DEATHTRAP Cast Photo

Cast Photo L to R: Gerry Cortimilia, Matthew Allen Bergkamp, Berta Limbaugh, Chris Chiola, Ann Harper

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The Tillamook Association for the Performing Arts (TAPA) & Umpqua Bank of Tillamook are pleased to bring the production of Ira Levin’s popular thriller DEATHTRAP to life at The Barn Community Playhouse in Tillamook, which opens on October 14th and runs weekends through October 30th.

DEATHTRAP was first performed by TAPA players in 2001 at The Blue Heron under the direction of founding TAPA board member Becki Wilhelm, and was produced by Debbie Coon. To celebrate TAPA’s 40th anniversary, the Board of Directors decided to revive this beloved favorite.

The original cast included Lewis Short, Teresa Lovelin, Dan Fisher, Kathryn Smith & James Downes. Gerry Cortimilia was the Stage Manager for the original production and is thrilled to be on stage this time around. A hilarious memory of one of the performances was when a “corpse” had an uncontrollable coughing fit on stage.

A sympathetic audience member tossed a throat lozenge on stage and audiences laughed while the “corpse” reached for the lozenge, unwrapped the lozenge, and then put it in their mouth. That’s the joy of live theater; you never know what might happen!

This production has been directed by James Meritt and produced by Robert Buckingham. The two-act thriller focuses on playwright Sidney Bruhl, portrayed by Chris Chiola. Comfortably ensconced in his charming Connecticut home, Sidney Bruhl, a successful writer of Broadway thrillers, is struggling to overcome a "dry" spell which has resulted in a string of failures and a shortage of funds.

A possible break in his fortune occurs when he receives a script, a thriller from Clifford Anderson (portrayed by Matthew Allen Bergkamp), who is a student in the seminar Sidney has been conducting at a nearby college. Sidney immediately recognizes the script by his student as a potential Broadway hit.

Sidney and his wife Myra (portrayed by Berta Limbaugh) devise a plan, which on the surface is to offer Clifford a collaboration with the successful playwright for co-credit; an idea he quickly accepts. Audiences soon find out there is a deeper plot afoot. The Bruhl’s new neighbor, psychic Helga ten Dorp (portrayed by Ann Harper) senses danger and tries to warn everyone, only to be ignored. Sidney’s attorney Porter Milgrim (portrayed by Gerry Cortimilia) visits their cottage to discuss Sidney’s predicament and luckily escapes involvement in the twisted plot; or does he?

DEATHTRAP is a delightful ride which mixes the classic “who done it” style and adds in a touch of “wait, what just happened!!??” and also provides twists and turns of devilish cleverness then hilariously offers sudden shocks in such abundance that audiences will be enthralled and spellbound until the final, startling moments of the play.

Performances of Ira Levin’s DEATHTRAP will be held in the Barn Community Playhouse at 12th and Ivy in Tillamook on October 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, & 29, 2022 at 7:00PM. Sunday matinees will be October 16, 23, & 30 2022 at 2:00PM. Doors open 30 minutes prior to curtain. Opening night is Gala Night where each ticket holder receives one free beverage and complimentary Hors D'oeuvres.

Tickets are on sale now at tillamooktheater.com, or call the TAPA box office at (503) 812-0275 to purchase tickets, have questions or need assistance. DEATHTRAP is meant for mature audiences.

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