Review: Autopsy & A Haunting in E Flat Brings Brilliant Back To Back Horror

(Actors David DuChene as Pathologist Gary and Joey Wright as John Doe performing a scene which confirms animate John Doe is actually still dead during a dress rehearsal of Post Productions’ Autopsy by local playwright Alex Monk at the Shadowbox Theatre in Windsor, Ontario, on Wednesday, October 2, 2019. Photo above by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.)

A single play can be scary enough, but when two finely written and purposefully acted ones are played out, one after another, it is time to hold on to your seat for some milk curdling, bone chilling downright old-fashioned horror.

Post Productions has put together a double bill of horrible magnificence, horrible as in very scary, featuring works by two of the region’s acclaimed scriptwriters, Joey Ouellette and Alex Monk. Both scripts are from last year’s Windsor-Essex Playwriting Contest, and the fact they are award-winning shows in spades.

Michael O’Reilly

Post Productions’ Michael O’Reilly introducing the two horror plays Autopsy and A Haunting In E Flat during a dress rehearsal at the Shadowbox Theatre in Windsor, Ontario, on Wednesday, October 2, 2019. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Both, Autopsy and A Haunting in E Flat, hold quite a challenge for the audience whose members will easily find themselves not only holding on to their seats but also laughing aloud almost hysterically, but, of course not at the same time.

It is all about the cleverness of the lines, sometimes with double entendre, sometimes its just laugh out loud silliness. A good example is Ouellette’s A Haunting in E Flat, when pathetic paranormalist for hire Thomas Nett meets a new client and introduces his niece Charmaine as a medium. The client admits to being a large.

Post Productions' A Haunting in E Flat cast James Stone, Greg Girty, and Carla Gyemi

Paranormal investigator Thomas Nett (James Stone), Client Elliott (Greg Girty) and Nett’s neice Charmaine (Carla Gyemi) performing during a dress rehearsal of Post Productions’ presentation of A Haunting in E Flat by local playwright Joey Ouellette at the Shadowbox Theatre in Windsor, Ontario, on Wednesday, October 2, 2019. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

In reality, the customer, played with severe subtleness by Rebecca Mickle, is the play’s singular extraordinary surprise. At just the right time she transforms into pure evil madness. It is so intense, it is beyond scary, so much so you can see, and almost feel, the fear in Nett and Charmaine’s eyes.

Post Productions' A Haunting in E Flat cast James Stone, Carla Gyemi and Rebecca Mickle

Actors James Stone as Thomas Nett, Carla Gyemi as Charmaine and Rebecca Mickle as Nancy performing during a dress rehearsal of Post Productions’ presentation of A Haunting in E Flat by local playwright Joey Ouellette at the Shadowbox Theatre in Windsor, Ontario, on Wednesday, October 2, 2019. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Post Productions’ Creative Director Faye Lynn tells Eyes on Windsor it was Mickle’s incredible ability to perform out-and-out horror that won her the part. She easily proves that scary parts demand a bit of body contortion and unhinged movement. Fans of the horror genre and even those just exploring it or thinking about such an exploration will be overwhelmed.

Post Productions' A Haunting in E Flat cast Rebecca Mickle and Carla Gyemi

Rebecca Mickle as Nancy and Carla Gyemi as Charmaine performing the roles of client and medium during a dress rehearsal of Post Productions’ presentation of A Haunting in E Flat by local playwright Joey Ouellette at the Shadowbox Theatre in Windsor, Ontario, on Wednesday, October 2, 2019. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

The play’s protagonist Nett is somewhat of a less than successful ghost buster with a modus operandi akin to a classic movie’s struggling detective and is superbly acted by James Stone. No doubt the calls will be forthcoming for more plays outlining his misadventures in the paranormal or just his misadventures.

Post Productions' A Haunting in E Flat cast Greg Girty and Rebecca Mickle

Actors Greg Girty as Elliot and Rebecca Mickle as Nancy performing during a dress rehearsal of Post Productions’ presentation of A Haunting in E Flat by local playwright Joey Ouellette at the Shadowbox Theatre in Windsor, Ontario, on Wednesday, October 2, 2019. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Carla Francesca Gyemi is Charmaine, his niece and sort of assistant. She has the admired ability to immediately build a quick rapport with the audience for, well, just being a lovable character. Gregory L Girty, in the role of client Elliot, is fascinating as he portrays a child turned man with his own set of problems beyond a dead mother he is trying to contact for details on the whereabouts of the family fortune.

Post Productions' A Haunting in E Flat cast Greg Girty and Carla Gyemi

Medium Charmaine (Carla Gyemi) and Client Elliot (Greg Girty) practicing a scene during a dress rehearsal of Post Productions’ presentation of A Haunting in E Flat by local playwright Joey Ouellette at the Shadowbox Theatre in Windsor, Ontario, on Wednesday, October 2, 2019. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Post Productions' A Haunting in E Flat cast Carla Gyemi and James Stone

Actors Carla Gyemi as Charmaine and James Stone as Thomas Nett performing during a dress rehearsal of Post Productions’ presentation of A Haunting in E Flat by local playwright Joey Ouellette at the Shadowbox Theatre in Windsor, Ontario, on Wednesday, October 2, 2019. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Post Productions' A Haunting in E Flat cast Greg Girty and Carla Gyemi

Client Elliot (Greg Girty) and Medium Charmaine (Carla Gyemi) practicing a scene where they are sitting in Elliot’s home during a dress rehearsal of Post Productions’ presentation of A Haunting in E Flat by local playwright Joey Ouellette at the Shadowbox Theatre in Windsor, Ontario, on Wednesday, October 2, 2019. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

In Alex Monk’s Autopsy, down at the local morgue, well-worn pathologist Gary, acted brilliantly by David DuChene with the right number of considerable formal frustrations for a life not lived well, finds himself facing what might be his profession’s worst nightmare. Ironically, he wears a Grateful Dead t-shirt.

Post Productions' Autopsy cast David Duchene and Joey Wright

Actors David DuChene as Pathologist Gary and Joey Wright as John Doe performing during a dress rehearsal of Post Productions’ Autopsy by local playwright Alex Monk at the Shadowbox Theatre in Windsor, Ontario, on Wednesday, October 2, 2019. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Joey Wright delivers a solid, steadfast and even philosophical character with the unassuming name of John Doe who startles back to life. But is he really still alive? Will this horror on the cold steel of the autopsy table bring meaning to Gary’s life?

Post Productions' Autopsy cast David Duchene and Joey Wright

Actors David DuChene as Pathologist Gary and Joey Wright as John Doe performing a scene where a dead John Doe seems to come to life during a dress rehearsal of Post Productions’ Autopsy by local playwright Alex Monk at the Shadowbox Theatre in Windsor, Ontario, on Wednesday, October 2, 2019. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

This is the genius of Monk’s play. It answers some questions and leaves others to the audience to decipher while carrying on with a story somewhere on the boundary between the netherworld of the living and the dead.

Post Productions' Autopsy cast Drew Beaudoin and David Duchene

Morgue Personal Assistant Michael, played by Drew Beaudoin, and Pathologist Gary, played by David Duchene performing during a dress rehearsal of Post Productions’ Autopsy by local playwright Alex Monk at the Shadowbox Theatre in Windsor, Ontario, on Wednesday, October 2, 2019. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Post Productions' Autopsy cast Rebecca Mickle and David Duchene

Hospital Administrator Marie-Louise played by Rebecca Mickle talking with Pathologist Gary played by David Duchene during a dress rehearsal of Post Productions’ Autopsy by local playwright Alex Monk at the Shadowbox Theatre in Windsor, Ontario, on Wednesday, October 2, 2019. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Autopsy is directed by Michael O’Reilly. A Haunting in E Flat is Directed by Fay Lynn. It also stars Rebecca Mickle as Nancy Tremaine the administrator who would rather the eccentric Gary retire and Gary’s administrative assistant Michael who presents as a perfect bureaucrat.

Both plays are produced by Michael K. Potter, Fay Lynn, and Michael O’Reilly with stage manager Sadie Alejandria, production assistant Jacob Giroux, set designer Matthew Burgess, sound designer Dave Nisbet along with lighting designer and operator Carter Dersch.

Performances start on Friday, October 4 with following performances on October 5, 10, 11 and 12, starting at 8pm. Tickets are $25 each and are available at the door on the evening of the performance or in advance online at postproductionswindsor.ca

Rebecca Mickle

Medium Client Nancy Tremaine (Rebecca Mickle) practicing a scene during a dress rehearsal of Post Productions’ presentation of A Haunting in E Flat by local playwright Joey Ouellette at the Shadowbox Theatre in Windsor, Ontario, on Wednesday, October 2, 2019. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Post Productions' A Haunting in E Flat cast Greg Girty and James Stone

Client Elliot (Greg Girty) and Thomas Nett (James Stone) practicing a scene during a dress rehearsal of Post Productions’ presentation of A Haunting in E Flat by local playwright Joey Ouellette at the Shadowbox Theatre in Windsor, Ontario, on Wednesday, October 2, 2019. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Post Productions' A Haunting in E Flat cast Carla Gyemi and Carla Gyemi

Client Nancy Tremaine (Rebecca Mickle) meeting Medium Charmaine (Carla Gyemi) during a dress rehearsal of Post Productions’ presentation of A Haunting in E Flat by local playwright Joey Ouellette at the Shadowbox Theatre in Windsor, Ontario, on Wednesday, October 2, 2019. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

James Stone and Rebecca Mickle

Paranormal investigator Thomas Nett (James Stone), meeting new client Nancy Tremaine (Rebecca Mickle) during a dress rehearsal of Post Productions’ presentation of A Haunting in E Flat by local playwright Joey Ouellette at the Shadowbox Theatre in Windsor, Ontario, on Wednesday, October 2, 2019. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Robert Tuomi

Article by Robert Tuomi

For over a decade, Robert has covered local news and community events. Initially as a contributor to CBC Radio’s local morning show and then as the long-time producer and host of CJAM’s The Rest of the News and as a journalist at the Windsor Square. A graduate of the Nikon School of Photography he enjoys illustrating his reports with what he sees through his camera’s lens.