‘Clue’ meets ‘Knives Out’: Comedy thriller ‘Deadline’ to premiere at Loft Theatre



Get ready for spooky season to stretch into November as the Human Race Theatre Company presents the world premiere of comedy thriller “Deadline” Nov. 3-20 at the Loft Theatre.

Written by Canadian playwrights Marcia Kash and Douglas E. Hughes, “Deadline” is a nod to the mystery genre exemplified by such greats as Agatha Christie and Peter Sellers.



According to press notes, when a famous playwright dies unexpectedly, leaving behind his highly anticipated but unfinished play, writers Don and Mara are hired to complete it in time for an imminent Broadway opening. With the clock ticking and armed with only the first 25 pages of the script, the couple try to get inside the author’s head. Instead, they find themselves sucked into the world he has created, cruising around the Caribbean aboard a luxury yacht with members of the cursed Bloodworth family. After one of their shipmates is murdered, Don and Mara realize their only chance of getting home is to write an ending before they meet their own.

“Marcia and Doug have paired a twisty ‘whodunit’ with smart comedy writing, giving our audiences a treat that will feel fresh and familiar all at the same time,” said Emily N. Wells, Human Race Theatre Company artistic director, in a release. “Thrillers allow us to question our own perceptions of reality – what we think is true versus the facts – and ‘Deadline’ delivers.”

Cincinnati actor and director Jason Podplesky helms the production. Podplesky, who staged an excellent production of “The Mousetrap” at Wright State University in September, memorably portrayed three roles in last season’s outstanding Human Race production of “Incident at Our Lady of Perpetual Help.”

The all-local cast for this world premiere production consists of: Annie Pesch as Mara/Meredith (”Family Shots”); Josh Aaron McCabe as Don/Silas (”Everything That’s Beautiful”); Andrew Ian Adams as Dean/Trevor (”Airness”); Barry Mullholand as Bartholemew (Cincinatti Shakespeare Company); Christine Brunner as Devorah (”Incident at Our Lady of Perpetual Help”); and Adelyn Rae Helms as Tabitha (TheatreLab Dayton’s “Something Rotten!”).

Joining Podplesky on the “Deadline” production team are: Ray Zupp, scenic design; John Rensel, lighting design; Janet G. Powell, costume design; Brando Triantafillou, sound design; k. Jenny Jones, fight director; Sarah Gomes, props; Mark Tynan, production stage manager; and Joseph Adams, production assistant.



Wells also notes that for the remainder of the 2022-2023 season, the Human Race launches two new ticket initiatives: two sections of $20 seats available at any time through the box office, and ten $10 rush seats available 90 minutes before any performance.

“It’s an invitation to laugh with us, be moved by a story, and share that experience with your neighbor,” she said.

The production was originally scheduled Oct. 27-Nov. 13 but has been postponed one week due to cast illness.


What: “Deadline”

Where: Loft Theatre of the Human Race Theatre Company, 126 N. Main St., Dayton

When: Nov. 3-20

Cost: $10-$53

Tickets: Visit daytonlive.org

More info: Visit humanracetheatre.org

FYI: Pay What You CAN performance: Nov. 2 at 8 p.m.; Inside Track: Nov. 3 at 8 p.m. (pre-show discussion at 7:15 p.m.); Sawbuck Sunday: Nov. 6 at 7 p.m.; and While We’re On the Subject: Nov. 13 at 2 p.m.

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