Stephen King’s classic thriller ‘Misery’ comes alive on stage

A woman with dramatic backlighting on black background, looks down in this black and white photo.

Successful romance novelist Paul Sheldon is rescued from a car crash by his “number one fan,” Annie Wilkes, and wakes up captive in her secluded home. While Paul is convalescing, Annie reads his latest book and becomes enraged when she discovers the author has killed off her favorite character, Misery Chastain. Annie forces Paul to write a new Misery novel, and he quickly realizes Annie has no intention of letting him go anywhere. The irate Annie has Paul writing as if his life depends on it, and it does.

Fresno State’s University Theatre will present the Fresno Premiere of “Misery,” written by William Goldman, based on the novel by Stephen King, and directed by Thomas-Whit Ellis. 

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28-29 and Nov. 1-5, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30 at the Dennis and Cheryl Woods Theatre on campus. Tickets are $17 for adults, $15 for Fresno State faculty, staff, alumni and military and $10 for all students. The production is intended only for mature audiences. Children under 12 are not permitted.

“Working in our intellectual community, there is an ongoing thought that pop culture is sometimes condescended upon, but the work of Stephen King is perhaps one of our most important literary influences of the last 40 years. I jumped at the chance to do one of his most iconic works set to stage,” director Thomas-Whit Ellis said. “The production provides unique and engaging opportunities for our student actors, designers, and stage managers. We are also fortunate to have a guest artist, Stephen Cloud, which provides students an opportunity to perform alongside a professional, working actor. And as an added bonus, this production falls right in the middle of the Halloween season, a perfect time for this thrilling play from the master of horror himself.”

The cast includes Stephen Cloud, Bethany Rand, and Sabrina Ramirez.

Fresno State no longer requires masks to be worn indoors, but based on updated guidance from public health experts, the University highly recommends that all students, faculty, and staff, regardless of vaccination status, wear a surgical grade or KN95 mask indoors. Doors open 30 minutes before curtain. Latecomers will not be permitted, and there are no refunds or exchanges. The box office is open from noon to 4 p.m. on weekdays and one hour before each performance, and it accepts cash, check, or credit card payments.

Parking is free for shows on Friday through Sunday night. For shows on Tuesday through Thursday night, parking permits are required and can be purchased at dispensers in parking lots on campus.

For more information, contact the box office at 559.278.2216 or

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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

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