NORTH HAVEN — North Haven High School’s annual fall play opens this weekend, featuring a cast and crew of students who took on multiple jobs onstage and offstage.
“And Then There Were None” is a murder-mystery based on one of Agatha Christie's best-known books.
Fall productions alternate every year between comedies and dramas, and this year landed on drama, said director Kevin Liftig, a math teacher and adviser of the improv and drama clubs.
“I wanted to change things up,” Liftig said. “I wanted to do a mystery,” adding that a new film adaption of the Christie classic “Murder on the Orient Express,” which was recently released, inspired the choice.
Staff members choose the play based on anticipated student participation, and with a large turnout this year, most of the cast are juniors and seniors, he said. There are 13 students in cast, 10 in the crew.
With larger shows coming up, more students will be cast in upcoming productions, slated to include “Les Misérables” and the spring production of one-acts and shorts.
Liftig said students have shown a willingness to take advantage of opportunities to pitch in with other tasks. Actors with smaller roles help out backstage, and the tech crew is entirely student-run this year.
“It’s exciting to work with such an energized group,” he said.
Senior Isabella DeGregorio took on the role of student director. She said she did a little bit of everything, from blocking a few scenes to lugging costumes up and down the stairs.
“We make sure that everything is moving smoothly,” she said.
Her experience gave her a lesson in teamwork, she said.
“If one person on a team does not work, then the team falls apart,” she said. “You just need to work together and everything comes out perfectly.”
She also has a small part in the play. In the past, she said, most of her time was spent onstage.
“This year I’m trying something different,” she said. “It’s senior year. Why not?”
Senior Julia Cagnetta is the student makeup artist and co-head of costumes.
She brought together her interests in makeup and the theater to learn about theatrical makeup. For past productions, she’s created horns and other prosthetics and this year she’s branching out into wounds.
“It’s a lot easier and a lot more enjoyable to do the makeup with people that you’re friends with,” she said.
“And Then There Were None” opens 6:30 p.m. Thursday and runs 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at North Haven High School, 221 Elm St. Tickets are $10 general admission, available at the box office 30 minutes before each performance.