Mystery and tension are the stomping ground of the murder mystery play; a genre that the Union theater department will be bringing to the stage at the beginning of October.
The department will be putting on Agatha Christie’s classic play “And Then There Were None” Oct. 1 through Oct. 6.
The British novelist and playwright wrote “And Then There Were None,” a murder mystery, in 1939. The play tells the story of 10 people stranded on an island and, of course, mysterious and sinister murders.
The play promises to be both immersive and tense. The setting is dark, but tastefully so, according to John Klonowski, assistant professor of theater and the play’s director.
“I think they’ll get sucked into this world,” he said.
Students should come expecting two hours of suspense and well-written dialogue, said Samuel Edgren, a theater and English double major, who plays the role of Dr. Armstrong in the play.
“It’s watching 10 people in highly stressful situations and watching their reactions and their actions, and who they are and what they mean,” he said. “It is a number of microcosms of humanity caught and tested.”
Edgren also noted starring in a murder mystery presents different challenges than other genres. The setting makes the actor make different decisions than otherwise, focusing on creating tension and portraying a realistic character as opposed to an exaggerated one, he said.
The play will be faithful to the script, with minor changes. It will take place on an island off the coast of North Carolina, as opposed to the island off the coast of England in the novel.
Klonowski decided to interpret the play through a film noir aesthetic, a melodramatic style from the 40s and 50s reminiscent of the era of private eyes and classic crime fiction. He described the play as a fresher take on the original, a “tried and true classic 1940s mystery but maybe with more depth and a twist to it.”
The set, designed by Klonowski, will be “visually stunning” and feature gray colors and jagged edges, Edgren said.
Dr. C. Ben Mitchell, provost and vice president for academic affairs, will also be in the play as a guest voice-over.
The play will take place Oct. 1 through Oct. 6. Show time will be at 7:30 p.m. every day except for the 5th, which will be 2:30 p.m. Tickets will be $4 for students, faculty and staff, and $6 if purchased the day of the play. General admission is $7 and $9 if purchased that day.