Avon Players Presents Psychological Suspense with Stephen King’s ‘Misery’

A quaint country cabin becomes a terrifying prison for one unlucky accident victim.

A writer discovers the dark side of fandom when he finds himself at the mercy of an unhinged stranger as Avon Players presents Misery running March 10 through 25 in Rochester, MI.

Based on the bestselling novel by the master of horror Stephen King that became the iconic film, Misery follows successful romance novelist Paul Sheldon (Jeff Stillman), who is rescued from a car crash by his number one fan, Annie Wilkes (Laura Flores). When Annie reads his latest manuscript and discovers the author has killed off her favorite character, Misery Chastain, she becomes enraged, and Paul’s convalescence quickly becomes his captivity in Annie’s secluded mountain home. Through increasingly deranged means, Annie forces Paul to write a new novel. Now the novelist must plot his escape while quite literally writing for his life. 

Laura Flores as “Annie Wilkes” in Avon Players’ production of “misery.” Photo Credit: Bryan Clifford

The play is based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, first published by Viking Press in 1987. The book won the first annual Bram Stoker Award for superior achievement in horror writing. It was a commercial success, earning the fourth spot on the bestseller list for its year. Critical reception was also positive with critics praising King for relying less on fantasy elements compared to his earlier works. Instead of supernatural threats, Misery presents a chilling exploration of toxic fandom in a realistic setting. Rob Reiner directed the 1990 film adaptation starring Kathy Bates and James Caan. Bates won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Annie, making Misery the only film based on a King novel to win an Oscar. The 2015 Broadway stage adaptation starred Laurie Metcalf and Bruce Willis

Director Mike Olsem was drawn to Misery in part because of how the play’s terror emerges from a seemingly mundane and even comforting setting, which Olsem sees as a thread running through all of King’s works: “King himself has said in interviews that he didn’t necessarily set out to be a horror writer, but that as he began writing about characters in placid small towns, he kept wondering what would happen if something powerful, unexpected, and sinister should disrupt their normal lives and routines.” In Olsem’s view, this results in the challenge of creating a production in which Paul’s sense of the danger he is in must build over time. “In the hands of a former nurse, a caretaker, his recovery should be a peaceful one, but, bit by bit, clues stack up that this ‘normal’ relationship is anything but.”

Tickets for all shows are $25. Call 248-608-9077 for tickets or order online at www.AvonPlayers.org. Discounts on matinee tickets are available for seniors and students; call the box office for details. Additionally, group rates are available by calling the box office. “Like” Avon Players Theatre on Facebook for special offers on tickets. All major credit cards are accepted. All seats are reserved. 

Show dates and times:

  • Friday, March 10           8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 11       8:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 12         2:00 p.m.
  • Friday, March 17           8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 18       8:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 19         2:00 p.m.
  • Friday, March 24           8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 25       8:00 p.m.

Cast and Production Staff by Community:


  • Mike Olsem (Director)

Farmington Hills

  • Nick Frederick (Lighting Design)


  • Sharon Jourdan (Properties Design)

Oak Park

  • Kelli Williams (Costume Design)


  • Mark Kundrick (Set Design)


  • Laura Flores (“Annie Wilkes”)
  • Nick Kibler (Sound Design)

Rochester Hills

  • Al Bartlett (“Buster”)
  • Bradley Holoday (Special Effects Design)
  • Louise Holoday (Hair and Makeup Design)
  • Patrick Jordan (Producer)


  • Jeff Stillman (“Paul Sheldon”)

Avon Players is celebrating its 76th year of bringing quality entertainment to its community. Founded in 1947, Avon Players is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit community theatre located along the winding banks of Stoney Creek in the quaint Historic District of Rochester Hills, only about two miles from the heart of downtown Rochester. Avon Players has been performing shows in its unique A-frame theater since 1965. With ticket prices set at a fraction of those at a professional theatre (plus free parking and concessions offered on a donation-only basis) a family of four can experience a sensational live theatrical event for about the cost of one ticket at a “downtown” venue. And for regular theatre-goers, an affordable outing can be an even better bargain by taking advantage of Avon Players’ season ticket packages, which yield discounts of up to 20% per ticket. Additionally, season ticket holders enjoy priority seating selection and voting privileges in Avon’s annual “Stoney Awards.” Additional information regarding tickets and productions is available by calling the Avon Players box office at 248-608-9077 or by visiting the website: www.AvonPlayers.org.

About Sarah Hovis

Freelance wordsmith, arts appreciator, grammar geek, sports spectator, stationery snob, and world traveler, Sarah charts her own course as the owner of saliho creative. She uses her creative mind and engaging dialogue to fearlessly bring the written word to life in print and online… all while keeping a watchful eye out for the next literary adventure. You can reach her at sarah@rochestermedia.com.

Speak Your Mind