The darkly comic mystery "Thumbs" by Rupert Holmes will launch Hudson Players' 2016-17 season.
The play, which concerns a series of bizarre murders in Vermont, runs Nov. 4 through 19, and is directed by Brian Westerley. The story, which takes place in an isolated cabin, centers on two women who are forced to confront the reality of a serial killer, who likes to slice off the thumbs of his victims.
Jennifer Matas of Kent, who plays Sheriff Jane Morton, said her character was "complex, with lots of layers."
"That's a fun challenge," said Matas, who was last seen on the Hudson Players stage in "Spamalot." "A lot of the characters I've played are more one-dimensional. There's a lot of emotion. You'll see a lot more depth in Jane than I've ever been asked to play before."
Robert Brand of Alliance plays Todd Munroe, the love interest of Marta Dunhill (Rose Gabriele Foti), who owns the cabin. Brand said most of his acting experience was in musicals, and added that he has been on stage "ever since I was a little kid."
"I started out in church plays when I was 3 or 4," he said.
Len Reinker of Kent, who plays Marta's ex-husband Freddie Bradshaw, said that most of his acting experience is in independent films.
"This is my first stage show," he said. "If you look in my bio, you will see 'Len has been seen in the audience of many area theaters.'"
Reinker said one big difference with theater is that the actor has to have all his lines and actions memorized, unlike with film, where you can do multiple takes.
"You have to have it down pat," he said. "You have to learn how to cover for the mistakes you or others might make."
Sean Donovan of Akron, who plays Deputy Wilton Dekes, said that "Thumbs" was "a funny show."
"My character is a simpleton," Donovan said. "He's referred to as a 'congenial, congenital idiot.'" He added a challenge was not laughing while trying to make the most of his character's funny lines.
"Thumbs" can be seen Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and at 2 p.m. on the Sunday matinee on Nov. 13.
Performances are staged at the Barlow Community Center, 41 S. Oviatt St. in Hudson. For details or tickets, call 330-655-8522 or visit www.hudsonplayers.com online.