Update: In a previous version of the story, Gregory Karcz was listed as one of the directors in place of James Gray. We have fixed the error and apologize for the mistake.
Dressed in all the trappings of English citizens in the 1950s and putting on their best accents to match, students orchestrated a seamless production of Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap.” The classic whodunnit murder mystery was performed Sep. 6 and Sep. 7 and was the culmination of a summer full of hard work, displaying the cast’s commitment to their craft.
Compared to the more lighthearted performances that Drama Club has taken on in the past (“Little Shop of Horrors,” “Newsies,” etc.), this grim narrative certainly tested the crew’s acting skills, forcing them to delve into their characters in a way that they have never done before.
“I’ve been in other plays, but I’ve never really had a big part,” tenth-grader Julian Lifton, who played Paravicini, said. “This is my biggest role, and it’s been really hard for me to learn how to improve my acting because it’s really difficult to portray all the emotion [Paravicini] has.”
Taking on a more sophisticated play also requires ample practice time, something that the cast did not overlook. The club rehearsed for the play all summer, working from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Sundays for the first half of the break, and then increasing their practice time to Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Surprisingly, many of the cast members expressed indifference towards the extensive rehearsal time, seemingly unbothered by how it affected their summer break.
“All the rehearsal time was definitely worth it. I wouldn’t say I really gave up any of my summer because [rehearsing for this play] was what I was planning to do anyway,” tenth-grader Jake Nicholson said.
Although the lengthy rehearsal times did not appear to pose any problems for the club members, they soon became an issue once the school year began.
“The second week of school we started everyday rehearsals, and it got very stressful for all of us, so there’s a lot of tension in the air, which is the case for most shows but especially for this one because it’s the beginning of school, and we all kind of got slammed,” Lifton said.
Despite these setbacks, however, the cast managed to pull the show together and said they are closer than ever.
“The Mousetrap” is arguably one of Drama Club’s most challenging performances to date, but the proficient cast pulled it off without a hitch, indicative of their flair for the arts and commitment to their club’s image. The directors, eleventh-grader Kenna Bartlett and twelfth-grader James Gray, played a considerable role in ensuring the play’s success and organized most of the largely-student-run production.
“Parts of it [being a student-run production] were very challenging, but, I think it was an overall super rewarding experience because it gives everyone a chance to be in charge of the show themselves, and it really gave me and James the opportunity to kind of put our creative vision onto the show,” Bartlett said.
All proceeds of the play went to the Boys and Girls Club in Venice.