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Fall Play: The Game's Afoot set for Oct. 8-10

    by Teresa Jackson
    Posted on 9/24/2015

As Director of Theatre, I am always excited to kick start our thriving Performing Arts Department productions. The fall play is always the “first horse out of the gate”, as I like to say, because our show is slated for mid-October (7th-10th). 

The show is written by award-winning playwright, Ken Ludwig, entitled The Game’s Afoot or Holmes for the Holidays. The genre is a delightful mix of comedy, murder mystery and farce, and won the Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best Mystery Play of 2012.

I was searching, actually, for a bigger cast show for this season, but absolutely nothing caught my eye—and I won’t even count the number of plays I read during the summer! I especially was not looking to do a murder mystery so soon after last year’s production. However, when I found this, I knew I had struck gold. The script is absolutely marvelous and offers amazing roles for 3 men and 5 women. The beautiful bonus of a smaller cast show is that everyone has multiple scenes to shine.  Whereas last year’s mystery was predominantly drama—this year’s is on the total opposite end of the spectrum. I laughed out loud in several spots—and that’s highly unusual for me.  I was not only captivated by the characters Ludwig created, but I also loved the twists of the plot and the hilarious moments of farce incorporated within the mystery. Beautifully written. Ludwig is a favorite of mine.

Here is how the play is described in the Samuel French catalogue which publishes this play:

It is December 1936 and Broadway star William Gillette, admired the world over for his leading role in the play Sherlock Holmes, has invited his fellow cast-members to his Connecticut castle for a weekend of revelry. But when one of the guests is stabbed to death, the festivities in this isolated house of tricks and mirrors quickly turn dangerous. Then it’s up to Gillette himself, as he assumes the persona of his beloved Holmes, to track down the killer before the next victim appears. The danger and hilarity are non-stop in this glittering whodunit set during the Christmas holidays.

The script is just so well-written with witty dialogue, fast-paced action, and even incorporating a wonderful scene with singing and dancing—always a favorite with me! There’s suspense within the laughter and even when you think you’ve figured out who the bad guy is, you start to question yourself when the plot takes an unexpected twist.

I am beyond excited to once again showcase the design and carpentry talents of John Kastendieck who has returned as my head scenic designer. I don’t know what Iowa Central would do without his willingness to step in and join forces with us for our plays and musicals. His design this year is absolutely breathtaking—I think I could raise a lot of money if I offered it as a backdrop for family Christmas pictures this year!

So—I hope everyone makes time in October to reserve a seat in Decker Auditorium for an evening of pure fun. The students at Iowa Central will absolutely shine under our bright lights. Tickets are available, as always, online or at the Iowa Central Bookstore.