For its fall production, the Cushing theatre department will present Deathtrap, a thriller of a show filled with comedic suspense, appropriately opening on Halloween. Written by Ira Levin, Deathtrap holds the record for the longest-running comedy-thriller on Broadway, and it also garnered four Tony Award nominations, including for Best Play.
We recently sat down with members of the Deathtrap cast to get an inside peek at the play and its production. The story line involves lead character Sidney Bruhl—portrayed by James Barone '21—an aging playwright whose best work may be behind him. A young writer attends Sidney’s summer workshop and sends Sidney his most recent work, a very promising script. James explains that his character Sidney struggles with whether or not to claim the script as his own by collaborating with, or even murdering, the young playwright. The plot twists and turns thereafter with clever and humorous surprises.
The fall production is the first of three mainstage theatre performances for the academic year, all directed by Chair of the Performing Arts, Julia Ohm. James notes that one of the most enjoyable aspects of participating in the fall play is that it tends to be a smaller cast. “It’s more intimate; you definitely get closer to the people in the play,” he says. The fall play also lacks song and dance, which James appreciates since he views dancing as one of his biggest challenges in theatre.
Deathtrap has its own requirements for physical movement, however. To enhance the hair-raising factor of this production, the cast has learned a number of physical methods to support their performances. “Ms. Ohm is very good at teaching us a lot of techniques to be menacing,” James says. Have no fear that Deathtrap is all shocks and chills, though; members of the cast say it’s not what you expect, and that the audience will leave surprised.
Deathtrap opens October 31 at 7:30 pm in Cowell Chapel in the Main Building on the Cushing campus. Additional performances are November 1 and 2 at 8:00 pm. Arrive early for a good seat!
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Cushing Academy exists for students and develops curious, creative, and confident learners and leaders. Founded in 1865, Cushing is a co-ed, college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9-12 and PG. Our students, who come from over 30 states and 30 countries, excel in our outstanding academic, art, and athletic offerings. We welcome you to visit our community and beautiful 162-acre campus in Ashburnham, Mass., just one hour from Boston, to experience all that Cushing has to offer.