NICEVILLE — Northwest Florida State College's Humanities, Fine & Performing Arts Division will premiere "The Third Side," NWFSC theater professor Clint Mahle's history-based thriller.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. March 16-19 in the Mattie Kelly Arts Center Sprint Theater on NWFSC's Niceville campus.  

The play is based on 16th-century playwright Christopher Marlowe, a contemporary and rival of Shakespeare, who was mysteriously killed in 1593. Some say Marlowe was assassinated. The mystery — part espionage, part political thriller — follows a young, proud writer trying to climb the social ladder in London. He finds himself caught between rival forces in the petty intrigues of powerful men and must find his way to survival.

The cast includes 19-year-old Jesse Hartsog of Fort Walton Beach in the lead role of the young Christopher Marlowe; Daniel Thornton of Baker; Wesley Barlow and Sheila Johnson of Crestview; Joshua Birdsong of Destin; Doug Linder of DeFuniak Springs; Tom Mosley of Freeport; Dylan Garofalo of Santa Rosa Beach; James Meadows, Jason Mueller, Daniel Sindelar and Tara Sindelar of Fort Walton Beach; and Zachary Phillips and Taryn Tomassetti of Niceville.

NWFSC and University of West Florida students may attend dress rehearsal free of charge 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 14 or Tuesday, March 15 by showing college ID at the door; or they may request one free ticket to the play’s public performance nights by presenting a college ID in person during regular box office hours or at the door on show nights (space permitting).

General admission tickets are on sale for $15 adults and $10 for youths ages 18 and younger.

Advance purchase — at www.MattieKellyArtsCenter.org — is recommended due to the theater's seating capacity.