The Rimers of Eldritch

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The Rimers of Eldritch
Written by Lanford Wilson
Characters Robert Conklin
Eva Jackson
Skelly Mannor
Evelyn Jackson
Nelly Windrod
Mary Windrod
Patsy Johnson
Mavis Johnson
Peck Johnson
Josh Johnson
Lena Truit
Martha Truit
Wilma Atkins
Cora Graves
Date premiered July 13, 1966
Place premiered La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club
New York City
Original language English
Subject A murder trial in a decaying Missouri town
Genre Drama
Setting Eldritch, Missouri

The Rimers of Eldritch is a play by Lanford Wilson. Set in the mid-20th century in Eldritch, Missouri, a decaying Bible Belt town that once was a prosperous coal mining community, it focuses on the murder of the aging local hermit (Skelly Mannor) by a woman (Nelly Windrod) who mistakenly thought he was committing rape when he actually was trying to prevent one.

The play was staged for the first time by the La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club in July 1966.[1] On February 20, 1967, a production directed by Michael Kahn opened at the Cherry Lane Theatre, where it ran for 32 performances. The cast included Dena Dietrich, Don Scardino, Helen Stenborg, Susan Tyrrell, and Bette Henritze, who won the Obie Award for Distinguished Performance.[2]

Wilson adapted his play for a television movie broadcast by PBS as the first episode of its Great Performances series on November 4, 1972.[3] Directed by Davey Marlin-Jones, it stars Roberts Blossom, Susan Sarandon, Rue McClanahan, K Callan, Will Hare, Kate Harrington, Frances Sternhagen, and Ernest Thompson.

Mark Brokaw directed a revival at the Second Stage Theatre that opened on November 8, 1988 and ran for 43 performances. The cast included William Mesnik, Adam Storke, and Amy Ryan.[4] In reviewing the production for the New York Times, Mel Gussow cited the playwright's "sensitivity and his gift for language." [5]


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