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The Shawshank Redemption is a dramatic play based on the 1983 novella by Stephen King, Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption and adapted by Owen O’Neill and Dave Johns to bring the story of resilience made famous by the acclaimed film to the stage.

When Andy Dufresne is convicted of murder and sentenced to life in the notorious Shawshank prison, he must find a way to keep himself and his hope alive by using his wits and forging unlikely friendships in a maximum-security prison.

While the play does resemble the novella more than the movie, fans of the movie will not be disappointed as the story remains the same. More importantly, the heart remains – the relationship between RED (Mark Anthony) and ANDY DUFRESNE (Zachary Robertson). In contrast, it is the “Sisters” – BOGS (Chris Peterlin), ROOSTER (Tommy Rosecrans) and PINKY (Ben Maxwell) -who try to break Andy.

It should be noted that The Shawshank Redemption is intended for mature audiences due to adult language, content, and situations.

The other cons populating the prison and play a significant part of the story are DAWKINS (John Johnson) the gambler, RICO (Ricky Hawkins) the born-again Christian, BROOKSIE (Howard Gorman), who has been at the Shank longer than anyone and in charge of the library, and TOMMY (Logan Henderson) who arrives later after being sentenced for stealing cars.

In charge of Shawshank is WARDAN STAMMAS (Doug Orear), a bully and cheating hypocrite that will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Serving him is the head prison guard HADLEY (Jared Coker) who will cut you with his night stick if you don’t move quick enough. Following in Hadley’s shadow is ENTWISTLE (James Welch) who wants to emulate Hadley, and SMITH (Adam Vestal) the guard with some semblance of a heart.

The Shawshank Redemption is directed by Amy DeTrempe-Williams, stage managed by Kathy Hauk, set design by Jack Clifford and Christine Paternoga, Stage Combat/Fight Choreography by Jeremie Davis, props by Cristin Robertson, costumes by Carrie McMillion, hair and makeup by Kieth Wagner, sound by Megan Johnston, and lighting design by Wayne Carey. In addition, Erika Johnston-Poch heads up a stage crew of Lora Stone, Flynn Robertson, and Ryan Salisbury. These three also make appearances as cons populating the prison.

Show performances are October 8-9 and 13-16 at 7:30 p.m. and October 10 and 17 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are on sale a peoriaplayers.org/tickets.

Photo credit: Chris Peterlin

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