Arts & Entertainment

Westfield Community Players to Hold Auditions for 'And Then There Were None'

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WESTFIELD, NJ -- Westfield Community Players (WCP) opens its 2016-17 season with the murder-mystery thriller, "And Then There Were None." 

Written by Agatha Christie and directed by Steve Lemenille, the play runs at Westfield Community Players October 15, 22, 28, 29, 2016 at 8 p.m.; October 23, 2016 at 2 p.m., with an opening night performance on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016 at 8 p.m. followed by a reception.

This chilling murder-mystery thriller by the author of "The Mousetrap," the longest running stage production in history, but also "Witness for the Prosecution" among other great stage successes.

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Ten guilty strangers are trapped on an island. One by one they are accused of murder; one by one they start to die. In this superlative mystery comedy statuettes of little soldier boys on the mantel of a house on an island off the coast of Devon fall to the floor and break one by one as those in the house succumb to a diabolical avenger.

A nursery rhyme tells how each of the ten “soldiers” met his death until there were none. Eight guests who have never met each other or their apparently absent host and hostess are lured to the island and, along with the two house servants, marooned. A mysterious voice accuses each of having gotten away with murder and then one drops dead - poisoned. One down and nine to go! The excitement never lets up.

Auditions will be held at Westfield Community Players on Monday, July 11; Tuesday July 12, and Thursday July 14, from 7 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. at Westfield Community Players theater, 1000 North Avenue West, Westfield, NJ 07090.

The cast consists of eight males and three females. The characters are:

TOM ROGERS: [stage age: 40's-50's] A competent man-servant (butler) who is quick and deft but just a bit shifty.

MRS. ROGERS: [stage age: 40's-50's] Tom Rogers's wife. At first, Ethel is opinionated and seems fine, but underneath Ethel is a frail woman.

FRED NARRACOTT: [stage age: 30's-40's] A delivery person that also provides ferry service to and from the Island.

VERA CLAYTHORNE: [stage age: 20's-30's] A former governess who comes to the Island purportedly to serve as a secretary to their absent hostess, Mrs. Owen. Vera is one of the most intelligent and capable characters in the play, but she also suffers from attacks of hysteria, feels guilty about her supposed crime, and reacts nervously to the uncanny events on the island.

PHILIP LOMBARD: [stage age: 30's-40's] A mysterious, confident, and resourceful man who seems to have been a mercenary soldier in Africa. Lombard is far bolder and more cunning than most of the other characters, traits that allow him to survive. He also has an interest in Vera.

ANTHONY MARSTON: [stage age: 20's] A rich, athletic, handsome youth. Tony Marston likes to drive recklessly and seems to lack a conscience.

WILLIAM BLORE: [stage age: 30's-40's] A former police inspector. Blore is a man whose experience often inspires others to look to him for advice. He acts boldly and frequently takes initiative, but he also makes frequent blunders.

GENERAL MACKENZIE: [stage age: 60s] The oldest guest. An upright soldierly old man with a gentle and tired face, often gets lost in his thoughts.

EMILY BRENT: [stage age: 50's-60's] An older, ruthlessly religious spinster who is disagreeable and suspicious.

SIR LAWRENCE WARGRAVE: [stage age: 50's-60's] A recently retired judge. Wargrave is a highly intelligent older man with a commanding personality. As the characters begin to realize that a murderer is hunting them, Wargrave's experience and air of authority make him a natural leader for the group.

DR. ARMSTRONG: [stage age: 40's-60's] A gullible, fussy and slightly timid doctor. Armstrong often draws the suspicion of the other guests because of his medical knowledge.

Those interested in auditioning should visit: http://www.westfieldcommunityplayers.org/WCPauditions.html for details and an audition form.

Agatha Christie (1890-1976), Her novels have sold more than 2 billion copies around the world, and she is only outsold by the Bible and Shakespeare. Born in 1890, in Torquay, Devon, England, to an American father and English mother, she wrote her first play Black Coffee (the only play in which she chose to feature Poirot) in 1930 having been disappointed by the way The Murder of Roger Ackroyd had been adapted into Alibi in 1928. She adapted her bestselling novel And Then There Were None for stage in 1943, giving it a different ending, followed by, in quick succession, Appointment with Death (1945), Murder on the Nile (1946) and The Hollow (1951). With The Mousetrap (1952), Witness for the Prosecution (1953), and Spider's Web (1954), she became the only female playwright to have three plays running in the West End at the same time. Later plays include Towards Zero (1956) co-adapted with Gerald Verner, Verdict (1958) possibly her most unusual play, Go Back for Murder (1960), and Rule of Three (1962) a series of three one act plays. After a hugely successful career and a wonderful life, Ms. Christie died peacefully on January 12, 1976. You can read Agatha Christie's own account of her life in An Autobiography which was published after her death in 1977.

For further information about Westfield Community Players, please visit our web site at: http://www.westfieldcommunityplayers.org/index.html.

WESTFIELD COMMUNITY PLAYERS (WCP), founded in 1934, has brought more than 200 comedies, dramas, musicals and mysteries to life on our stage. All productions are presented in our own 150 seat theater on the corner of Edgewood Avenue and North Avenue West in Westfield. With our productions, we continue to be part of the active cultural scene in Westfield and surrounding communities. WCP is also a member of NJACT and AACT.

WCP is committed to offering hands-on participation for those wishing to learn more about various aspects of live theatrical production and performance while providing a varied theater experience to a broad audience. We do that by actively seeking volunteers to keep our theater functioning, and by maintaining an open-casting policy where everyone can audition for all of our scheduled plays.

The key to our success and longevity is the hard work and dedication of our numerous volunteer members.

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