Hedrick brings back Noir with Nic Carter’s final chapter

By Chase Myers

Noir-style of popular films in the ‘40s had a distinct set of characteristics including black and white picture, dramatic lighting, mystery, and a sense of mischief. Portraying that style on a live stage can be just as challenging as it is mesmerizing.

The Kleinau Theater kicks off its 2014-2015 season with the production of “The Final Chapter of Nic Carter: The Price,” written and directed by Kleinau Theater technical director Jason Hedrick.

Presenting the style and sounds of classic noir detective films, the production follows Nic Carter, a perseverant detective searching for the body of a dead cop as well as his killer. He does this all while being followed by his antagonist, The Hawk.


“It is part homage to detective fiction and film noir … but it is also part surrealist with surrealist influence,” Hedrick said.

He said the production is very intertextual, with a character adapted from a dime-store novel from the ‘40s and crossed with influences from different texts such as “Musicophilia” by Oliver Sacks.

“From the very beginning, the whole idea behind the show was to have three major elements: the actors, the light and the sound,” he said.

Hedrick also created the score and sound design.

“Some of those [sound designs] are just classic ‘40s tunes and bits of film score,” he said. “I would say the other half of the sound design is taking those film scores and working with them to make new sound pieces.”

Light technician J.J Ceniceros, a graduate student from Perryton, Texas studying speech communication, said not only does the sound production of the show highlight the piece, but also the lighting and setting of Kleinau Theater.

“As I’ve been designing, I’m trying to continue to make that very dramatic lighting but also bringing in that level of intimacy that the style asks for,” Ceniceros said.


He said the intimacy of the Kleinau Theater and the lack of distractions on stage allow for more focus on the talents of the actors and crew.

“It lets the elements of the production speak a little more,” he said. “It lets the actors act. It lets the lighting light. It lets the sound carry it through, so we’re less focused on sets and extra things. We’re just seeing the story unfold.”

Anthony Zariñana, a graduate student from Lake Zurich studying speech communications, will play the lead role of Carter while Caleb Mckinley-Portee will be playing the role of The Hawk.

“He [Carter] is kind of this embodiment of what it is to be this neo-film noir detective,” Zariñana said. “He is a very complicated character in an awesome way.”

Zariñana said there is a distinct relationship between Nic and The Hawk. They rely on each other throughout the production.

“There’s always a certain aspect of desire between the protagonist and the antagonist … and it’s pretty cool because the show is aware of that,” he said. “They kind of need each other as much as they don’t want to need each other.”

Hedrick said Kleinau Theater is lucky to have such a diverse group of people involved with the production, ranging from undergraduates to graduate students to past professors of the theatre.

“It’s a fantastic cast,” Hedrick said. “It is about as large a cast as you’d want to do with a theater this size.”

The production will run Sept. 25-27 at the Kleinau Theater beginning at 8 p.m. each night. The admission will be $5 for students and $7 for the general public.

The production contains mature themes.

Chase Myers can be reached at [email protected], on Twitter @chasemyers_DE or at 536-3311 ext. 273