The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

Comedy takes to the stage with murder mystery fall play

Kailyn Holty
The cast of the fall play prepares for an exciting night of laughs and suspense.

Murder is afoot in the Performing Arts Center with rehearsals for the latest fall play production of “Don’t Try to Wake Him, Hand Me the Shovel,” playing on November 17 and 18 at 7:00 pm.  

Set at the alleged haunted Billingsgate Mansion, investigative reporters Carlisle Livermore and Helen Highwater, played by juniors Maxwell Tienken and Sierra Madigan respectively, uncover whether ghosts truly lurk within the mansion walls. This comedy murder mystery combines quick action with funny one-liners to create an engaging production. Tickets can be purchased at

“[The play is] a comedy and a bit of a farce, so there are quick entrances and quick exits [with] a lot of things going on so you have to pay attention or else you’ll miss some of them,” junior Owen Weibell, who plays Officer Buford, said. 

In deciding on the fall play, director and drama teacher Bary Woodruff chose a production that is suitable for the diverse cast and a genre that audiences enjoy.  

“I read a bunch of plays during the summer and I tried to find something that [fit] the talent pool of kids [we have],” Woodruff said. “So I was reading all different kinds of plays. But this one tickled me.”

Over the past month and a half, the cast and crew have been tirelessly working to stage the show and create the sets. By increasing weekly rehearsals from two to three hours, Woodruff has noticed greater success among the cast compared to last year’s production. Additionally, the use of only one set for the play has helped keep the production moving smoothly. 

“Our propmaster Don Coluzzi has been working every single day on [the set] and having kids come in and help him paint it during the weekends,” Woodruff said. “So it’s one of those [productions] that will be ready just in time.”

One unique aspect of the play is the immense number of roles offered. While many plays often have a smaller cast, this production sits at 23 people, each with an integral role in the story. 

“The good thing about this show is that it has such good parts for so many people,” Woodruff said. “Usually, good plays have six [to] eight people in them. That doesn’t give a lot of actors a chance. We’re using 23 in the cast and we’ve had everybody…being involved [in the play].”

For cast members, this tight-knit community creates a fun and inviting environment for all students. 

“I love how the play is a smaller group of people compared to the musical, so you get a lot closer with people,” senior Ayla Defouw, who plays Matilda Billingsgate, said. “Also, the play has been really funny and I love playing a variety of different parts.”

The cast encourages students to buy tickets for the play to enjoy a fun night of laughs and mystery. 

“I think people should come to the show because it is a fun experience…As someone who has been in multiple plays, I think it is special in its own way and it’s not us redoing a show from last year,” Tienken said. “It’s definitely very different and it’s a lot funnier.”

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About the Contributor
Kailyn Holty
Kailyn Holty, Editor in Chief
Kailyn Holty is a junior and third-year journalist. She enjoys writing about campus life, current events, and cultural pieces. She hopes to raise awareness of student issues through her writing. In her free time, she likes playing tennis, hiking, completing jigsaw puzzles, and reading.

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