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Local youth lands lead roll in North Central murder mystery “The Mousetrap”

Posted: Thursday, Oct 7th, 2010

NAPERVILLE — Agatha Christie’s murder mystery, “The Mousetrap,” is coming to North Central College Oct. 14-16 for what will be a mind-bending, all-inclusive audience experience. Written by the best-selling author of all time, “The Mousetrap” is the longest-running play in theatrical history and will be performed and directed by North Central College students.

Three performances will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 14, 15 and 16 in the College’s Madden Theatre at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville. Tickets are $5/adults and $3/students and senior citizens; call the North Central College Box Office at 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit www.northcentralcollege.edu/showtix.

In a plot that engages the audience from start to finish and what the New York Times calls “one of the most skillfully written murder mysteries ever produced,” the story follows a young couple, Mollie and Giles Ralston, who started a new hotel in the converted Monkswell Manor. They are snowed in together with four guests and an additional traveler, who ran his car into a snowdrift. Detective Sergeant Trotter arrives on skis to inform the group that he believes a murderer is on his way to the hotel, following the death of a Mrs. Maureen Lyon in London. When one of the guests, Mrs. Boyle, is killed, they realize the murderer is already there and could be any one of the guests, or even the hosts themselves.

According to director Jared Grebner of Washington, a North Central senior majoring in management and theatre, the performance will preserve the spirit of Christie, whose writing is slightly campy or melodramatic. “Audiences can expect an inclusive experience,” he says. “When they enter Madden Theatre, they’ll get the feeling they’re entering Monkswell Manor boarding house itself. And because it’s a murder mystery, think creepy. It has dry British humor and keeps with the 1950s England era in which the show is set.”

“The Mousetrap” opened in the West End of London in 1952 and has been running continuously since then. It has the longest initial run of any play in history, with more than 24,000 performances to date, and is the longest-running show of any type of the modern era.

The cast for “The Mousetrap” include:

Cast part: Student name, hometown, year, major

Mollie Ralston: Jessica Martin of Madison, Wis., a junior majoring in theatre

Giles Ralston: Jonathan Voss of Ashton, a freshman majoring in biology

Christopher Wren: Ryan Stasell of Elburn, a freshman majoring in interactive media studies

Mrs. Boyle: Marissa Backlin of Monee, a senior majoring in music

Major Metcalf: Karen Forshall of Berwyn, a freshman majoring in musical theatre

Miss Casewell: Carlee Fields of Clinton, a freshman majoring in Spanish

Madame Paravicini: Rebekah Thurston of Chatham, a junior majoring in musical theatre

Sergeant Trotter: Brian Warren of Glendale Heights, a freshman majoring in theatre

This play is part of North Central’s Student Director Series. The College’s theatre faculty invite students to submit a proposal to direct their own theatrical productions and the best are selected. They are some of many ongoing programs hosted at North Central College to enrich and broaden the academic and cultural outlook for the College and community. For a comprehensive schedule of theatrical performances, art exhibits, musical performances and lectures, visit www.northcentralcollege.edu/show or call the box office at 630-637-SHOW (7469).

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