And Then There Were None

By Agatha Christie
Directed by Sydney Parks Smith
Performs March 29 to April 28, 2018
Proposed rehearsals: Mondays through Thursdays from 7pm to 10pm beginning February 12
Essential Season. Venue: Lincoln Center Magnolia Theatre

The Plot

In 1939, ten strangers - with almost nothing in common - are lured to a mansion on Soldier Island off the coast of Devon by the mysterious U.N. Owen. During cocktails, a record begins to play and the voice of an unseen host accuses each person of murder. By the end of the evening, one of the guests is dead. The next morning one more of the accused has died during the night. As a storm rolls in, the remaining guests realize they are stranded, and they are being hunted, following the lines of a charming little nursery rhyme. The tension escalates as the survivors realize the killer is among them and is preparing to strike again.

Notes from the Director

In 2015, Agatha Christie's great grandson released an alternate ending to the play, drawn from the novel and using entirely Agatha Christie's own words. No one gets engaged ... everyone does, in fact, die. This is the ending I will be using. Take this into account as you read the play. Acting style is realistic.

Character Descriptions

Vera Claythorne (20’s): “A cool customer, he should imagine—and one who could hold her own—in love or war.”  She is smart, practical and attractive. Previously a nanny, she is haunted by the drowning of her previous charge, Cyril.

Philip Lombard (30’s – early 40’s): “No, there wasn’t much he’d draw the line at. He fancied he was going to enjoy himself at Soldier Island…” self-preservation’s a man’s first duty.”  He is charming, clever and regrets nothing. He finds himself drawn to Vera, which is his undoing.

Emily Brent (40’s – 70’s): “… Enveloped in an aura of righteousness and unyielding principals…” She is highly religious. She thinks that her heightened morality makes her a more worthwhile human being, devaluing other human life.

General Macarthur (50’s – 60’s): “…he didn’t want much to get away from the island… To go back to the mainland, back to his little house, back to all the troubles and worries." He is a lonely, tired man. He is plagued with his own guilt. Seems relieved that the end is near.

Justice Wargrave (60’s – 70’s): “Carefully, Mr. Justice Wargrave removed his false teeth and dropped them into a glass of water. The shrunken lips fell in. It was a cruel mouth now, cruel and predatory.” He, at first, seems to be an upstanding retired judge. Almost fatherly. Only to reveal his cruel, predatory and truly judgmental nature by the end.

Dr. Armstrong (40’s – 50’s): “Lucky that he’d managed to pull himself together…The shock had pulled him together. He’d cut out the drink altogether. By Jove, it had been a near thing though…” He is a recovering alcoholic, and views himself as an upstanding member of society (now that he is sober). His blind respect for authority leads to gullibility and his death.

William Blore (30’s – 50’s): “When a man’s neck is in danger, he doesn’t stop to think too much about sentiment.” He is selfish, self-centered and self-preserving. He trusts no one and believes that his experience as a policeman will save him.

Anthony Marston (20’s): “At the wheel sat a young man, his hair blown back by the wind. In the blaze of the evening light he looked, not a man, but a young god.” He is quite attractive and believes himself to be incredibly charming. Tony is simply looking for a fabulous party.

Ethel Rogers (30’s – 60’s): “She looked like a woman who walked in mortal fear.” Ethel is a pale, frightened woman. She has been hired as the housekeeper/cook. Fear and guilt control her actions. She is married to Thomas Rogers.

Thomas Rogers (30’s – 60’s): “Wonderful animal, the good servant. Carries on with an impressive countenance.” A professional butler. He is very protective of his wife and himself. The other guests are quite impressed by his ability to carry out his duties even  after his wife’s death.

Fred Narracott (30’s – 50’s): Will also double as a stagehand: “His rolling gait proclaimed him as a man of the sea. He had a weather-beaten face and dark eyes with a slightly evasive expression.” He ferries the guests to Soldier Island. Salt of the earth type of gentleman.

The Comedy of Errors

By William Shakespeare
Directed by  Denise Burson Freestone
Performs May 31 through June 30, 2018
Proposed rehearsals: Mondays through Thursdays from 7pm to 10pm  beginning April 16
Essential Season. Venue: The Park at Columbine Health Systems

Notes from the Director

This all-female production of Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors will be utilising a commedia dell'arte acting style and will require great physical dexterity and excellent comedic timing (think buffoonery). Some characters are more physical than others, especially the two Dromio's. Attention will be paid to textual analysis, and there will be one to two language workshops prior to the beginning of rehearsals.

Character Descriptions

Antipholus of Syracuse (20s to 30s): The twin brother of Antipholus of Ephesus and the son of Egeon; he has been traveling the world with his slave, Dromio of Syracuse, trying to find his long-lost brother and mother.

Antipholus of Ephesus (20s to 30s): The twin brother of Antipholus of Syracuse and the son of Egeon; he is a well-respected merchant in Ephesus and Adriana's husband.

Dromio of Syracuse (20s to 30s): The bumbling, comical slave of Antipholus of Syracuse. He is the twin brother of Dromio of Ephesus.

Dromio of Ephesus (20s to 30s): The bumbling, comical slave of Antipholus of Ephesus. He is the Syracusan Dromio's twin brother.

Adriana (20s to 30s): The wife of Antipholus of Ephesus, she is a fierce, jealous woman.

Luciana (20s to 30s): Adriana's unmarried sister and the object of Antipholus of Syracuse's affections.

Solinus (40s to 70s): The Duke of Ephesus; a just but merciful ruler.

Egeon (50s to 70s): A Syracusan merchant, husband of the Abbess (Emilia), and the father of the two Antipholi. He is, like his Syracusan son, in search of the missing half of his family; he has been sentenced to death as the play begins.

Abbess (50s to 70s): Emilia, the long-lost wife of Egeon and the mother of the two Antipholi (doubles as Pinch).

Angelo (20s to 50s): A goldsmith in Syracuse and a friend to Antipholus of Ephesus.

First Merchant (20s to 30s): An Ephesian friend of Antipholus of Syracuse (doubles as the Courtesan).

Second Merchant (20s to 50s): A tradesman to whom Angelo is in debt.

Doctor Pinch (50s to 70s): A schoolteacher, conjurer, and would-be exorcist (doubles as Abbess).

Luce  (20s to 30s): Also called Nell. Antipholus of Ephesus' prodigiously fat maid and Dromio of Ephesus' wife.

Courtesan (20s to 30s): An expensive prostitute and friend of Antipholus of Ephesus (doubles as First Merchant).

Officer (20s to 40s): An Ephesian officer of the law.