by Agatha Christie
Directed by Richard Keitel
May 8, 2015 - May 17, 2015
OPENING WEEKEND: "Come for the cheese; stay for the 'Trap'; leave with a cat!"
- Saturday, May 9 - Opening Night - "Cheese Night" (8:00 PM)
- Sunday, May 10 - Humane Society Lobby Visit (prior to 2:30 Matinee performance)
A murder at Monkswell Manor. Who will be next? Major Metcalf, the neurotic Christopher Wren, the unpleasant Mrs. Boyle, the mysterious Miss Casewell, the unexpected guest Mr. Paravicini, or the young couple Mollie and Giles Ralston? As everyone accuses each other, can you trap the murderer before Sgt. Trotter does or before someone else dies?
CAST PHOTOS & BIOS
Q&A with Johnmichael Bohach, Set Designer
Q: The Mousetrap is usually done on a proscenium stage. What were some of the challenges you met by staging this at The Hazlett Theater and how did that influence your choices as a designer?
A: The Mousetrap was definitely written with the idea in mind that the audience would be sitting on one-side of the set instead of three-sides like in our space at the New Hazlett Theatre. This meant that we had to create an English manor house without using any walls. After doing some research into what the house might look like, I began to pick out the most important elements and deconstruct what we normally identify when we walk into a room - the walls were erased, the doorways were left empty and I wanted to draw focus to the most important element - the window. The window, or rather 'the outside,' is a character all of its own, in that it has trapped all of the characters in the house with no way to leave. In breaking down the conventional "box-set" design, we are leaving the audience permission to use their imaginations in filling in what they imagine Monkswell Manor might look like.
Q: In your conversations with Rich Keitel, the director, what were some ideas and things you both wanted to achieve and how did you realize them?
A: I love working with Rich (I believe this is our 7th production together) - he is a director that will really allow a designer to play with the space and explore what the environment can lend to the production. In our initial design meeting, we sat down and made a list of all of the things that were necessary to have - a large window, some furniture, and at least five distinct entrances/exits into the space. Beyond that, anything was possible. Once the bones of the structure were decided on - where actors would come and go and how they would move around the space - my main goal was to make it feel like you were in an English manor house. I researched architecture, floor patterns, and furnishings that might appear in the home and pulled in as much detail as we could muster.
Q: What was the inspiration for your design of the set and the silhouettes?
A: In designing The Mousetrap, I wanted to pay homage to where the play got its start, as a short radio play in the 1940s. The looming gothic-inspired window was designed to mimic a cathedral radio of the period, possibly similar to one that a family might have gathered around to listen to the initial broadcast. There are also a series of portraits hanging in the space that are reminiscent of vintage hand-cut paper silhouettes. I wanted these to call up thoughts of playing cards that you might find in a game of Clue where all the characters are suspects in Agatha Christie's who-dun-it or perhaps reminiscent of the opening credits to an Alfred Hitchcock film.
Q: What response do you hope to achieve from the audience when they see your set and the show?
A: Of course, any good design should not distract the audience for the main reason they are there - to see the play. I hope the environment we have created enhances the audience's experience of the text and provides a backdrop of the action of the play. If it also inspires thought or after show chatter of "did you see this?" or "did you notice that?" then I have successfully done my job.
Two coupons to be used in any combination for any of our shows. Convenient and flexible! You pick the show...you pick the date.
PURCHASE 2014-2015 FLEX PACK
Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
World premiere adaptation by Bruce Hall
based on the writings of Robert Louis Stevenson
Directed by Michael McKelvey (website)
October 31, 2014 - November 9, 2014
This dramatic world premiere brings you into the mind and world of Dr. Jekyll while a myriad of characters seek to find the identity of Mr. Hyde. As Dr. Jekyll transforms into a creature that stalks the streets of London, will the secrets in the lab be discovered before it is too late?
CAST PHOTOS & BIOS
by Andrew Periale
based on the novella by George Orwell
Directed by Melissa Grande
March 6, 2015 - March 15, 2015
The chant -“Four legs good - two legs bad!”- rings out in this theatrical experience with music that transforms the Hazlett Theater into George Orwell’s story of animals who revolutionize a farm and a society.
CAST PHOTOS & BIOS