Wright State presents Agatha Christie’s murder mystery ‘Mousetrap’

Agatha Christie’s iconic 1952 mystery “The Mousetrap” opens Wright State University Theatre’s 2022-2023 season Sept. 23-Oct. 2 in the Festival Playhouse of the Creative Arts Center.

The first stage production of WSU’s new School of Fine and Performing Arts, “The Mousetrap” centers on spouses Giles and Mollie Ralston, proprietors of Monkswell Manor, a British guesthouse. A murder unfolds among a gaggle of eccentric guests, including an artist, a retired military officer and a questionable foreigner.

“We love being scared!,” said Cincinnati-based director Jason Podplesky, in a release. “There’s something about these murder mysteries that appeals to our sense of fear. They allow us to deal with these scary things from a safe aesthetic distance. ‘The Mousetrap’ is really well done; it keeps you intrigued and keeps you on the edge of your seats until the very end. It’s the stuff of legends.”

Credit: WRIGHT STATE THEATRE

Credit: WRIGHT STATE THEATRE

“Christie brilliantly keeps the audience engaged by questioning, suspecting and making assumptions about certain characters just as much as the characters on stage are doing with each other to solve the crimes,” said Theo Karras, who portrays Detective Sergeant Trotter. “It’s as though she knew exactly how to make the audience feel as if they were a guest visiting Monkswell Manor.”

A senior acting/musical theatre major who has appeared in such productions as “Mamma Mia!” and “Sweet Charity,” Karras also admires the author’s enticing, audience-savvy sensibilities.

“Throughout the play, characters mention how the evening is a ‘game,’ and, frankly, that’s exactly what it is,” he said. “I think there is something to be said about audiences enjoying ‘the game’ that Christie lays out for them because inevitably the audience will find out who the killer is in the end. This story will have audiences gambling with one another during intermission as they to figure whodunnit. Christie’s humor as well as her details and specificity in language allow certain circumstances to be brought to life on stage, creating a perfectly timeless story.”

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Podplesky’s artistic team includes set designer/guest artist Dick Block (Associate Head of Drama at Carnegie Mellon University), lighting designer Matthew Benjamin, senior costume design student Carrie Wieland, sound designer James Dunlap, and properties master John Lavarnway.

One of Christie’s most popular works, “The Mousetrap” is the longest-running play in theatre history, running nearly 70 years continuously in London’s West End. Wright State’s production will mark the first time the university has produced a Christie play since 1977.

Credit: WRIGHT STATE THEATRE

Credit: WRIGHT STATE THEATRE

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HOW TO GO

What: “The Mousetrap”

Where: Festival Playhouse of the Creative Arts Center at Wright State University, 3640 Col. Glenn Hwy., Dayton.

When: Sept. 23-Oct. 2; 8 p.m. Sept. 23, 24, 30, and Oct. 1, and 2 p.m. Sept. 25, Oct. 1 and 2

Tickets: $15-$25

More info: Call 937-775-2500 or visit https://liberal-arts.wright.edu/fine-and-performing-arts

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