Belton theatre gears up to perform tense thriller 

“For the time [the film] came out, it was revolutionary for the horror industry.”

By Glen Vaughn-Petersen

Preparation is underway at Belton’s Main Street Theater for their upcoming show, Wait Until Dark. The play, written by Frederick Knott and making its Broadway debut in 1966, is most known for spawning a 1967 film adaptation starring Audrey Hepburn. Wait Until Dark revolves around Susy Hendrix, a blind woman, whose husband Sam unknowingly transports a doll full of heroin over the Canadian border. Tensions rise when a con man and his accomplices, seeking the doll, convince Susy that Sam has been implicated in a murder, and that she must surrender the drug-filled doll to save him. 

Belton’s Main Street Theater presents Wait Until Dark which runs three weekends, September 16 – October 2, featuring Belton actors, Zowie Friend as Gloria and Nikki Williams as Susy.

“For the time [the film] came out, it was revolutionary for the horror industry at the time,” says Jessica Dolan, director of this production. “This was a time when horror was B-movies and Alfred Hitchcock, but this film brought the exploration of that psychological thriller aspect of horror to a different level.” Jessica’s connection to the Main Street Theater has always been close, in more than one sense of the word. Her mother, who lives behind the theater, has been involved since the theater’s first show, The Red Velvet Cake Wars. During college, she got Jessica involved, first with hair and makeup, then assistant directing beginning with Main Street Theater’s production of Neil Simon’s Rumors. Now, after getting her master’s degree, she’s back with the Theater to direct her first production there. When asked to direct Wait Until Dark, she was positively thrilled. She had experience with the show before, having assistant directed it while in college. 

The theater itself has quite the history. The stage that the Main Street Theater uses is located in the back of Belton’s Old City Hall, a building built all the way back in 1906. The venue, besides being used for school programs, graduations, and recitals, has taken on all sorts of forms, including a movie theater, a library, a children’s clothing factory, and even a police department, complete with jail cells underneath the stage. The building, slated for demolition as a result of the 1974 construction of a new city hall, was saved to preserve Belton’s history. In 2018, Rob and Pam Powell were able to gain access to that stage and restore it, starting the Main Street Theater as we know it now. 

Wait Until Dark begins its three-weekend run at the Main Street Theater on September 16th and ends on October 2nd.  The theater is located at 510 Main Street, Belton, MO. Visit for more details and call 816-406-9422 to reserve your seat. 

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