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Department of Communication Set to Perform “Murder on the Orient Express”
Agatha Christie's novel comes to life in the MC Department of Communication's production.
The Mississippi College Department of Communication is set to present “Murder on the Orient Express” at the Entergy Theater in the Gore Arts Complex on October 26-28. The script is an adaptation by Ken Ludwig of the classic Agatha Christie novel of the same name.
The show is directed by Dr. Phyills Seawright, assistant professor in the Communication department. Seawright has always wanted to direct a murder mystery.
“I have not directed a murder mystery,” Seawright said. “I love murder mysteries myself. Not a slasher, but a good suspenseful drama where you have to put all the clues together.”
She was given Christie’s novel by English professor Susan Lassiter and instantly fell in love with the story. Seawright immediately began looking for a script and settled on Ludwig’s version because of its balance of humor and drama.
There will be two casts, Alpha and Omega. The Alpha cast will perform each night at 7 p.m. The Omega cast will perform at 10 a.m. on Friday and 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Matthew Eschete stars in the lead role of detective Hercule Poirot in both casts. Eschete enjoyed theater in high school and was encouraged to audition by Dr. Seawright.
“I only wanted to do props at the time,” said Eschete. “I’ve had my fair share of speaking in front of an audience. So, I auditioned for props, but was asked to read some lines. The next day, I get an email telling me to come to Aven to see what part you got. There were a couple of students in line. One girl asks, ‘Who has the most lines?’ Dr. Seawright answers, ‘Hercule Poirot,’ and gives me a smile. I was thinking, "you've got to be kidding me.”
Assistant Library Director Dr. Robert Burgess plays Samuel Ratchett in the Alpha cast, while Mikey Brannan portrays him in the Omega cast. Dr. Burgess began reading the book the day that he spoke with Dr. Seawright about the play. His namesake grandfather was a huge fan of Agatha Christie, and Burgess wanted to pay tribute to him with his performance.
“I’m actually wearing a belt that belonged to him, so a part of him will be with me,” said Burgess.
One of the more prominent train passengers, Helen Hubbard, is played by Abby Duggar in the Alpha cast and Mallory Matte in the Omega cast. Duggar is thankful for the friendship she shares with Matte.
“I have a lovely double that goes on for the other two shows that I’m not in,” said Duggar. “ It’s been amazing to learn lines with her and get to know her and the other cast members that I probably would not know otherwise.”
General admission is $15. Admission for seniors and MC students is $10. Group rates will run at $8 per ticket.
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