Theatre to present Agatha Christie mystery classic

Even after 50 years of performances, London residents keep turning out for The Mousetrap. Maybe that's why the play is the world's longest running and continues to be popular.

Area residents won't have to travel overseas to see the play that has garnered comments like "most skillfully written" and "cleverest mystery" from publications like the New York Times, London's Daily Telegraph and The Observer. Wayland Baptist University's Theatre will be offering the mystery as its fall offering, with performances Nov. 9-10 and 15-17 in Harral Studio Theatre on the Plainview campus.

Wanting to present a mystery play, WBU Theatre Director Dr. Marti Runnels said The Mousetrap was an easy pick.

"Agatha Christie is probably the best known murder mystery writer, not only because she's so great, but because many of her mysteries have been made into plays and films and everyone has seen them," Runnels said. "This is heralded as one of her greats."

The play is set in 1940s England in the winter, Runnels explained. The story involves a group of people who have come to stay at a manor - similar to today's bed and breakfast except with all meals provided - for a vacation. A murder in the manor, followed closely by a heavy snow, means the visitors and their hosts - a young couple new to the manor business - are now trapped in the house with a killer.

The cast for the Wayland production includes 2000 graduate, WBU theatre veteran and Plainview High School theatre arts teacher Lorraine Chavez in the role of Molly Ralston. Billy Boone, a freshman theatre major, plays Giles Ralston. Tisa Whitfill, a Plainview resident and Wayland student, plays Mrs. Boyle. Chris Moore, a junior theatre major who has already appeared in several WBU productions, plays Detective Trotter. His wife, Teresa, a 1994 WBU graduate and office manager for Wayland's admissions office, plays Miss Casewell. Randy Mitchell plays Major Metcalf, while Cory Norman, a senior theatre major, is Mr. Paravacini.

The performances will be at 8 p.m. on Nov. 9, 10, 15 and 16, and at 3 p.m. on Nov. 17, with house doors opening 30 minutes prior. Tickets are $7 for adults, $4 for Wayland alums, and $3 for students through college age.

For reservations or more information, contact the Box Office at 291-1089.