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George Mason University’s Center for the Arts Presents L.A. Theatre Works with John Ball’s “In the Heat of the Night," adapted by Matt Pelfrey Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014 at 7 p.m.

October 23, 2014
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George Mason University’s Center for the Arts


L.A. Theatre Works

                                    John Ball’s “In the Heat of the Night”                                      

Adapted by Matt Pelfrey        

Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014 at 7 p.m.


FAIRFAX, Va., Oct. 23, 2014 – L.A. Theatre Works brings Matt Pelfrey’s stunning adaptation of John Ball’s bestselling novel “In the Heat of the Night” to George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax on Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014 at 7 p.m. This gripping detective murder mystery, which spawned an Academy Award-winning film and Emmy Award-winning television series, is a vivid portrayal of the black experience in the deep South in the 1960s, and demonstrates the slow evolution of attitudes, but leaves the characters and America with a long way to go. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticketholders, will be held 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III and is sponsored by the Friends of the Center for the Arts.

                  Brought to our stage by America’s premier radio theater company, this powerful story begins on a steamy August night in the 1960s in a small Southern town, where the body of a wealthy white man is discovered. Police arrest a black stranger passing through town, only to learn that he is a respected homicide detective named Virgil Tibbs. The detective reluctantly finds himself working with the chief of police to solve the murder, while wrestling with the fear, hatred and racial prejudice that was so prevalent at that time. Ball published his timely novel in 1965, and wrote several subsequent novels and works featuring Virgil Tibbs as a character. In 1967, the story was adapted into a film starring Sidney Poitier and directed by Norman Jewison, earning five Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The film had two sequels, followed by a popular Emmy Award-winning television show that ran for seven seasons.

                  The role of Virgil Tibbs will be played by up-and-coming actor Ryan Vincent Anderson and Chief Gillespie will be played by James Morrison (“24”). The production also stars a great mix of actors with stage, film and TV credits. Included is L.A. Theatre Works regular and frequent TV and film star Tom Virtue (“Even Stevens,” “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” “Charmed,” “ Entourage,” “Two and a Half Men,” “Iron Man 3” and more). Also in the cast are Michael Hammond whose credits include D.C.’s Shakespeare Theatre and the Williamstown Theatre Festival; and Travis Johns, a frequent guest star on TV (“Nip/Tuck,” “Days of Our Lives,” “Ray Donovan,” “The Mentalist” and more). Kalen Harriman and L.A. Theatre Works stalwart Darren Richardson, whose distinctive voice has been heard in a wide array of films from “Pirates of the Caribbean” to “X-Men,” are also in the cast.

                Under the leadership of its producing director, Susan Albert Loewenberg, L.A. Theatre Works has developed an outstanding reputation for staging radio dramas with first-rate casts and live sound effects, resulting in a connection to the audience rarely felt in a traditional theater setting. Broadcasting on NPR, BBC, CBC and Radio Beijing Network in China, and streaming live online from its website,, L.A. Theatre Works brings some of the finest recorded dramatic literature into millions of homes across the globe. The company records the majority of its productions in Los Angeles with casts of critically acclaimed film and stage actors before live audiences of season subscribers. Its Audio Theater Collection includes more than 500 classic and contemporary titles – the largest library of its kind – and is available in more than 9,000 libraries around the world, and the company’s recordings are used in high schools and colleges throughout the United States.


Please note that this performance includes profanity and other adult language.

Parental discretion is advised.



Tickets for L.A.THEATRE WORKS’ production of “IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT” are $44, $37 and $26. Visit the box office (open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) or charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit The Center for the Arts complex is located on George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the Mason Pond Parking Deck adjacent the Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university Lot K. For more information, please visit Like us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @GMU_CFA.


About Great Performances at Mason

Great Performances at Mason is a program of George Mason University's Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA). CVPA provides an academic environment in which the arts are explored as individual disciplines and interdisciplinary forms that strengthen one another. The college prepares students for careers as creators, performers, teachers, scholars, arts leaders and arts entrepreneurs. Understanding that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the college, welcomes a variety of professional and world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Students have the opportunity to perform, create and exhibit their work in a wide variety of public venues including a 2,000-seat Concert Hall. CVPA is home to the Schools of Music, Dance, Art and Theater, as well as the Computer Game Design, Arts Management and Film and Video Studies programs.


About George Mason University

George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls more than 33,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity and commitment to accessibility. Mason is also one of the best values in higher education, producing graduates who lead all Virginia schools with the highest annual salaries.