Carmel High School graduate embraces challenge of ‘Wait Until Dark’


This is the biggest challenge Carly Masterson has taken on in her acting career.

The Carmel resident plays Suzy, a blind woman who is terrorized by three criminals in search of a doll in Civic Theatre’s “Wait Until Dark.”

“I’ve been acting since I was in high school, and this is completely different from anything I’ve ever done in my life,” the 2015 Carmel High School graduate said. “I’m trying to take all the moments to speak, listen and find what I’m going to say with the use of my body.”

The performances are set for March 11-26 at the Studio Theater in the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel.

“It definitely spoke to me when I first heard they were putting the show on,” Masterson said. “It’s a very difficult role for obvious reasons. She’s a blind and I’m a seeing person. I’ve had a lot of direction from my director as well as trying to play this role as truthful as possible. I’m trying to give her justice for the obstacles she has to face.”

The Carmel resident hasn’t seen the movie because she wanted to put her own stamp on the role.

“I really want try to create on my own views on reading the show for the first time,” she said. “What we’re trying to do is her finding discoveries with her whole body. She focuses how her body moves in the space.”

Masterson said it is one of the most intricate sets she has worked in.

“The director wanted to make it one whole performance with no intermission, but she said, ‘We’ll give Carly a break,’” Masterson said. “The lines aren’t an issue. It’s trying to make her maneuver and to play her truthfully.’

Parrish Williams, a New Palestine resident, plays one of the criminals, Carlino.

“The role is beefed up from the original play,” Williams said. “It’s a play I’ve always liked and been interested in. My good friend, (Civic Theatre Executive Artistic Director) Michael Lasley, directed this play for Civic. I remembered seeing it then and I was far too young to play any of the roles at that point in time. I remember thinking at some point in time, I’d like to do. I do a lot at Civic, but I rarely do anything like this. It was an opportunity to play against my typical type.”

Williams said he normally plays broad comedic roles or affable characters. He most recently played Santa Claus in “Elf.” Occasionally, he plays a sarcastic character but rarely a bad character.

Indianapolis resident Jay Hemphill, the artistic director for Arts for Lawrence, plays Harry Roat Jr., the main villain.

“He does get delight out of being the villain,” Hemphill said. “It’s not the act of murder, it’s the leading up to it. He loves the chase. He’s very cat and mouse. He’s very shark-like, stalking. For him, that’s the joy. He could just come in and strangle someone and get the doll. But he’s like, ‘Let’s play the game.’”

Hemphill said he used to play “the guy next-door” roles. But as he’s gotten older, he has received more bad guy roles.

“The guy that is more cerebral is the more fun villain to play,” said Hemphill, who is in his first production at Civic. “It’s so different than who I am. I am so nonconfrontational. It’s nice to come here and make that switch and be someone else.”

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