Rehearsing for "Wait Until Dark," the Mid-Ohio Valley Players production opening Friday, was a little different from Meaghan Hahn's previous experiences with the group, and not just because this play was a thriller instead of a musical or comedy.
The 29-year-old Wood County Schools music teacher is playing Suzy Hendrix, a blind woman menaced by criminals who believe her husband is in possession of a valuable stash of heroin.
"We practiced with me blindfolded and then without my glasses or contacts in," Hahn said. "Just this week, I've been able to do it with my contacts in."
Learning the part blindfolded "helps develop how you walk, how you reach for things, how you find things," she said.
It also leads to some humorous moments while preparing to tell a serious story.
"It was hilarious because I ran into everything," Hahn said. "We had a lot of laughs."
There won't be as many laughs from the audience during the play, but veteran director Jena Lane Blair is hoping for some gasps.
"The entire production concept is really unique," she said. "I think it's going to be something that people will remember."
Blair didn't want to go into further specifics, preferring that the audience be surprised.
She said she submitted the play, set in 1960s Greenwich Village, N.Y., because it's a show she's always loved.
"It is such a neat piece of suspense work," Blair said.
Hahn, who has been performing locally since her days in the Junior Players at age 11, is surrounded by an experienced cast, Blair said. She will also share the stage with 9-year-old Alyssa Knight, making her return to the Players stage for the first time since appearing in "Gypsy" back in 2004.
Knight plays Gloria, a young girl who lives upstairs from the Hendrixes. Blair described the girl as a "dedicated" actress.
"She's a hard little worker," Blair said. "It's not been like having a child around."
The play is part of the Players' "Dinner and a Show" promotion, where people who purchase show tickets in advance can present them at participating restaurants for a 15 percent discount on their entrees. A list of restaurants is available at www.midohiovalleyplayers.org .