The theater lights illuminate the stage to reveal a lavishly-decorated living room in a mansion on the Connecticut River, the setting of this year’s winter production, The Game’s Afoot. The play debuted this past Wednesday, the 24th, in the Roosevelt theater. The production was directed by Ben Stuart and Katie Greve, but was written by a colleague of Mr. Stuart’s, Ken Ludwig. The audience is automatically struck by the immense set before them. A grand staircase winds from the first level to a narrow balcony leading to two doors. The towering walls of the living room adorned with weaponry, from muskets to battle swords, give a threatening presence to the dramatic room.
The games truly are afoot in this production as the audience is taken on a twisting whirlwind of guesses in the who-dunnit tale. Viewers are intently engaged in the first scene when all of the sudden, from the side of the theater, there is a brilliant flash of light and a thundering crack as William Gillette, the main character, falls to the ground. William Gillette is best known for his performances of Sherlock Holmes and is inspired by his character to figure out who his attacker was. Gillette invites his cast to his fabulous mansion for the weekend to celebrate Christmas Eve and his recovery. With the support of his friends, he is determined to solve the case, but little does he know the culprit could be in his very own home. The audience is constantly on the edge of their seats from one chilling scene to the next until the thrilling finale.
Captivated by the riveting performances given by each unique character, the audience feels as if they were experiencing the mystery right alongside them. When the thunder boomed, everyone jumped. When the phone rang, eyes bugged out. When there was a scream in the night, there wasn’t a single person without goosebumps. The cast skillfully utilized every part of the vast set, with their energetic and comical movements around the stage. Relationships between the characters were believable and complex, fueling the audience’s questions of the murders. Each actor was able to perfectly capture the essence of their character, adding to the plausibility and power of the production.
The performance from the actors was complemented by the amazing work done by the theater tech and crew. Every little aspect of the design elements set the tone for the dramatic play to unfold. For example, the directors and tech crews’ commitment brought out details such as the continuous snow falling outside the window, hidden technical aspects such as a revolving book case, and elaborate sound effects.
The play was a great success, making the audience both laugh and gasp throughout the night. The cast,crew, and directors put together an amazing performance that entertained everyone in the audience. It was another fantastic representation of Roosevelt’s truly dedicated theater department. Everyone involved in this production deserves a shout out for their contribution to the performance.
Featured Photo: Seniors Arthur Langley and Elliot Moore perform alongside junior Sofia James in The Game’s Afoot. Photo by Nathan Smith