Mousetrap: Who Done It?

Written by Abi Ghiridharan

Photos by Izabella Stevenson

 

Noah Wright, playing the role of Christopher Wren gazes at Sarah Anderson who is acting as Miss Casewell.

Last weekend, the Center Grove Theatre Department put on the play, The Mousetrap, which was student-directed by Taylor Ward and Adrianna Goss. The play was a murder mystery written by Agatha Christie and kept the audience in suspense throughout the entire show.

The story followed guests trapped by a snowstorm at a guesthouse who were trying to identify a murderer among them. As the play progressed, the audience suspected almost every character at some point until the murderer is revealed at the very end of the play.

“The character I played was Molly Ralston who is one of the owners of the guesthouse and the wife of Giles Ralston,” said Olivia Buck. “She acts as a dramatic foil to the other characters in the show. All the guests are very eccentric and they have certain things about them that are very different which make them very interesting. Molly’s function in the show is to provide a juxtaposition as someone who is very ordinary.”

Students went through a selective audition process to try out, since only eight scripted parts were available.

Giles Ralston, played by Alex Dixon, welcomes Sergeant Trotter, portrayed by Wilson Smith, to Monkswell Manor.

“I had friends convince me to try out,” said Alex Dixon. “My character was Giles Ralston who was the co-owner of the guest house that several other characters were staying in. He was very arrogant and stern. Every actor in the show was incredibly talented and Adrianna Goss and Taylor Ward were geniuses when it came to producing this play.”

Students practiced meticulously in order to put on the show. The actors and directors spent hours in rehearsals in order to shape and hone the play for audience members to enjoy.

“Rehearsals were scheduled based upon the scenes,” said Olivia Buck. “The directors broke down the show into little scenes so they could work with two or three characters at a time and really dig into the details. So we were called based upon which of those mini scenes we were in. I was there for every single rehearsal and that was a lot. During the first few weeks of the rehearsals we would meet three times a week for a few hours each time to read and memorize lines and learn about the plot. Then we would go home and review our notes. Toward the end of the process, we would meet every single day after school from anywhere from two hours to seven hours.”

The actors and directors were passionate about being in the play and felt they had benefitted from their roles.

“I played Mr. Paravicini who was kind of a comic relief, suspicious character,” said Jackson Simmons. “I was funny, but I was also scary. I did an evil laugh a lot in the show. I really enjoyed being in the show. The chance to make people laugh is something that I hold very dear in my life.”

The plot of the story allowed each of the actors to have a unique role in the play. Each character, at some point, was seen as a suspect by the audience.

Mikayla Lay, portraying Mrs. Boyle, talks with Noah Wright acting as Christopher Wren.

“The play was a murder mystery where all of these guests come to the Monkswell Manor and then a murder happens and they try to find out who the murderer is with a detective helping them,” said Mikayla Lay. “I played Mrs. Boyle who was a very angry old lady who likes to complain about everything. I found lots of inspiration from one character on Downton Abbey. I had to act and sound old and walk with my hand on my back like I had arthritis.”

As the weekend came around, students got together to perform the play for an intrigued audience.

“The show went extremely well because we really brought it together in the last week of practices,” said Cameron Brooks. “They were long seven hour practices and it really came together. It was really fun and it went pretty great.”

Student actors and student directors worked together as a team to create a murder mystery show for Center Grove High School. The hours of rehearsal and dedication to the show brought the Agatha Christie play to life for audience members to see.

Broadway Masterclass

Written By Taylor Ward

Last year, the CG Choirs went to Broadway. This year, Broadway came to the CG Choirs.

On Friday, Feb. 24, New York actor and musician Kyle Riabko visited Center Grove to conduct a masterclass and Q&A with the students. Riabko kicked off the afternoon by singing a few songs by Burt Bacharach, composer of famous songs such as “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on my Head” and “Close to You.” The Broadway performer accompanied himself on guitar.

The actor and singer’s performance credits are numerous, including a lead role in the original Broadway cast of Spring Awakening, a major role on Broadway in Hair and a recurring appearance on the hit TV show 90210.

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Broadway performer visits CG Choir

Riabko was brought in through an organization called The Cabaret. Located in downtown Indianapolis, The Cabaret brings in Broadway stars and working musicians to perform songs and monologues at their venue in the city. Recently, the organization has been seeking to provide local musically-inclined students with an opportunity to meet and learn from real, working show business professionals. Their mission: “to elevate and promote the cabaret art form by presenting the finest in professional cabaret performances and developing the next generation of cabaret artists.”

After singing for the students, Riabko sat back and watched CG Sound System perform a number from their competition show. Once they had finished, he was highly complimentary, saying, “now I understand the wall of trophies.”

A couple of students also performed their own solo songs, including senior Adrianna Goss. Singing “Vanilla Ice Cream” from the musical She Loves Me, Goss said that “it was cool to show him some of the talent that makes up CG choirs.”

The excitement did not come without its nerves, however.

“I was a little nervous because I had seen him in one of my favorite TV shows, 90210,” said Goss.

Mr. Riabko provided plenty of performance advice to the choirs, but perhaps his biggest point to the students was this: “Always be performing. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, keep performing. It’s a gift you have to share with the world.”

“Guys and Dolls” to Take the Stage Tonight

By Alex Armstrong

Photos by Suellen Swaney

cgtheatre.org

Year after year, CG theatre and Kathleen Kersey produce new and improved plays and musicals, and according to Kersey, this year is a stand out.

“Guys and Dolls” takes place in New York during the mid 1940’s, when gambling and gangs were at their peak. The plot is about a prestigious gambler, Sky Masterson, who falls in love with a church mission leader as the result of a bet. The following ride is entertaining and very comedic, as Sky does a number of things to win his new doll over.

Kersey spoke very highly about her cast and their work ethic, and also greatness of the play itself.

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The Cast takes a bow at the end of dress rehearsal

 

“It’s a fun show to do, and I’m pretty sure everyone is having a good time,” Kersey said.

According to Kersey, this year’s cast is very close knit and the result on stage is already amazing.

When it comes to play production, Kersey is a seasoned veteran. She’s directed over a hundred, by her guess, but something makes this year unique.

“This is the most focused group of students I’ve ever worked with, and I’ve done a lot of them,” Kersey said.

The cast includes Olivia Buck, Taylor Ward, Adrianna Goss and Eli Robinson as the leads and will also feature Jared Norman, Alex Brickens and Nick Pearson.

“Our leads this year are great, they’re doing a good job putting it all together,” said Kersey.

Taylor Ward plays Nathan Detroit, a love-stricken gambler who’s been engaged for 14 years to his lovely Adelaide.

“This has definitely been one of the most devoted casts I’ve ever worked with.. And why should people come see it? Because I’m in it, that’s why,” Ward said.

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Taylor Ward and Olivia Buck share a sweet moment as their characters celebrate their fourteenth year of engagement

Olivia Buck plays the leader of the Hot Box and fiancé of Nathan, Miss Adelaide.

“I really love the process and getting to know so many talented people,” Buck said.“I also love seeing everything coming together and finding tings new things to do and seeing everything click.”

Adrianna Goss plays the leader of The Save A Soul Mission, Sara Brown. Miss Brown’s mission is unfortunately failing, yet a lucky roll of the dice changes her luck.

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Adrianna Goss and Eli Robinson pose during the finalé of the play

“”It’s been really fun getting to work with everyone in the cast because I get to meet so many awesome people,” Goss said.

Guys and Dolls is one of Kersey’s favorite plays to direct because of the play’s upbeat tempo, the comedy throughout as well as the large appeal of the play.

“I think anybody would love to see the show,” Kersey said with a grin.

Showtimes will be at 7:30 on Friday and Saturday with a Matinee at 2:30 on Sunday

Tickets are available online and at the door- 10$ for center section and 8$ for the outside

Tickets are going fast, reserve your seat today!

cgtheatre.org