The Sterling Playmakers are at it again. They are preparing to perform Agatha Christie’s famous murder mystery, "The Mousetrap." Terry Nelson DiMurro directs and James Wood is the producer.
"I chose this play because it’s a good one — a classic great granddaddy of mysteries. I’ve always enjoyed mysteries and am a mystery playwright myself," said DiMurro.
She is in her 11th year directing the Sterling Playmakers and was a founder of the group. About 200 people are members of the troupe.
"There’s a wide range of acting levels ranging from very experienced to newcomers. I’m very proud of them. They’re a great group to work with. There is a great deal of comradery in this company." DiMurro said. She added that the players themselves also built the set.
THE STORY BEGINS when five strangers are snowed in at Monkswell Manor. Giles and Mollie Ralston, played by Justin and Corinne Fox, run the guesthouse. When Detective Sergeant Trotter, Eric Kingsepp, announces a killer is in their midst, everyone is shocked. The plot thickens when one of the guests is found dead.
Justin and Corinne Fox are newcomers to the Sterling Playmakers with "The Mousetrap" being their first performance with the group. They play a married couple in the play and are married in real life, too. Eric Kingsepp, who plays Detective Sergeant Trotter, says the cast is fantastic. His first show with the Sterling troupe was last spring. The players also added that he can bake fabulous pies.
Kathleen Donovan-Scully plays the haughty Mrs. Boyle. She has acted in theaters throughout Maryland and Delaware. This is her first play in Virginia.
"The crew and support team for this group is fabulous. We were fitted for costumes the first night of rehearsal. The hairdresser is also phenomenal," Donovan-Scully said.
David Chappell, who plays retired Major Metcalf, said he’s been with the Sterling Playmakers since 1996. One of his favorite productions was "Robin Hood." Terry Smith, playing the peculiar Mr. Paravicini, says his first production with the group was "Robin Hood" performed in 1996. He also does a lot of dinner mysteries and several cast members said he is an excellent sword fighter.
Clinton May, playing Christopher Wren, last performed with the Playmakers five years ago while still in high school. He was part of the "Fiddler on the Roof" production.
Stephanie Hearne will make her acting debut as the mysterious Miss Casewell. "Acting is always something I’ve wanted to try and I finally got the courage to audition," she said.
The cast has been in rehearsal since mid-September. "We’re very fortunate we have a good acting pool," DiMurro said. "I’ve never been disappointed in any of the actors in all the shows we’ve done."
AUDIENCE MEMBERS will be invited to cast ballots for the character they believe committed the crime. This will take place during the play’s intermission. Members who already know the outcome are encouraged not to tell the ending. There will be a drawing for correct votes and a prize will be awarded.
Contact the Sterling Playmakers at www.sterlingplaymakers.com or call 703-437-6117.