Suspenseful Agatha Christie play brings interesting twists to DHS stage
Published 8:43 am Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Just in time for the season, Danville High School will be producing “And Then There Were None” written by Agatha Christie. Director Beth Marlowe says, “We picked this show because we wanted to do something a bit more dark since it was around Halloween.”
Better known by the title, “10 Little Indians,” the show surrounds 10 strangers invited to an island by various acquaintances. After arriving, they discover they’ve really been hosted by the mysterious U.N. Owen. A record begins to play, and the voice of an unseen host accuses each person of hiding a guilty secret — then the first murder takes place … The tension escalates, Marlowe says, as the survivors realize the killer is among them and plans to continue killing.
the play is a bit more dark, she says, and is definitely a drama. “There’s a bit of language, but nothing that you don’t hear on commericals these days.” She says it’s probably best for middle school and older — it’s a classic story written by Christie, so it’s definitely something to see.
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“We also wanted to do something that would have some literary merit,” Marlowe says. “We also picked a show with lots of male roles because we have a lot of very talented guys at DHS right now.” Marlowe says several of them, however, are involved in fall sports and couldn’t audition, so some females were cast in male roles, actually creating a really interesting twist.
“The cast is remarkable. It was a fun audition, and I could tell from the start there was a lot of talent …” she says, however not having the males expected was a huge challenge.
“Natalie Grubbs, for instance, is a female put in a male role. She is able to really pull it off, even though changing the sex of the characters proves a bit difficult when a show was written that long ago.” She says women’s typical roles have evolved so much over the last 70 years. “I love seeing some of the typical male stereotype roles being played as a strong female. Paige Glasser and Libby Hale also have this challenge and they’ve done a terrific job.”
Marlowe also enlisted the help of her daughter, Maggie, and a family friend, Kolton Winfield. Both are Danville grads who have gone on to pursue acting on some level.
“It has been delightful. We’ve collaborated in theater — and life — for many, many years so this seems so natural,” she says. They’ve had a few differences of opinions, but she says they always try to think about what’s best for the show.
“It’s fun watching them step up and take control. Maggie is incredibly good at organization, motivation and blocking. Kolton is brilliant with character development. It’s been fun to watch them.”
She says the perks are definitely the laughter and jokes. “We have a lot of fun. For me, personally, having the opportunity to spend time with two of my favorite people on the planet again has been a gift. Having Kolton back in town for this short time and being able to have the three of us work together again has just been a dream.”
The full cast includes: Michael Kelso, Eleanor Tubb, Rayvn Singleton, Becky Mohr, Barrett Minks, Kyle Dean, Natalie Grubbs, Grayson Fowlkes, Emma Merryman, Paige Glasser and Libby Hale.
IF YOU GO
“And Then There Were None” goes up 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 26-28 at Gravely Hall Performing Arts Center inside Danville High School. Tickets are $6 for general public, $4 for students and senior citizens.