Night In Alachua County (2017)

By Jennifer Rumberger
Directed by Christopher M. Walsh

“★★★★… Tightly plotted, slowly turning up the heat till the action is at full boil.” – Time Out Chicago

“An undeniably pulse-raising experience.” – Chicago Reader

“A smart, shivery evening” – Windy City Times

“Gasps and laughs aplenty” – Perform.Ink

Previews September 5-7, 2017
Runs September 8 – October 7, 2017
At the Den Theatre
1333 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

WildClaw Theatre continues their 2017 season with a disturbing new work by Chicago playwright Jennifer Rumberger. After staying away for 17 years, Violet returns home to a back-woods part of Florida to face the mother and sister she left behind, and the disturbing secrets they share… and also some necromancy and an eyeless demon creature.

CONTENT WARNING: Night in Alachua County contains discussions of sexual abuse, though please note that no sexual violence is depicted onstage.


Violet – Krista D’Agostino*
Crystal – Allison Cain
Lily – Kathryn Acosta
Martha – Mandy Walsh*
Sally – Moira Begale*
The Lemure – Kevin Alves
Understudy (Violet/Martha) – Chelsea Dàvid
Understudy (Crystal/Sally) – Julie Cowden-Starbird
Understudy (Lily) – Madisen Dempsey
Understudy (The Lemure) – Harrison Weger

Production Team

Director – Christopher M. Walsh*
Playwright – Jennifer Rumberger
Stage Manager – Morgan Gire
Assistant Director – Kim Boler
Sound Design – Sarah D. Espinoza*
Lighting Design – David Goodman-Edberg
Costume Design – Rachel Sypniewski
Scenic Design – John Ross Wilson**
Violence Director – Gaby Labotka
Prop Design – Stefanie Sajib Johnsen
Dialect Coach – Lindsay Bartlett
FX Makeup/Creature Design – Heather Jones
Production Manager – Shandee Vaughan*

Special Thanks

Paul Dennhardt, Vagabond School of the Arts, Dave and Co., The Den Theatre, The Saints, Illinois State University School of Theatre & Dance, Joe Mazza, Bill Daniel, Maia Rosenfeld Photography, Matthew Herndon, Arianna Brown, Morgan Lake

*WildClaw Company Member
**WildClaw Artistic Associate


“While the best horror stories still have plenty of moments that make you scream and squirm, it’s that cold chill down your spine—the one that tells you ‘this is something real, something that’s actually happening’ – that will stay with you long after the shock has faded. Jennifer Rumberger’s new play Night in Alachua County is one of these stories, and it’s received a wonderful premiere production from WildClaw Theatre and director Christopher M. Walsh.” – Alex Huntsberger, Time Out Chicago

“Crystal (Allison Cain in a tense, commanding performance)…Lily (beautifully played by Kathryn Acosta)…Violet (Krista D’Agostino, just the right mix of tough and vulnerable)… Moira Begale and Mandy Walsh also give a fantastic pair of supporting performances as, respectively, Crystal’s sexed-up, Jesus-loving neighbor and Violet’s coarse but knowledgeable coworker at the local morgue.” – Alex Huntsberger, Time Out Chicago

Mandy Walsh (Martha) and Krista D'Agostino (Violet). Photo by Clark Bender.
Allison Cain (Crystal). Photo by Clark Bender.

“There’s a sequence lit almost entirely by flashlights that’s drawn out to an excruciatingly perfect length. (Walsh has staged the show in three-quarter thrust, which is pretty perfect for a horror show, as it allows you to see the folks across from you get scared silly.)” – Alex Huntsberger, Time Out Chicago

“The horror aficionados at Wildclaw Theatre take their spooky stuff seriously. Given how reliant the genre can be on camera techniques to evoke dread, it’s remarkable how effective director Christopher M. Walsh’s adaptation of terror tropes is for the stage… Night is an undeniably pulse-raising experience.” – Dan Jakes, Chicago Reader

“Not only does playwright Jennifer Rumberger trust her audience to stay the course all the way to a satisfactory conclusion, however, but to apprehend every step in a narrative operating on several different levels.” – Mary Shen Barnidge, Windy City Times

“Unexpected appearances of adversaries and allies, false refuges, panic-stricken chases and the inevitable blood and shrieks—all rendered especially effective by WildClaw Theatre Company’s deft utilization of shadow, silhouette and the densely vegetated setting’s natural gloom to create a twilight chiaroscuro facilitating the threatening images conjured by our imaginations.” – Mary Shen Barnidge, Windy City Times

“Amid a seasonal glut of cheap slasher-camp parodies, the results make this a smart shivery evening for likewise savvy audiences.” – Mary Shen Barnidge – Windy City Times

“John Ross Wilson’s set is a place ripe for sinister events to occur. In a script that confronts the demons of the past in a family of women, the role the Florida swampland locale plays is an important one. Wilson’s design more than fits the bill: saccharine deer figurines, half-dead vines strewn limply across a dilapidated trailer, and tiled floor emerging from the muddy carpet, all covered in a patina of filth.” – Bec Willett, Perform.Ink

Kathryn Acosta (Lily) and Krista D'Agostino (Violet). Photo by Clark Bender.
Kathryn Acosta (Lily) and Krista D'Agostino (Violet). Photo by Clark Bender.

“Accompanied by the haunting sounds of Sara Espinoza and the mysterious shadows of David Goodman-Edberg, this trifecta of designers shows us exactly what technical expertise can do and how vital it is in creating the world of the play. There’s no denying the script’s claim that ‘All the monsters come outta here.'” – Bec Willett, Perform.Ink

“[Allison] Cain’s performance, along with Moira Begale’s fizzy Sally and Mandy Walsh’s brash Martha, epitomize what it is to convincingly embody iconic character types with groundedness, humor, and intention.” – Bec Willett, Perform.Ink

“There are quiet, fearful moments milked to perfection, and I’d be lying if I wasn’t looking behind me on my walk home.” – Jason Berger, The Hawk Chicago