By Tori Simons, guest writer
Two judges will be sent to Newman in November to watch the school’s production of “Something’s Afoot.” The judges will be from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and will decide whether Newman’s theatre department will go on to the regional competition in Iowa.
“Something’s Afoot” is a parody of Agatha Christie’s book, “Ten Little Indians.” It is a murder mystery that occurs at a country home of Lord Rancour. Ten characters are invited to a weekend country retreat and they are told they will be the only one there. When they arrive however, that is not the case.
There are several reasons Director Mark Mannette is looking forward to the play, he said. The set is very detailed and has been designed well, he said. The cast is also working hard on its accents for the production. Eight characters have average British accents and two characters have Cockney accents.
The cast includes Blake Boswell, Ian Ewing, Rusty Carbaugh, Maggie O’Neal, Wesley Williams, Mark Carlson, CL Smet, Pancho Fields, Rebekah Baldridge and Justin Ralph. The understudies are Matt Riedl, Brittany Jonas and Alison Byrne.
“The understudies are working just as hard as the cast,” Mannette said. “They are really stepping up and helping out.”
Carbaugh’s character is Lettie, the saucy maid. She is driven by greed and is only out for what she can get from people. She has no time for people who have nothing to offer her.
“The music is really fun,” Carbaugh said. “There is not a lot of music, but the music is fun. Every character has their own theme music to go with them.”
The character of Hope is played by O’Neal. This character is a young female in her twenties and is well-educated. She is curious about everything and while on the retreat she enjoys taking in the countryside.
Ewing’s character is Flint, the “gripper.” He is the caretaker of Rancour’s retreat and he lives at the mansion.
“I like working with the Cockney accent,” Ewing said. “It stands out.”
Clive, the butler, is played by Boswell. He’s proper and uptight.
The character of Miss Tweed, played by Baldridge, is an older woman who is curious, independent, full of energy and loves mystery novels.
“The biggest challenge has been acting like a 60-year-old woman,” Baldridge said.
Doctor Grayburn, played by Williams, is the family doctor for Rancour. He is proper, upper-class and is an upstanding member of society. His character seems to have a secret or two, but, it is unclear to what he is hiding.
“What I have been excited for is the bond building between the cast members,” Williams said. “By spending so much time together, they really do become the closest thing to family you can get without actually being related. I love knowing the fact that if I ever need anything at all that there is my cast that I can count upon to help me out.”
Newman’s Theatre Department will perform “Something’s Afoot” at 8 p.m. Nov. 8 to 10 and at 2 p.m. Nov. 11 in the DeMattias Performance Hall. Tickets are free for Newman students with ID, $5 for other students, $8 for faculty, staff and seniors; and $10 for general admission.