Described by first-time director Zarah Shejule as the ‘classic murder mystery,’ ‘The Mousetrap’ is the longest-running play in the world, debuting in 1952. Shejule, who is normally an actor, is excited to sit back and watch the characters come to life and see the crowd’s reaction. She said she’s been incredibly lucky with the performers she has for her theater directing debut.
“I’ve gotten to cast people who I’ve worked with before. Some of these are veterans, but I also have people who are new to the Alley Theater and new to me,” Shejule said.
Laurel Clark is one of the actors that recently arrived to the Alley Theater and Indiana in general. Initially spending the majority of her life in Seattle, Clark fell in love with acting during high school. She notes a large number of theaters in the area, both in Anderson and nearby towns such as Muncie.
“The arts are definitely alive in the Midwest,” she said. “I’m excited to put the show on its feet and have an audience. It’s a nice way to spend the afternoon with your family.”
Shejule said the show will be enjoyable for those who enjoy true crime documents on services like Netflix. To her, the whodunnit aspect is what has kept the show going over the years, as well as what she described as a ‘collective social agreement’ to not spoil the ending.
“For 70 years people have gone to this show and wondered who the killer is, and we know people aren’t good at keeping secrets, but it’s still a mystery for people in 2022,” she raved.
The show is set in the Monkswell Manor, a bed and breakfast, where a murder has occurred and everyone quickly fits the description. Actor Anthony Johnson, who is set to play the role of Mr. Paravicini, said his experience has been ‘a tightrope between clarity and authenticity’ as he takes on an Italian accent for the first time.
“Patrons should be on the lookout for all the shady things Mr. Paravicini does,” he said.
For Johnson, the magic of the theater is building community.
“Live theater cannot be replicated,” he said. “If we can get many different people to sit in a room together and laugh together or cry together, then we’ve created a special connection.”
The show will have three performances during the weekend of June 10. The Friday and Saturday shows are slated to start at 7 pm The Sunday show will begin at 3 pm
Guests are encouraged to come early and may bring food, beverages, chairs and blankets. In the event of inclement weather, the show will be moved indoors at the Central Christian Church. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by calling the Alley Theater Box Office Message Center at 765-643-0701 or by visiting the Central Christian Church Office Tuesday through Friday between 9 am and 5 pm at 923 Jackson St.