John Jay Middle School will present “A Murder Is Announced,” a detective fiction by Agatha Christie, on Nov. 12, 13 and 14. Local theater director and science teacher David Fritsch is directing the production, and sixth-grade teachers Marcia Daley-Savo and Gloria Miller are co-producing the play.
While the original “A Murder Is Announced” takes place in England, Daley-Savo said they wanted to make the story relevant for their students by changing its location to a town in Vermont. A strange notice appears in the morning paper that a murder will take place at Little Paddocks, and the murder mystery begins. Throughout the play, the characters are presented with concealed identities, twists and turns, all while investigating two murders.
Daley-Savo said more than 60 students auditioned for the play, which had spots for 25 actors and 12 crew members. “It’s fun to see these students in a different light,” she said. “This is a safe place for a lot of the children who aren’t into sports, but they blossom in theater.”
Seventh-grader Carolyn Weiss, who plays the loud and selfish Mrs. Swettenham, said she has fun playing someone completely different from her.
Eighth-grader Evan Calves, who has been a member of the crew for the past two years, praised his classmates’ acting abilities. “The acting in this play is really good,” he said. “I know the actual people and their real personalities and it’s fun to see them transform on stage.”
Performances of “A Murder Is Announced” are Thursday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 14 at 1 and 7 p.m., with a Saturday senior citizens luncheon at 12 p.m. Tickets are $10 each and may be purchased in school on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday during lunch in the dining room, as well as at the door.