The Cotuit Center for the Arts 2nd Wednesday Theater will present a staged reading of “The Bad Seed” in the Art Studio at 7:30 PM on Wednesday, October 9. Admission is free.

In this chronicle of evil, whatever charming little Rhoda Penmark wants, she ruthlessly goes after, no matter what—or who—stands in her way. Her mother, Christine, begins to see beyond Rhoda’s innocent smile and suspects her daughter has a darker side but keeps this knowledge to herself, with tragic results.

Many of Cotuit’s most popular actors will appear in what director Jo Brisbane describes as “an enhanced reading” of “The Bad Seed.” All audience members will receive special tricky treats, and there will be door prizes.

The cast includes Lily Anderson as Rhoda Penmark; Eric Johnson as Colonel Kenneth Penmark and Mr. Daigle; Toby Wilson as Richard Bravo; Rebecca Riley as Christine Penmark; Christine Ernst as Monica Breedlove; Daniel Fontneau as Emory Wages; Elliott Sicard as Leroy; Ashley LaCroix as Miss Fern; Michael Ernst as Reginald Tasker and Michele Colley as Mrs. Daigle. Jane Loutzenhiser is the stage manager.

Written in 1954 by William March, the book was nominated for the National Book Award for Fiction and was adapted into a long-running Broadway play by Maxwell Anderson. The play opened that same year. It was made into an Academy Award-nominated film in 1956, though the ending was changed to comply with the Hollywood Production Code. Variously updated television movies followed in 1985 and 2018.

Admission is free; wine will be available for $5 a glass.

Cotuit Center for the Arts is at 4404 Route 28.

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