Behind the Curtain

by Rachael Birri

This Wednesday, November 18, the Bellbrook Theater Department will be performing And Then There Were None, written by Samuel French and based off the novel by Agatha Christie. The intimate 11-person cast has been working diligently since September to bring to life this harrowing tale where 10 people invited to an island dinner party start disappearing one by one along with 10 china soldiers. The show deals with the evolution of how people cope and react to one another in situations of extreme stress, a sharp divergence from the comedic murder mysteries BHS students have grown accustomed to, but as Garrett Judd, a senior who moved to BHS from England this year, says, “With dramas, you get to build a real person for your character rather than just a joke,” so the cast was more than willing to tackle this task.

However, the cast and Judd don’t fail to laugh. When asked what he was most worried about for the first show, he responded, “Worrying is for the weak.” Ironically, his character Armstrong is the most shaken in the group, prone to nervous jitters. Nick Kress, a senior who’s been with the theater department since seventh grade, says he would choose Armstrong to play were he not Wargrave, the old judge who guides the guests through this tumultuous time. Kress has played everything from “a Shakespearean man performing as a woman” to “a pirate” to “a Jamaican car washer.” Kress accredits his success with these “unorthodox” roles and growth as an actor with “how welcoming every theater veteran was to me” which “started a quick transition into becoming comfortable on stage with my friends.”

Garrett Judd had a similar experience. While he considers Bellbrook “let’s say not the greatest at being a welcoming community, the theatre group was accepting and welcoming and it really was just nice to be welcome and feel like I was around friends. I think that is where this group shines is that they actually work with and accept people who join.” Judd is looking forward to seeing who the crowd suspects because there are a few red herrings throughout and “I didn’t buy it when I first read the show, so I want to see if people will believe it.”

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