Theater takes on Christie classic with a few twists


BY GABE MARTIN

CHS drama is taking on a new challenge in the form of the Agatha Christie classic “And Then There Were None,” and this generation of drama students hopes to bring its rich story to life right on stage in front of the community.

The mystery-drama is based on the well-known novel, which sold over 100 million copies en route to becoming one of the best-selling novels of all time. The play centers on 10 characters from different backgrounds that meet on an island seemingly for different reasons; unknown to them, though, they all share similar secrets. When they begin to die one by one, the unlucky characters start to question which of them is the killer.

 

Drama teacher Gracie Poletti has directed seven plays at CHS since last year and 15 with other production companies before that. The intrigue of this show has led Poletti to take an unorthodox route in producing this drama.

 

“There are two separate endings: One was sort of the original and came out in the 1940, but was too depressing,” Poletti explains. “So [Christie] wrote a slightly lighter ending, and people could leave going, ‘Okay….’ We couldn’t decide which ending we wanted to do so we’re doing both on alternating nights.”

 

Poletti herself isn’t sure yet which night will feature which conclusion, a relief to those worrying about their friends spoiling the ending.

 

Junior Terran Schoell plays Captain Lombard, who offers comic relief throughout the play with his sharp wit and dashing good looks. Schoell, who has been in about seven different plays, is looking forward to taking up the double-ending challenge.

 

“It is interesting,” Schoell points out. “It felt off in the modern time because we’ve gotten past that stage where we need to adjust a show to be happy. We can go back to the darker themes now.”

 

Poletti has never done a play like “And Then There Were None,” but she will have the help of veteran actors, such as senior Quinn Spooner, who has been involved in eight plays and will be playing the part of Sir Justice Lawrence Wargraves.

 

Spooner is accompanied by fellow senior Bryce Hodges, a new student to Carmel High, acting the part of Dr. Armstrong who hails from a mysterious past that will be exposed more throughout the play.

 

“I’ve been in a lot [of plays], more to count,” Hodges says. “I’ve done plays at the community theater, and in middle school and parts of high school.”

 

Mia Poletti, daughter of the director, is a sophomore and has participated in three plays while at CHS and many more before that, reaching a total of nearly 20.

 

“[I play] Ethel Rogers, and she is the main housekeeper/cook at the Highland,” Mia Poletti says.

 

“And Then There Were None” will debut March 16 at 7 p.m., and following shows will take place on March 17 and March 22-24 in the center for the performing arts. Admission to the play will be $13 for adults, $10 for students and $7 for students with an ASB stamp.

 

Additional information can be found on the CHS website calendar.