes Booth quotes from ‘Death of a Salesman’ saying, ‘Attention must be paid,’ and I think that’s not only in the story but how these characters feel,” Manning said. “I’m looking at it in a more broad aspect as a note to society that we have to pay attention as to what happens to these people that society leaves out. This is their story and maybe we can see how it goes so we can avoid this or understand how this happens.”
The show includes strong language and live blank gunfire from replica era guns.
Reach Tara Jones at 567-242-0511.