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Ensemble Stage Continues its Summer Series with the Psychological Thriller ‘Toyer’

“That was scary!”

“Boy, I didn’t see that coming!”

“I was on the edge of my seat from the very beginning!”

These are just a few things folks have had to say following the Ensemble Stage performance of Toyer.

Only three more performances left so if you don’t mind something a little dark, a little creepy and not your usual live theatre fare, you won’t want to miss the Hitchcock-esque, “TOYER.”

Ensemble Stage is a professional theater located in Blowing Rock, dedicated to “culturally enriching the lives of the residents of the High Country and its visitors” by providing high-quality productions at affordable prices.

“Make no mistake, we are not a community theatre but we are, and always will be, a theatre for the community,” Ensemble Stage explains on its website.

"Toyer" by Gardner McKay
“Toyer” by Gardner McKay

Written by Gardner McKay, “Toyer” is a psychological thriller described on Ensemble Stage’s website as “a cat and mouse game of verbal, psychological and physical intrigue… where one player must outwit the other in order to survive.” The battle of wits takes place between psychologist Maude and a charming stranger who arrives at her house. The mystery is whether he is merely an innocent admirer, or someone more sinister- the man who has been called the “Toyer” by the local media.

“Toyer” contains strong language and adult themes, and is recommended for mature audiences only.

Since October 2009, Ensemble Stage has put on 52 productions and over 200 performances for nearly 20,000 audience members total. In addition, the nonprofit has helped train over 100 young students in theatrical techniques and has donated time and money to other nonprofits and community service events.

“Toyer” is the second of four plays that Ensemble Stage will present this summer. All performances are held at the Blowing Rock School Auditorium at 160 Sunset Drive.

Ensemble Stage Rehearsals
Ensemble Stage Rehearsals

Single ticket show prices (plus tax) are $21 for adults, $19 for seniors, students and military, and $11 for children 16 years old and younger.

For those planning to see multiple Ensemble Stage productions this summer, invest in the summer mainstage season subscription: you get premium reserved seating to all four plays for $73 plus tax for adults, or $65 plus tax for seniors, students and military.

Group discounts for groups of 15 or more are also available.

To buy tickets in advance, call 828-414-1844 or visit the box office online. Tickets will also be available at the box office on the day of the performance one hour before the show, for cash or check only.

Visit ensemblestage.com or call 828-414-1844 for more information.


 “Toyer” Performance Schedule:

Saturday, July 16 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, July 17 2 p.m.

Monday, July 18 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 19 7:30 p.m.

Friday, July 22 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 23 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, July 24 2 p.m.


Check out Ensemble Stage’s remaining productions this summer:

Jeff Baron’s “Visiting Mr. Green” — Aug. 6 – 14

What happens when two polar opposites are forced to get to know each other? “Visiting Mr. Green” shows us that you can’t judge a book by its cover. This story of two men, one young and one old, will touch your heart and have you smiling as they learn to focus on their commonalities rather than their differences.

P. Paulette MacDougal’s “Waiting for MacArthur” — Aug. 27 – Sept. 4

Travel back in time to the 1940s as you enjoy this touching tale of four women separated by distance but united in the struggles and challenges of living in a war-torn world. This story gives us a close look at the personal experiences of these ladies as they learn to be strong on their own and for one another.

Saturday Kids’ Theatre

“Cinderella: The Commedia” — July 2, 23

“Robin Hood: The Commedia” — July 9, 30