Review: Specter (Sterling Studio Theatre)


The pacing and lighting set the tone in Specter at Toronto’s Sterling Theatre

Having never been to the Sterling Studio Theatre before, I decided to check out its performance of Specter last night. Not knowing what to expect, I was there simply because something about the synopsis had been enticing.

Specter tells the story of a young professor who finds himself stuck in his car on a rainy night with a young lady who is either ridiculous or crazy. Having just swerved into a ditch to avoid hitting her, she then ends up in his car and it is unclear whether she wants to make love to him or murder him, or both.

First off, it was really hard to find something I didn’t like about this play. I knew, with Don Nigro as the play’s author, that the writing would be outstanding. And it was. It was so simple, hilarious, and creepy all at the same time that it made me wish the play was longer.

Both Michael Eisner as the professor and Katelyn Wallace as the young lady were hilarious and well-paced. I felt at times, during her more intense moments, that Ms. Wallace had the tendency to become a bit shrill and it was then difficult to make out what she was saying. However, I’m really nitpicking here.

I also really enjoyed the design elements of the play. Although it was a bare-bones set, with only two car seats and a tree branch on stage, it was really effective. The lighting effects were also extremely accurate; I really believed the lightning and the car lights. This surprised me, actually, because it’s not usually something I tend to comment on unless I can tell the company had enough of a budget to really put something together. Most of the time, I accept that many theatre companies don’t have these resources and work with what they have. But in this case, all these elements sincerely worked.

All in all, I was thoroughly impressed and am definitely planning on checking out more of Sterling Studio Theatre. This particular production only runs until Saturday, but it’s well worth it.


  • Specter is playing at The Sterling Studio Theatre (163 Sterling Road, Unit 5).
  • Last two performances are Friday, June 7th and Saturday, June 8th at 8pm.
  • Tickets are $10 and can be purchases at the door or online.

Photo of Katelyn Wallace and Michael Eisner by Angela Besharah of INSIDE LIGHT STUDIO.