The South Decatur High School (SDHS) Drama Department will stage its annual Fall production, starting at 7 p.m., from Nov. 8 through 10, at SDHS.
According to SDHS Drama Director Robin Davis, this year’s production is entitled “Who Dunit and to Whom?” The play’s author, Rob Frankel, she added, describes it as “A play within a play within a play.”
Davis herself characterized the production as a “comedic spoof of 1950s detective movies, such as “The Maltese Falcon.””
“We have 19 students in this year’s production, with six more in the stage crew,” she said. “Their ages range from seventh grade to high school seniors. We have an extremely talented cast, most of whom are on the honor roll. They’ve worked very hard to bring this together.”
SDHS Junior Caleb Newlin will be playing one of the play’s principal leads — a playwright named Harold who serves as the production’s narrator.
SDHS eighth grader Zane Brown will play Grip, a detective character who’s created by Harold as part of the “play within a play” Harold’s writing throughout the course of the show. The play’s other main character, a “mysterious Russian” named Christina, is played by Shelby Sparkman.
“‘Who Dunit and to Whom’ involves a split stage with two different scenes playing out simultaneously,” Davis explained. “On one side is Harold, who’s writing a detective play. The action Harold is typing and narrating plays out on the other side of the stage. If Harold makes a mistake or needs to go back and reword something, the characters on the other side of the stage are acting that out in real time and are forced to regroup and perform according to the flow of Harold’s thoughts.”
Complicating matters, Davis continued, is the fact that Harold has a wife and children who intermittently interact with him as he writes. When they come into the scene, Harold’s thoughts freeze, causing the actors in Harold’s detective story to pause until they receive further instruction.
“This play is different,” Davis said, “because it’s fairly complex. You’ll want to wait until intermission to go to the restroom or you might miss something. There’s a big twist in Act II, too, which makes paying close attention to Act I all the more important.”
The play itself runs about 90 minutes and, including intermission, will conclude around 9 or 9:15 each night.
Davis also stressed that the production is extremely family friendly.
“My nine-year-old son loves attending practices,” she said. “He really gets a kick out of watching it. So we encourage parents to bring their kids for a fun family night out.”
Admission is $5 in advance and $7 at the door. Advance tickets can be purchased at SDHS from any cast member or from English Teacher Pam Smiley. Attendees can also purchase tickets by calling Davis at 591-8232.
The show will include concessions for purchase during intermission, with all proceeds benefiting the SDHS Drama Department.
“Our play is a great opportunity for a fun night out with the family,” Davis said. “We’re pretty pleased with the results, and we think hope the community will be too.”
For more information on the SDHS production of “Who Dunit and to Whom?” or to purchase tickets, call Robin Davis at 591-8232 or call SDHS at 591-3330.
Contact: Rob Cox at 812-663-3111 x7011.