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July 2006

Release Date: July 13, 2006

Theater Production Builds Newer ‘Mousetrap’

A classic murder mystery will get an update when “Mousetrap” takes the stage for The Arts@ASU’s second dinner theater of the 2006-07 season.

“Mousetrap” will begin its run Thursday, July 27 at 7 p.m. Shows will be July 27-29 and Aug. 3-5 at 7 p.m., and Sunday, July 30, at 1 p.m. All will be in the Modular Theater in the Carr Education-Fine Arts Building, 2602 Dena Drive.

Tickets for the show will be adults $20 for adults, $15 for season subscribers and non-ASU students and $12.50 for ASU students. Tickets must be purchased in advance. For more information, or to make reservations, contact Arts@ASU at 942-2146.

The Agatha Christie play broke new ground when it opened in London more than 50 years ago, but some of its characters and devices have become clichéd as more plays from the murder mystery genre have taken the stage. Angelo State University faculty member James Worley has breathed new life into the ASU production, showing a cognizance for the outdated aspects of the characters.

“Some of its conventions are melodramatic by today’s standards,” Worley said. “I’m producing the play with some farcical elements.

“For instance, one of the characters is described as similar to Agatha Christie’s detective Hercule Poirot. The audience sees the character and thinks he’s Detective Poirot, but he isn’t. The actor is playing his character as Poirot a la Inspector Clouseau from ‘The Pink Panther.’”

The play occurs in Monkswell Manor, a boarding house outside London. Giles and Mollie Ralston, the proprietors, have just opened their home and are unknowingly harboring a murderer among a group of eccentric travelers.

A snowstorm traps the group, who are unaware of the heinous crime that is about to take place. One is murdered, and everyone falls under suspicion of detective Sgt. Trotter.

The trapped do their best to claim innocence, but there is reason to suspect any one of the travelers. Complicating matters is the layout of the Victorian home, in which one can move quickly between the adjoining rooms.

“You never know until the end who did it, per Agatha Christie’s style,” Worley said. “One of the fun things is keeping track of the characters.”

The menu for the dinner theater will be chicken picatta or ham, twice-baked potatoes, green beans, a salad bar, tea and coffee, and cake for dessert.