By Dora Bell, Staff Writer

East Central College’s Theatre Department was ecstatic to host their first indoor production with a socially-distanced, mask-wearing audience! In the past year and a half, the theatrical performances have been either postponed or outside and socially-distanced. Due to updated Coronavirus protocol updates, the cast members of Classic Mystery Game were able to perform indoors without masks in front of a live audience. This milestone was truly exciting for actors, technicians, and audience members alike. Below are excerpts from interviews with the cast and crew from the production of Classic Mystery Game, which ran from October 7th through October 10th.

Hannah Folk, a current sophomore at East Central College, made her ECC debut as the “iconic” and “beloved” Mrs. White. Hannah stated, “When I heard about the show, she was my first choice and I am so grateful I was casted as her.” Though her excitement for theatre is fresh, Hannah Folk is quite the seasoned actress, as her first theatrical debut was at her high school in 2016. “Theatre was the biggest part of my life throughout my teenage years and I’m glad I still get to be a part of it.” When responding to the prompt of what theatre meant to her, Hannah stressed that challenging her abilities as a human being as well as strengthening her experience are important to her. She also added that theatre is a type of “controlled vulnerability” that yields great experiences and memories.

East Central College freshman and debutant, Kody Scaggs, portrayed the “goofy” and “confidently incorrect” Col. Mustard in the Fall production and claimed that he was overjoyed for this role, even if his character “typically has no idea what is happening around him.” Kody stated that between the “long running jokes that borderline ridiculousness” and the “tiny-steps” that the cast took intentionally on-stage, his most favorite element of the production was the opportunity to work with the “phenomenal cast and crew, as well as our fabulous director, Bess Moynihan.” Kody added that his passion and love for theatre only strengthened throughout the show. “I love getting to bring characters to life in a way the audience can relate to…it captures humanity at its core and brings joy to so many people!” 

Grace Allgaier, a current East Central College sophomore, not only made her ECC theatre stage debut as the Singing Telephone Girl, but also doubled as a Cop within the play, and tripled as the assistant stage manager throughout the rehearsal and production of Classic Mystery Game. Grace answered that her favorite part of the process was working with a smaller cast as it created an atmosphere where “everyone was close.” She added, with a smile, “which was really nice.” Grace told the interviewer that she was “really excited to be casted since this was the first ECC production I’ve been casted in. I haven’t been in theatre for very long, but it always has been a lot of fun!” 

Jarred Snider, current East Central College student and the theatre’s main sound designer, described his general job as “damage control, setup, and managing microphones so our audience can hear our oh-so talented actors.” However, he described his main work for this particular show to be, “sourcing and designing various sound effects and music heard during the production.” Jarred was sure to include that technical side of the show “went smoothly every night, thanks to the awesome team of technicians I was so privileged to work with.” When the interview asked Jarred what theatre as a whole means to him, he responded, “theatre is my escape. I get to work on something I’m proud of, flex my technician skills, and spend time with some of the best people I’ve ever met.” Jarred thoughtfully added, “Theatre gives me a break from the real world and I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything else.”

Classic Mystery Game had an extremely positive response from the community as the mainstage production of the Fall 2021 season. Though Church and State (scheduled to be a production in the Spring 2021 season) is pre-casted, the upcoming production of Puffs welcomes both community members and students to audition for! For more information regarding auditions dates and performance dates, please visit ecctheatre.com. Any questions regarding theatre involvement, events, or upcoming productions can be inquired to Grace Austin (office HH 130) or Bess Moynihan (HH 128).

(From Left to Right) Chad Greife-Wetenhall as Mr. Green, student Hannah Folk as Mrs. White, student Dora Bell as Ms. Scarlet, student Grace Sellers as Mrs. Peacock, and Andrew Carter as Professor Plum. Photo by Shawgo Studios.

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