Scarlet Cup presents a puzzle of a play

Published 12:18 pm Friday, September 30, 2022


Contributing columnist

In true Scarlet Cup tradition, the fall 2022 production offers an excellent and thought provoking play in a unique environment. The Crossword Play (Or Ezmeranda’s Gift) runs through Oct. 9 with Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances at 7 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 3 p.m. at Dry Stack Coffee at 219 W. Main St. in Danville. Today’s performance, however, is canceled due to parking issues.

Email newsletter signup

In searching for a venue that compliments the theme of the play, theater board members connected with Aaron Ranson, owner of Dry Stack Coffee. The relaxed atmosphere of the shop suited perfectly and Ranson was immediately on board with the project.

Diana Gilley will make her directorial debut and, with the casting of Erika Sengstack, the puzzle is complete. Sengstack has become a regular in the local theater scene through her summers at Pioneer Playhouse. She comes to Danville with 11 years of professional theater experience in New York and both undergraduate and graduate degrees in acting. After spending several summers at the Playhouse, Sengstack feels right at home in Danville and has decided to move here permanently. Her work at the Playhouse and extensive theater resume immediately brought her to the attention of Scarlet Cup. Sengstack is perfectly suited to her role in this one-woman show.

The play opens as the main character, who is an accomplished and published crossword puzzle maker, is conducting a workshop. Besides creating puzzles for publication, she designs custom puzzles.

She proceeds to explain the process of creating a puzzle which has been commissioned by a client as a gift. As the play unfolds, the audience discovers the unusual relationship between the puzzle maker and this particular client.

The audience is invited to participate in the process by submitting questions upon arrival at the theater. The atmosphere is complete with coffee from Dry Stack and homemade cookies from Nancy Martindale.

During the Main Street construction, parking is available in the lot behind Dry Stack near West T. Hill Community Theatre. Both the front door to Dry Stack on Main Street, and the back door to Plank will be open.

Tickets to The Crossword Play (Or Ezmeranda’s Gift) are available through the Arts Commission’s website Click on TICKETS on the home page to access the ticket site.