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Bruins applaud “And Then There Were None”

The cast of “And Then There Were None” gather for the first act of the play. Photo by Brandon McGinnis

The audience was dying for more murder mystery at “And Then There Were None.”

The cast of Drama Teacher Sara Noah’s adaptation of Agatha Christie’s novel performed at the Bear River Theater March 29-31 and April 1. Students and staff agreed that the performance was an exceptional murder mystery.

Mrs. Noah, who is also the production director, gave a summary of the play’s plot.

The basic plot is that 10 people are invited to an isolated island,” she said. “Although they all have different reasons for being invited, it turns out that they were brought there to be accused of murder. One-by-one, people start dying and everyone accuses everyone else. The murderer has created a rhyme that coincides with the visitors’ deaths.”

Mrs. Noah explained how her adaptation involved two separate endings.

“We rehearsed and planned two different endings to the play,” she said. “When the audience arrived, they put their tickets in a bucket labeled ‘one’ or ‘two.’ I knew which ending was which, so I would count the tickets after the show started and then let the actors and crew know which ending we were doing.”

Mrs. Noah was pleased with the turnout.

“I thought the turnout was good,” she said. “In the future I would like to do two weekends so that the word gets out and more people come to the second weekend.”

Audience members were intrigued by the performance and expressed how they felt about the two endings.

“I think it’s really good,” said Grace Criesco, a senior. “The acting is well done. There’s good jokes, humor. I don’t know what to expect next. The set looks pretty nice. There’s a lot of good parts. It looks like there’s gonna be a really good ending. It’s really good acting.”

“I think it’s really interesting so far,” said Sophia Cienfuegos, an eighth grader. “I just want to keep watching. It’s like the book. I just want to keep flipping pages. I was ready to get scared and it’s working so far. It’s scary and suspenseful. It’s different because a not a lot of high schools do mysteries. They’re doing something different and unique; I like that.”

“I think that the acting is done well,” said Lesley Stern, a mother of one of the actors in the play. “It’s very fluid when the actors cut-off each other. It’s good for actresses and actors to work together. They do a good job at progressing the story. It captures your attention. You want to know what’s going to happen. You want to know ‘who done it.’”

“I’m kind of spooked honestly,” said sophomore Sophie Vigil. “There was so much suspense. I suspected everyone at least once throughout the play. It was really good.”

“It still feels great, even if I’ve see it twice,” said Devon Trammell, a senior. “I’m refreshed from a great performance yet again.”

The director and cast expressed their positive feelings about the play.

“I think it is a very well-constructed play,” said Mrs. Noah. “Agatha Christie gave just enough information at just the right time so that the audience would keep guessing about who the murderer was. I have directed this play twice. I love it when the audience gets wrapped up in the story and tries to guess who the murderer is. It is fun to have them surprised at the end.”

“I think it is the best dramatic experience I’ve ever had,” said sophomore Gavin Anderson who played Philip Lombard in the production. “This is the first performance I felt like I was really acting.”

“I think that this play is very intense,” said Calvin Bailey, a senior who played the role of Lawrence Wargrave. “It has a lot of plot twists and it’s very good at hooking in the audience. The different endings make it unique and fun to perform.”

“I think it’s one of the best plays I’ve done,” said senior Brooke Smith, who played the role of Vera Claythorne. “It’s the best experience of my high school career.”

“The play is great,” said Assistant Stage Manager Jack Kendall, a sophomore who also played Fred Narracott.

The cast enjoyed being a part of the murder mystery.

“Drama is maybe only a hobby, but it’s something I love doing,” said Anderson.

“I feel honored to be a part of the cast,” said Bailey. “It’s been a wonderful experience. Getting the part I did makes me feel awesome.”

“I feel like it’s really allowed me to be comfortable in myself,” said Smith. “I’ve become more confident around other people while being a part of the cast.”

The director and cast described some of the difficulties along the way.

“I think one of the biggest difficulties was time constraints and we had some sickness in the cast,” said Mrs. Noah. “Because I am new to Bear River, not all students are aware of how I work. I like all lines to be learned fairly early so that we can focus on relationship and acting technique. Some students had more issues with lines, which set us back a bit.”

“The play was a bit a different than what I’m used to,” said Anderson. “I had a lot more lines, which was great.”

“The process of memorizing lines was a challenge, but easily overcome by weeks of practice,” said Bailey. “Blocking is also definitely a challenge, but the show has been good so far so it’s not that big of a problem.”

“I love my job as assistant stage manager, but at the same time it’s really stressful,” said Kendall. “I love it because I have power. The difficulty is coordinating everyone.”

The director and cast members explained what made this performance special to them.

“I really like this play,” said Mrs. Noah. “My family loves mystery books and shows, so it reminds me of my parents and sisters. Also, the last time I did the show, my dad died on closing night. The cast and crew stepped it up and made sure the last performance was fantastic. Several of them actually came to see this production.”

“It’s my last performance at Bear River,” said Anderson. “It makes me sad, but it’s a good send off.”

“I’ve made a lot of wonderful friends I wouldn’t have had if I didn’t do the play,” said Smith. “I feel like everyone’s got my back and believes in me. The people in the cast are not only amazing as themselves, but as actors as well. I love everyone so much. This cast has become a family to me and I’m really thankful to meet so many great people.”

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Bruins applaud “And Then There Were None”