Ogle Center brings Agatha Christie’s ‘Mousetrap’ to life

IUS Horizon

Jenna Ryan, theater freshman, Will Gantt, theater junior, Josh Martin and Christina Biller.

The New York Times claims it is, “one of the most skillfully written murder mysteries ever produced.” It is Agatha Christie’s “Mousetrap,” and, no, it is not the board game.

“Mousetrap” is play centered around a group of strangers stranded in a boarding house during a snow storm, and one of whom is a murderer. The IUS Theater Department debuted the play on Oct. 28 in the Robinson Theatre of the Ogle Center.

Rehearsals started back in September for Mousetrap.

“We’ve rehearsed for about two months for this show,” Blake Oliver, secondary education junior, said. “Often, these rehearsals go late into the night.”

Oliver played the part of Christopher Wren, a flamboyant man who poses as an architect.

“Due to how unique his take on the situations are, he ends up being comic relief often through the show,” Oliver said. “It took me a long time to get into it because my role is so drastically different from myself.”

William Gantt, theater junior, played the role of Sergeant Trotter, the police detective.

“It can be hard to gauge the audiences’ true feelings, especially when your character isn’t meant for responses, such as laughter,” Gantt said. “Though, I heard a ‘mmhmm’ at one key moment in the show — I loved that.”

Kristin Gilbert played the part of Mrs. Boyle, while Josh Martin played the part of Major Metcalf.

Mousetrap was also the first show Jenna Ryan, theater freshman, has performed in at IU Southeast. Ryan played Mollie Ralston, a young newlywed who opened a guest house with her husband.

“I honestly had never heard of the Mousetrap until I was cast in it,” Ryan said. “I feel that I just fit right into the theater department.”

Jessica Miller, 17, and Jessica Sears, 15, came to watch the show with friend, Jordan Wingard, 16. Wingard came to the Saturday evening showing and said she liked it so much she came back again on Sunday to share it with her friends.

“I love Agatha Christie’s books,” Wingard said. “I hadn’t read this one yet, so I was excited to see it. It’s pretty suspenseful — keeps you on your toes.”

Miller said she had some opinions herself.

“I’m glad they killed Mrs. Boyle first,” Miller said. “She was getting on my nerves.”

An estimated 700 tickets were sold during both weekends the show was presented.

“We had a great turnout for the show, and a lot of people responded positively to our performances,” Ryan said.