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Motlow State Community College
P.O. Box 8500
Lynchburg, TN 37352-8500
(931) 393-1500

Motlow College Students Rehearsing for April Performances of The Mouse Trap

April 1, 2013

Motlow College theater students will join the thousands of actors around the world who have performed in The Mouse Trap when they star in the Agatha Christie murder mystery on Motlow's Moore County campus.

Taking a break from rehearsal on the set in Eoff Hall are, seated from left, Jenipher Dobbs as Miss Casewell, Jeremy Chandler as Sgt. Trotter, and Ashley Preston as Mrs. Boyle; and standing from left, Lance Howard as Christopher Wren, Lauren Miller as Mollie Ralston, Jacob Hays as Giles Ralston, Alex Czwal as Mr. Paravicini, and Thomas Meeks as Major Metcalf.
Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on April 11, 12 and 13, and 2:30 p.m. on April 14 in Eoff Hall, according to Jeannie Brown, director of the play and an associate professor of communications at the college. Tickets are $10, or $5 for students at Motlow or any other school, and are available in the Motlow Business Office or by calling 1-931-393-1730 or toll-free 1-800-654-4877, ext. 1730.

Brown has directed more than 35 shows at the college and at her church in Fayetteville. She said The Mouse Trap is set in Monkswell Manor, a once regal estate that is now a guesthouse owned by Mollie Ralston and her husband, Giles Ralston.

As a snowstorm blankets the surrounding countryside, inside the manor a radio news broadcast reports that a murder has taken place in London.

Mollie and Giles Ralston hardly notice the news. They are too busy preparing for the arrival of their first guests, and are worried that the heavy snowfall may prevent the guests from reaching their destination. As the guests arrive safely and the manor becomes snowed in, Sgt. Trotter arrives on skis. He suspects the killer is among the seven people at the manor.

After a murder occurs in the manor, Trotter is convinced his suspicion is true. Suspects include the Ralstons; Mrs. Boyles, a critical spinster who has a curious background and is pleased by nothing she observes; Christopher Wren, a hyperactive young man who acts in a peculiar manner and claims to have been named after the architect of the same name;

Major Metcalf, about whom little is known except that he retired from the Army; Miss Casewell , a strange, aloof woman who speaks about the horrific experiences of her childhood; Mr. Paravicini, a man of unknown provenance who appears to be artificially aged with make-up and affects a foreign accent.

During his interrogations, Trotter uncovers the many mysterious secrets of everyone present as he tries to solve the murder in true Christie style.

Students and the characters they portray are:

Mollie Ralston - Lauren Miller of Manchester
Giles Ralston - Jacob Hays of Winchester
Christopher Wren - Lance Howard of Manchester
Mrs. Boyle - Ashley Preston of Shelbyville
Major Metcalf - Thomas Meeks of Shelbyville
Miss Casewell - Jenipher Dobbs of Lynchburg
Mr. Paravicini - Alex Czwal of Tullahoma
Detective Sgt. Trotter - Jeremy Chandler of Decherd

The Mouse Trap was first heard as a short radio play called Three Blind Mice. It adopted its current name, which is derived from Hamlet, when it moved to the stage at Nottingham's Theatre Royal in London, England, on Oct. 2, 1952. It has been the longest running play in the world since the 1970s.