Northeast State Theatre stages the contemporary thriller D.O.A.

Published 1:34 pm Wednesday, April 3, 2024

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Frank Bigelow has six hours to solve a murder…his own!

The award-winning Northeast State Community College Department of Theatre stages the mystery whodunit D.O.A. in April at the Ballad Health Regional Performing Arts Center on the Blountville campus.

An adaptation of the 1950s classic noir film, D.O.A. takes audiences on a stage noir thrill ride sure to keep everyone on the edge of their seat. Bigelow walks into a police station to report a murder: his own. One day earlier, the small-time accountant kissed his girlfriend and secretary, Paula, goodbye and left on a trip to San Francisco with mysterious intentions. Shortly after he arrives, he’s invited to join a group of businessmen celebrating with their clients after a successful market week. After a wild night of drinking at jazz clubs with the ladies, he awakens feeling ill.

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A doctor and detective arrive to deliver tragic news – Bigelow has been poisoned, and he only has hours left to live. Bigelow frantically searches the city for his killer; and the reason he was targeted. Each person he encounters gives him a piece of the story that includes a mysterious suicide, a shady business deal gone wrong, and conniving women. But can he believe anything he hears?

As Paula awaits news and the minutes tick by, will Frank unravel the mystery before time runs out? Will the killer be brought to justice? With cigar-smoking detectives and gun-toting femme fatales, D.O.A. includes all the noir tropes plus updates to the story that will appeal to modern audiences.

Elizabeth Lovelady wrote the stage play based on the screenplay by Russel Rouse and Clarence Greene. The play is being directed by T.J. Kent, associate professor of Theatre at Northeast State.

Opening night is April 18 at 7:30 p.m. Evening performances continue April 19 and 20 at 7:30 p.m. There will be a matinee performance scheduled April 21 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for general admission. Admission is $5 to Northeast State students, faculty, and children under age 12.

The play is presented through a special arrangement with Dramatic Publishing. In compliance with the American Disabilities Act, Northeast State honors requests for reasonable accommodations made by individuals with disabilities. Direct requests can be made at least 10 days in advance to (voice and TTY) 423-279-7640.

Get tickets when you email or call 423.354.5169.  To purchase tickets online, visit