Pictured: The cast of the PAC Rats "The Mousetrap."
Standing, from left to right: Jim Walters, Carlos Laffitte, Brandon Smelko, Pat Nevins, Charlie Furtek, Shontanice Miller
Seated, from left to right: Betty Owens, Cathy Hundt
SOUTH HOLLAND, IL The PAC Rats Theatre Company of South Suburban College will present The Mousetrap, written by Agatha Christie, the master of British murder mysteries. Performances will take place in the Kindig Performing Arts Center on the Main Campus on September 21, 22 and 28, 2012, at 8:00 p.m., September 29, 2012, at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., and September 30, 2012, at 2:00 p.m.
This classic theatrical murder mystery is now in its 60th anniversary year. The play was originally written for the BBC as a short story titled "Three Blind Mice" for Queen Mary's eightieth birthday as she'd asked for a new Agatha Christie. Christie adapted it for the stage and The Mousetrap opened in London's West End in 1952. It was an immediate sellout hit. It is now the longest ever continuously running stage show, a position it has held for an astonishing 53 years.
A host of actors and actresses have played the eight characters in the show, more than 400 in all. Most notable were Richard Attenborough and his film star wife Sheila Sim in the original cast.
"That The Mousetrap has run continuously for so long is testament to Agatha Christie's writing skills," says Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen, producer of the London production. "She creates wonderful and varied characters and then she fills them with subtle nuances and storytelling elements that set our imaginations racing."
To celebrate the show's anniversary, performance rights were granted to 60 production companies, with the PAC Rats Theatre Company of SSC being one.
The story begins with a group of strangers who are stranded in a boarding house during a snowstorm, one of which is a murderer. The suspects include the newly married Mollie and Giles Ralston (Cathy Hundt of Thornton and Charlie Furtek of Lansing) who run the house, and the suspicions that are in their minds nearly wreck their perfect marriage. Others are Miss Casewell, a spinster with a curious background (Shontanice Miller of Harvey); Christopher Wren, an architect who seems better equipped to be a chef (Brandon Smelko of Munster, IN); a retired Army officer, Major Metcalf (James Walters of South Chicago Heights); Mr. Paravicini, a strange little man who claims his car has overturned in a drift (Pat Nevins of Homewood); and Mrs. Boyle who makes life miserable for everyone (Betty Owens of Glenwood).
The next day brings the arrival of Detective Sergeant Trotter (Carlos Laffitte of South Holland), on skis, who has come to discuss the recent murder. Sergeant Trotter has reason to believe that someone in the Manor has a connection with the crime. The murderer is perhaps even among them! After the initial questioning reveals no solid alibis for anyone, suspicions begin to rise. Everyone starts to suspect each other. Who will be next?
These are questions that audiences have pondered for over six decades. You may arrive thinking you may know what to expect, but in no time at all, you are totally involved in a tale where each and every character could be the killer.
Albert Clark of Oak Lawn takes on the role of director. Anne Begora of Chicago is the set designer with Lydia Bellamy-Palma and JoAnna Tassin, both of Park Forest, designing lights and costumes respectively. Angela Martin of Midlothian is the stage manager. Eric Pradelski of South Holland is her assistant. Rounding out the production staff are Sandra Wagner of Lansing as the sound designer and Kim DeCarlo of Chicago as the prop mistress.
Come out to SSC to celebrate the ultimate murder mystery masterpiece that started it allbut don't give away the ending! Tickets are just $8 for adults, $6 for seniors 55 or better, $6 for students and children aged 12 and younger. Call the 24/7 box office voicemail line at (708) 210-5741. You may also reserve tickets by e-mail at email@example.com . Group rates are also available.
SSC is located at 15800 State Street in South Holland, Illinois, between Sibley Boulevard and 159th Street. The campus is convenient to Routes 94, 80, 57, and 294. Free, ample, well-lit parking is available.