At 7 pm, on Thursday, November 13, 2014, the Jacksonville State University Drama Department will begin its weekend long presentation of Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap” at the Stone Center.
“The Mousetrap” is based on Christie’s short story “Three Blind Mice,” a murder mystery set in a snowy British winter.
Agatha Christie’s masterpiece “The Mousetrap” first opened in London in 1952 and has been frightening audiences ever since.
Newlyweds Mollie and Giles Ralston open an English country guesthouse the same day a murder takes place in nearby London.
Travelers arrive as snow begins to fall, eventually cutting them off from the outside world.
Tension turns to suspicion when a police inspector arrives with the news that they may all be in danger.
When his prediction comes true in the guise of another murder, the race is on to find the murderer before they strike again.
As the play goes on, the tension in the house causes the line between possible victim and attacker to blur.
“Everyone has secrets,” says Tanner Cain, “and it is fun for the audience to figure out all those secrets during the show.”
Cain, a JSU senior, and the director of “The Mousetrap”, says that this production brings “knowledge that the students get to learn from the staff and the technicians.”
Tanner wanted to showcase the abilities of the students to the JSU audience, so he made the show mostly student run.
The acting is done completely by students, along with the designing and building of the costumes and set. The lighting, and of course the script, is the only thing that isn’t student-developed.
Tanner says that the “student perspective” creates a different atmosphere surrounding the show in the fact that it helps to enforce Christie’s point that not everyone is who they say they are.
The combined effort of all the students who have donated time and effort into “The Mousetrap” really comes to life on the stage.
The set is intricately designed with pieces that would be signature for the time era including an antique dial radio and telephone. Also, the furniture that is brought to the main stage shows off the homey feel to portray a bed and breakfast setting.
The student actors have worked for several months developing authentic sounding British accents and at times, an audience member can forget they are actually sitting in a darkened theatre instead of observing the events in the bed and breakfast; the characters could easily walk off the stage and have a realistic encounter with the audience.
The actors know their way around the stage, and have developed the characters they portray nicely, which makes it easy for audience members to see into each character’s mind and have an insight into both the motives of that particular character, but the situation as a whole.
Dillon Everett, another JSU Senior, plays Christopher Wren in the Mousetrap, an unusual young man whom he describes as “crazy, suspicious, very entertaining, and artistic.” His character is undoubtably energetic and humorous, he has questionable motives that create more hysteria in the show.
Join the JSU Drama Department on this murder mystery roller coaster of envy, jealously, secrets, and criminal intent.
The performances will be at the Ernest Stone Performing Arts Center on November 13, 14, 15 at 7 p.m. and November 16 at 2 p.m.
Tickets prices are $12 for adults and $8 for students, JSU personnel, senior citizens and members of the military. Tickets are available for reservation at the box office or on the JSU website.