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World Premiere Audio Play "DECEPTION" Presented by Chatillion Stage Company's Project Mercury.

The suspenseful mystery is very loosely based on a notorious NYC murder case that made headlines a little over 100 years ago.

by BWW News Desk Apr. 22, 2021

Project Mercury, an audio play anthology series from NYC's Off Broadway Chatillion Stage Company, presents the world premiere of "DECEPTION," a new psychological thriller. The play features an all-star cast headed by Jason O'Connell. Produced in the style of the classic radio play, "DECEPTION" is written and directed by Chatillion Stage Company's Artistic Director, Debra Whitfield. The suspenseful mystery is very loosely based on a notorious NYC murder case that made headlines a little over 100 years ago.

Cora Mack Slade is madly in love with her handsome new husband, Doc. She ignores his hobby of researching communicable diseases and when deadly suspicions begin to swirl around her secretive spouse, Corry seems oblivious. Are her family's concerns about Doc unwarranted or is Corry's life in real danger?

"I've always been fascinated with true crime cases of yesteryear. I'm simultaneously repelled and attracted," explains Ms. Whitfield. "I came across this case in a tabloid a couple of years ago and immediately thought it would make a fascinating screenplay or stage play. But once I started working on it, a whole other idea sprang up and I only retained the most intriguing elements of the original story--greed, betrayal and murder." The "DECEPTION" premiere podcast will be presented in two episodes and is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms. More information can be found at

"DECEPTION" features an award-winning cast with credits ranging from Broadway to film and television to major concert halls. Playing Doc is Jason O'Connell (Judgment Day/Park Avenue Armory, Wheelhouse/The Duke on 42nd St., Primary Stages, The Pearl, Bedlam, Joe's Pub, Syracuse Stage, Law & Order franchise). "Knives Out recently reignited my boyhood love for whodunnits," said Jason. "It's been an absolute joy to finally dive into the genre as an actor with "DECEPTION." Performing this piece as an audio play was so satisfying and proved to be such a feast for the imagination - I think audiences will feel the same way!" "DECEPTION" also stars Melissa Hurst (Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, Lincoln Center, Metropolitan Playhouse, Atlantic Theatre, Joe's Pub, Soho Rep, Hartford Stage, GeVa, Pittsburgh Public); Russell Jordan (2020 Helen Hayes Awards Outstanding Performer nomination, Vivian's Music, 1969;) Paul Page (Denver Drama Critics Circle Award winner, Gallery Players, Edge Theatre, and Theatre Row); Angela Pierce (Lincoln Center, Manhattan Theatre Club, Roundabout, Circle In The Square, The Public, Mint Theater, Denver Center Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre of DC, Royal Shakespeare (UK), Hartford TheaterWorks, Bucks County Playhouse); and Ms. Whitfield (Mint Theater, Florida Studio Theatre, Virginia Stage Company, Bristol Riverside Theatre, Dorset Theatre Festival, Two River Theater Company, Hartford TheaterWorks, Depot Theatre, Bickford Theatre, Emelin Theatre).

Rounding out the cast is N'Kenge who starred in Broadway's Motown: The Musical as Mary Wells and the recent Broadway revival of Caroline, or Change. (Other credits include Columbus Symphony Orchestra, President Obama's Commander-in-Chief Inaugural Ball, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Vienna Kammer Opera, Israel Opera, London's Haymarket Theatre.) N'Kenge shared that "having the opportunity to be a part of "DECEPTION" was truly a lifesaver after the Broadway shut down. I was attracted to the script because it was the best of both worlds, as I had the opportunity to create a character who sings and acts in fabulously written scenes. Having the chance to bring life to a role as a voice actor through technology was quite different than live theater, but I loved it."

The production team includes Grammy-winning Sound Engineer, Tom Camuso (Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill and HBO's The Wire, has worked with artists Blondie, Lenny Kravitz, John Scofield, Steve Earle, sound designs for Samsung, Jet Blue, MTV and ESPN). His recent work with Sir Paul McCartney is featured in the upcoming documentary, Paul McCartney x Rick Rubin - A Documentary Series Event. "For twenty years, I've been really fortunate to engineer film scores, commercials, and to work alongside legendary musicians-most recently, Sir Paul. But working on Project Mercury with Deb and Company has opened up a whole new world. Audio drama is really cool and I look forward to future episodes." Also on the producing team are Robert Laconi, Associate Producer (Circle in the Square, Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Project, Broadway's Enchanted April, Tech Support at 59E59, Theatre Arts Center NY); Ed Matthew, Original Music and Sound Design (Transference, Tech Support, Fire, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Invisible Theater, Amateur Comedy Club, The Snarks, member of the orchestra of Broadway's The Phantom of the Opera); and Kassie Meiler and GOAT Social Media (Formula Z Cosmetics, Camphill Foundation). "DECEPTION" was produced under a SAG-AFTRA Collective Bargaining agreement.

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