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By Scott Wolman

Directed by Scott Westerman

At The Artistic Home, Chicago

Darkly comic, small town “who-don-it” filled with terrific performances.

Chicago playwright Scott Wolman has penned an ambitious family-oriented mystery that befuddles a rural Indiana sheriff in his world premiere, Interrogation. When the girlfriend of a teen disappears from his family reunion/graduation event, Deputy Griggs (Eric  Leonard) attempts to interrogate this unique family. The mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, and their in-laws give new meaning to”dysfunctional.” The Harper clan, lead by matriarch Joanne Harper (Kathy Scambiatterra) and her delusional  husband Bill (Chuck Spenser), live in a family environment filled with arguments and occasional physical encounters. Marriages are troubled, and alliances often tested.


So when Ellie Kimbel (Kathryn Acosta), Kevin Harper’s (Julian Hester) girlfriend goes missing in the woods, the entire Harper clan is suspected of doing her harm, despite that no body is found. Deputy Griggs interviews each several times as possible scenarios, motivations, and “what-if’s” are brought up by the manically Gothic small town family.  The weirdly violent warring clan is a sort of contemporary Addams Family but certainly more darkly humorous that campy.


What makes this ghoulish mystery work are a combination of well defined characters by playwright Scott Wolman and the fantastic ensemble performances by the 12 person cast. The sheer energy, the wild physicality, and the scary woman fuel the mystery. We easily get hooked into speculating what happened and who did something to Ellie – if -indeed, something actually did happen to her. The adventure that unfolds is an engrossing one, deftly played out with tight direction by Scott Westerman played  with sharp timing and terrific fight choreography (by Kathryn Acosta and Julian Hester).

The Interrogation’s strength lies in the acting and character development. Kristin Collins and Kathy Scambiatteria led the way as the wackiest, as each family member earns our suspicion as to Ellie’s status. Julian Hester’s stoicism screams guilt.  The clever twists and possibilities are played out with a unique twist that will surprise you. I found the Interrogation contains the main elements of a worthy dark comedy: strangely believable characters pitted in situations that reveal buried secrets. We easily get intrigued by these misfits and we are on the edge of our seats throughout.


Tom Williams

Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast

Date Reviewed: February 14, 2016

For more info checkout the Interrogation page at

At the Artistic Home, 1376 W. Grand, Chicago, IL, call312-243-3963,, tickets $28 – $32, Thursdays at 7:30 pm, Friday & Saturdays at 8 pm, Sunday at 3 pm, running time is 2hours, 30 minutes with intermission, through  March 20, 2016