Seniors Hank Geers, Tea Gardner and Danny Chura as Gregory E. Munn, Victoria and Neil rehearse in and out of costume for “It’s a Mystery,” which will be performed in the auditorium April 4-6, at 7 p.m. Photos by Jaden Fields
“Freshly Broke Productions,” a theater company founded by seniors Ethan Ryan, Sammy Toskin, and Christian Ragain, will produce the spring mainstage play, “It’s a Mystery.”
“It’s a Mystery” is written by Ryan and directed by Toskin, and it’s the company’s biggest project yet.
Toskin additionally co-directed the fall mainstage musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” alongside drama teacher Sarah Romanowski.
Toskin said, “I have been working with Ethan since freshman year, so this is the dream team in my eyes.”
The play is called “It’s a Mystery” because the plot remains unrevealed. The directors, tech staff and cast are working to make sure the basis of the play stay under wraps.
Regarding inspiration, Ryan said, “We wanted to do a murder mystery, and we needed a good blueprint to base our story off of. We took inspiration from movies like ‘Clue,’ ‘And Then There Were None’ and ‘Murder on the Orient Express.’”
Toskin said, “(Ethan and I) like to do satires of things we enjoy. It’s basically based off of ‘And Then There Were None.’ We liked making fun of and having fun with the tropes.”
Ryan remembers starting the writing last March with the original idea for a 45 minute, one night only Blackbox show. Later, Schaefer reached out in need of a murder mystery and took Ryan up on his show, who “never anticipated the show being a full two-hour mainstage play.”
The cast includes seniors Hank Geers as Gregory E. Munn, Grace Engel as Jodie, Tea Gardner as Victoria, Danny Chura as Neil, Rahman Ali as Johnny, Zach Comegys as Stephen, Nicolaus Braun as Dominic, Ryan as the mailman and junior Ellie Gilstrap as Vanessa.
Toskin said, “Certain characters kind of emerge as lead roles as the play goes on, but I would say it is more of an ensemble show. Everyone has their time in the spotlight.”
Ryan’s favorite part of rehearsal was the first two readthroughs.
Ryan said, “The first time a work is read aloud, the characters develop their own personalities… Sam and I kind of let them go, and they’ve developed a lot of depth.”
Comegys said, “Everyone has really good chemistry. ”
Ryan said, “The actors are going to do really great… They have really put their hearts and souls into the show.”
The greatest challenge for Ryan was the lack of rehearsal time.
Ryan said, “A mainstage has two months usually. We’ve had three weeks (of rehearsal time). I would have loved another month.”
Toskin said, “I have very high expectations (for the play). All of the people working with us have a lot of experience, so even with a lack of rehearsal time, everything is moving very quickly and effectively.”
The cast and crew will hold a miracle minute each show night for senior Chris Kuse, who is receiving hospital treatment.
“It’s a Mystery” will take place in the auditorium from April 4-6, at 7 p.m. The tickets will be $10.
This be will Josie Krueger’s second year on Echo staff, but she made several contributions while taking journalism class her sophomore year. She has been recognized by MIPA and JournalismSTL for her work on the Echo.