By Sarah Carlson, Arts Editor
Editor’s Note: “The Mousetrap” opened Thursday night, and because of time constraints with this paper’s Thursday night deadline, I was unable to review the show for this issue. Because Theatre Department policy prefers that dress rehearsals not be reviewed, as was customary for previous arts editors, my review of the show will run next Friday.
Last-minute touches are in place for “The Mousetrap,” ACU’s Winter Dinner Theatre. The Agatha Christie play revolves around a group of people who come to stay at Monkswell Manor, a guesthouse, and are eventually snowed in. During this time a murder takes place, and an inspector is brought in, with the rest of the show playing out in a whodunit fashion.
Originally a radio play first performed in 1952, Christie quickly penned the play for the stage after enthusiastic reactions from audiences. The show is still running with more than 20,000 performances, making it the longest-running stage play in theatre history.
Director Mike Fernandez, assistant professor of theatre, described the play as a melodrama, combining both comedy and drama with a happy ending. He said the cast has been working “like busy little bees,” finalizing their performances, refining the show and seeing what works best.
“We’re ready for an audience,” Fernandez said.
The cast includes junior Juliette Miller, freshman Matt Worthington, freshman Jay Reese, senior Amanda McGee, sophomore Josh Martin, sophomore Meredith Brown, sophomore Ryan Massie and senior Ryan Fonville.
This is Fernandez’s first year teaching at ACU, and he said it is wonderful. A ’99 graduate, he spent the past five years teaching theatre at a private Christian high school where he ran the show, a contrast to his job now where he works with dedicated staff and students who offer plenty of help.
This summer, Fernandez will direct “Julius Caesar” in the annual Abilene Shakespeare Festival. Auditions are Feb. 21 and are open to the public. Auditions for the other play in the festival, “Twelfth Night,” directed by Gary Varner, associate professor of theatre, are Feb. 22, and both plays will run in July.
For now, Fernandez said he is excited about “The Mousetrap” and that all the elements of costumes, lighting and the set have combined to form a memorable show.
Tickets for “The Mousetrap” can be purchased by calling Ext. 2787 and the WPAC box office is open 1-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Dinner, dessert and show tickets are $25, show-only tickets are $12. Half-price rush seats are available after 6 p.m. performance day with a show-only ticket.