In the Heat of the Night
Apr 7 – May 12
Gilliam Stage at Barter Theatre
Action packed, exciting story; a tight and timely thriller; perfect piece of theatre.”
Adapted by Matt Pelfrey based on John Ball’s Novel
Based on the award-winning book that inspired the Oscar-winning film and the Emmy-winning television series. It’s 1962. A hot August night lies heavy over the small town of Argo, Alabama. A dead white man is discovered. The local police arrest a black stranger named Virgil Tibbs, but discover their prime suspect is a homicide detective from California. As it happens, Tibbs becomes the racially tense community’s only hope in solving a brutal murder that is turning up no witnesses, no motives, and no clues.
In the 1960’s racism prevailed throughout the country. The fear of change led to many violent acts in the name of heritage and tradition.
It is against this backdrop that In The Heat of the Night was born. We step into the shoes of Bill Gillespie and Virgil Tibbs and are taken on a journey that shakes each man to his core.
A murder is the catalyst that brings these two men together. Each man embodies the spirt of the time and must work through their own shortcomings and distrust to solve this heinous crime. Tibbs and Gillespie are locked in a struggle not only with the greater society but within their souls. As police officers they have a tremendous respect for the law. It is through this credo that their bond grows throughout the course of the play. It is a transformative work of art that through these characters we observe monumental change from distrust to mutual respect.
Like Tibbs and Gillespie, we must look within ourselves to resolve our prejudices and challenge our preconceived ideas and fears. Once this is achieved we will look for the similarities rather than differences and move toward a fuller appreciation of life.
Cast & Credits
Chief Gillespie: Rick McVey
Virgil Tibbs: Amara James Aja
Sam Wood: Justin Tyler Lewis
Pete/Man in the Shadows: Zacchaeus Kimbrell
Harvey Oberst/Purdy/Klansman #2: Nick Koesters
Charles Tatum/Endicott/Al Jennings: Nicholas Piper
Coroner/Mayor Schubert/Klansman #3: Michael Poisson
Erick Kaufman/Ralph/Klansman #1:Sam McCalla
Melanie Tatum: Sarah Laughland
Noreen Purdy: Hope Quinn
Director: Jasper McGruder
Set Designer: Hana Lee
Lighting Designer: Andrew Morehouse
Sound Designer:Miles Polaski
Costume Designer: Ashley Campos
Fight Captain: Justin Tyler Lewis
Stage Manager: Cindi Raebel
The Barter Theatre Board of Trustees