Out of Box Theatre Offers New Play Up Close With a Taste of Intrigue


Seamus (Bob Smith) falls under Mae's (Kristin Kalbli) spell. Photo by Out of Box Theatre

Seamus (Bob Smith) falls under Mae’s (Kristin Kalbli) spell. Photo by Out of Box Theatre

Out of Box Theatre is dedicated to creating the most intimate theatrical experience possible. Their latest production by Atlanta playwright, Marki Shalloe, Ariadne’s Thread offers up a thriller for the mind, made even more riveting in the intimate space.

A turn-of-the-century society matron with a taste for whiskey, Ouija boards and swindling priests, May Jennings Bennett provides the inspiration for Ariadne’s Thread. When a Jesuit priest visits the socialite-turned-con woman in prison to try to save her soul, she leads him toward a new line of thinking that shakes up his worldview. Written by Marki Shalloe (Babylon, Promethea Unlaced), Ariadne’s Thread is a story of stepping out of one’s comfort zone and into the labyrinth of the mind.

Ariadne’s Thread was inspired by a true story. Playwright Marki Shalloe explains, “My husband gave me a book of New York Times front pages and there in 1920 nestled among ‘Report of German Overthrow Denied’ and ‘Harding Nominated for President’ was a tiny article titled, ‘Swindled Clergy, Widow Confesses’. May Jennings Bennett, leader of the Women’s Foreign Missionary Society, hostess of high-end tea parties for charity, and all-around upper-cruster, apparently had a taste for swindling clergy. ‘I met a man,’ she said, ‘who advertised a sort of new thought. I was under a hypnotic influence.’ She said he dominated her for evil purposes. Evil purposes are a lovely starting point for a story, so the article really intrigued me.”

Ariadne’s Thread is the first in a series of original works by local playwrights that will appear on the Out of Box stage over the next few months. Up next is Heart Throbs, appearing in collaboration with Flying Cat Productions, February 7-9. Followed by world premieres of Theroun Patterson’s fugitive:EROS and The Chemicals Between us. Playing in the Dark, a collection of plays offers eight tragic tales of hope, redemption, and enlightenment opens in May, followed by Trash Day by Dave Lauby in June.

Ariadne’s Thread runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM and Sundays at 3 PM. There is no performance Saturday, February 1. Tickets are $17-22 in advance, $20-25 at the door. For more information and tickets visit www.outofboxtheatre.com or call 678-653-4605.