Memorial’s own Crusader Players Drama Team (CPDT) performed Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap four times on May 9th, 10th, and 11th. There was one performance each night and an additional matinee on Saturday. This was the CPDT’s third year and they are quickly growing in talent, numbers, and resources. “I’m super… proud of how far we’ve come,” said Olivia Drake.
The Mousetrap has an eight-person cast, but there were more than double the amount of students in the group. This left the director, Ruth Nice, to get creative. Two measures were taken to ensure that all students who wanted a part got one. The first was creating two casts, the Sun and Moon groups, with each cast getting to perform twice. The second, less obvious, idea was to add roles to the play.
Three Blind Mice is a recurring element in the show, so Director Nice saw it fit to create characters to depict the nursery rhyme. These characters would not interact with the original cast, but would add comic relief by reacting to events in the play. Additionally, a host was cast to guide audience members through the night. However, plans never work out the way they are supposed to.
There was never a chance to rehearse the additional roles in the play, so the parts of the hosts and the mice were not really developed. Within a couple weeks of opening night the mice and hosts decided that the show would be better off without them. There was still the problem of students without roles, though, so a new strategy was devised. Three hosts were cast that not only provided clarity, but also comedy. They were in charge of opening and closing the shows, too. While this change was last minute, it was the only part of the production to fall under that category.
Starting rehearsals before Holiday Vacation, the CPDT worked tirelessly to not only memorize lines, but develop character traits, create sets, find props, and design costumes. It may seem like a lot of work to do all of that for a total of just eight performance hours, but the Players did not see it that way. Sorchae McMeel “enjoyed every minute of it. Putting on that production… was the highlight of my school year,” and Kelly Leonard “could not have asked for a better cast! I had so much fun not only putting on the show but getting to know everybody a little bit more and making new friends as well.”
Despite some unforeseen hiccups, including a power surge Saturday night that tested the actors’ abilities to stay in character as well as the crew’s ability to get the lights back on, everybody (including family, friends, and teacher volunteers) worked together to pull off a tremendous performance that the audience loved. Gabrielle Lessard saw The Mousetrap on Thursday and said that “everyone did so well and they were able to showcase a lot of really great talent.” Zoe Durell, who attended Friday night, thought that the characters were portrayed well and the lighting and sound was excellent. She felt that all the elements of the show combined “made me feel like I was on the stage right there with them.” Lucas Hurley also went on Friday and came away impressed by several of the actors. Hurley enjoyed Jason Tang who “lit up the stage,” Kelly Leonard because she “was incredible and added to the mystery,” Cristian Colon for providing “everything an audience member could want and more,” and Gavin Huntley who “seems bound for Hollywood success.”
Indeed, it took a lot out of these dedicated students to put on a production of such magnitude, but in the words of Director Nice, “we are forced to face our own strengths and weaknesses and then, with the support of those around us, we end up much stronger versions of ourselves.”
Complete Cast and Crew:
Mollie Ralston — Hailey Lansing
Giles Ralston — Jack Sprague
Christopher Wren — Sorchae McMeel
Mrs. Boyle — Ava Austin
Major Metcalf — Madeleine Lapierre
Miss Casewell — Eve Brown-Ryder
Mr. Paravicini — Iliana Diaz
Sergeant Trotter — Kaley Lambert
Mollie Ralston — Alyssa Neal
Giles Ralston — Gavin Huntley
Christopher Wren — Jason Tang
Mrs. Boyle — Jessica Wall
Major Metcalf — Madeleine Lapierre
Miss Casewell — Olivia Drake
Mr. Paravicini — Kelly Leonard
Sergeant Trotter — Cristian Colon