Mystery with a twist
By Sue Ellen Ross Post-Tribune correspondent February 5, 2014 2:20PM
Cast members of Munster Theatre Company's production of "Done to Death" include (standing from left) Thomas Speranza, Allison Hemingway, Ethan Courtney, Rachel Jamrose), Billy McDunn, and (on couch) Drew Adams. | Photo provided
IF YOU GO
“Done To Death”
7 p.m. Feb. 6, 7 and 8
Munster High School Auditorium, 8808 Columbia Ave.
Tickets: $5 at the door, available at the Auditorium Box Office on performance nights or by calling 838-2235 or online at www.munaud.org.
The Munster Theatre Company of Munster High School will present“Done to Death,” a Fred Carmichael mystery and farce, tonight, Friday and Saturday.
“This show is unlike other plays at the high school,” said theater director Larry Brechner. “It is a huge parody of the murder mystery genre that often delves into fantasy sequences and ‘breaking the fourth wall’,” referring to the “wall” separating the performers from the audience.
The full-length, student-directed production features a cast of 20, with a technical/production staff of about 30. In most other high school plays, the cast can be up to 60 actors.
“We wanted to direct a show that would allow the actors to get personalized attention and learn new techniques that might not be possible with a large cast,” said Morgan Papesh, one of the two students co-directing the play. “We also wanted to pick a murder-mystery play, but we also wanted the play to be a comedy. When we found ‘Done to Death,’ we realized that it perfectly combines the two genres.”
The story line follows several famous mystery writers as they join forces on the ultimate mystery story for television’s The Mystery Channel. Each takes a turn at “turning the knife” about each other’s writing style.
MHS junior Allison Hemingway, 17, will appear on stage as Jessica Olive.
“I love being involved in theatre productions, and this show sounded like a fun one to do,” she said. “The hardest part is memorizing all the lines since there are a lot of short quick dialogues in this show. But since this is a small show, it was fun being able to spend time with the cast and getting to know everyone better.”
Ethan Courtney, 17, will fill the role of Whitney Olive.
“Theater has become a large part of my life and I love performing for people,” said the high school junior. “Being able to make a person’s life better, by providing an entirely separate world that they can escape to without leaving their current one, is why I do theatre.”
Junior Thomas Speranza, 16, who will act as Rodney Duckton, believes the combination of an original plot with lots of confusing twists and hilarious dialogue, will keep theater-goers on the edge of their seats during the performance.
Cast mate Billy McDunn, 17, who will appear as Brad Benedict, agrees.
“The hardest part in performing is to actually make a connection with the audience,” the junior said. “But this such a great show and I know that audiences will thoroughly enjoy it.”