by Katie Milligan
The Cedarville Theater Department will present their winter production, the Agatha Christie murder mystery-drama “Appointment with Death,” for the first time on Jan. 31, 2019.
The play is based on a Christie mystery novel written in 1938. Christie herself later adapted the storyline into a play in 1945.
Set in the 1940s, the play features a large cast of over 20 characters brought together in Jerusalem by fate. This assorted group includes: the English Dr. Sara King, the French Dr. Theodore Gerard; and the vacationing American Boynton family, including the tyrannical Mrs. Boynton and her four stepchildren.
While touring the city of Petra, a character is murdered, making every other character a suspect.
The complex show has proven a challenge for several members of the cast.
Abby Krakora, junior theatre major with a concentration in performance, plays the role of the Mrs. Boynton. Krakora has been involved in every production since coming to Cedarville, with roles both backstage and on the main stage. Most recently she appeared in “Fools” and served as the costume crew head for “Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery.”
Krakora said she has struggled to play a villainous character.
“I hate her,” Krakora laughed. “If I encountered her in real life, I would be repulsed. She is manipulative and has this hypnotic effect over her kids. She is a person who enjoys being mean, and to portray that is a challenge.”
Sophomore mechanical engineer Byron Mrowiec plays the role of the Dragoman, a Jerusalem native, a conniving salesman and the tour guide for the visitors. Playing a comedic character, as well as correctly performing various dialects (such as Welch versus British) has challenged Mrowiec. He also has enjoyed learning from the play’s director, Dr. Dawn Schluetz.
Though the cast is large compared to previous shows, the students have managed to build camaraderie and a fun dynamic. As a transfer student in his first year at Cedarville, Mrowiec has felt welcomed into the theater community.
“You get to work towards a common goal, and I think that brings people together,” Mrowiec said. “We’ve definitely bonded quickly, and that shows up on stage because you can see good chemistry between people.”
Krakora echoed Mrowiec’s sentiment, reporting that the cast has worked 12 hours a week since October to prepare for the show.
“It’s been a family dynamic,” she said. “We goof off, but we also buckle down and work together really well.”
Freshman journalism major Emma Waywood, in her first production at Cedarville, plays Nadine Boynton, Mrs. Boynton’s stepdaughter. As rehearsals have progressed, Waywood has enjoyed getting to know students she would not normally meet.
“We all come from different majors and come from different backgrounds,” Waywood said. “It’s all these people coming together to put on this show, doing what we love most.”
Additionally, Krakora said that the set for the production is impressive, featuring a fly system that lifts and replaces backdrops. Positioned on a rotating stage, the first set is a hotel, and when the stage is swiveled around, the rocky city of Petra appears.
“We look so small in comparison to the size of the set! It’s wonderful,” She said.
Looking forward to opening night, the cast members are excited for Cedarville University to experience their show.
“It’s always cool to go see theater, but I think it’s even more special when the people who are producing the art are your fellow classmates and professors,” Mrowiec said.
Krakora enjoys puzzling through the plots of mysteries and invites audience members to do so as well.
“I really enjoy mysteries and trying to figure out the ending before the storyline gets there. Sometimes I’m not successful, and those times are the best,” Krakora said. “Come just to figure out who did it, first!”
Waywood commends Christie’s talent as an author, ensuring that the intricate plot and shocking resolution will baffle playgoers.
“Her endings always have a twist to them; the murderer is never who you think it is, and it’s something completely out of the box. This is no exception.”
“Appointment with Death” will debut at 8 p.m. on Jan. 31 and will play through Feb. 10. Tickets are on sale at the Information Desk at the Stevens Student Center or online at cedarville.edu/theatreproductions.
Katie Milligan is a sophomore English major. She enjoys eating pasta, taking Polaroid photos and playing with her dachshund, Audrey.