The Mt. Pleasant Community High School drama department spent their weekend telling a classic Agatha Christie murder mystery.
Eleven MPCHS students told the story of “And Then There Were None” at the Heatilator Performing Arts Center over the weekend.
The story revolves around a group of strangers who all meet for the first time at a house on an island they have all been invited to. They all sit down for dinner and introduce themselves, none suspecting the unfortunate events that are sure to follow.
Upon entering her room, Vera Claythorne, played by Callie DePriest, discovers a cryptic poem of 10 little Indians. The poem explains a series of unfortunate events that unfold, killing the Indians one by one until there are none.
Throughout the show, characters are mysteriously killed off, one by one, in direct accordance with the poem. Upon realizing they are the only ones on the island, the group then determines that the “homicidal lunatic” is one of them.
Director Marlene DePriest said she chose the script because it had been a while since the department had done a murder-mystery. She felt doing a show from a different culture would allow them a unique opportunity for growth as actors.
“A lot of them were really excited when they saw what the show was going to be,” she said. “We talked through it; there were certain things in there they didn’t understand, partly because it was English, partly because it was just language they don’t know, but it’s all part of the learning process.”
She said most of the students read the play in middle school and were both familiar and excited to begin the rehearsal process, which began in mid-September.
Senior Lucas Lee, who portrayed Capt. Philip Lombard, said he remembered reading the script in middle school and was excited for the opportunity to audition. He said his favorite part of the show was getting to be with friends.
DePreist said that by choosing a darker genre, students were pushed to learn how to adapt.
“Watching them grow is always an exciting part for any teacher,” she explained. “But (they gain) the knowledge of how to portray different people and get a reaction from the audience, which is exciting for them as well.”