With a cast of only eight, students are able to experience both the advantages and disadvantages of working with such a small group of people. But most of the cast and crew agree that the good outweighs the bad.
“It’s more difficult when people aren’t here,” said sophomore integrated language arts major Allison Hammerle, who is stage manager for the show. “[But] I feel like we’re a lot tighter.”
One benefit of having a smaller cast is getting to know everyone better.
“Having a smaller group is more tight-knit,” senior exercise science major Jared Hoffmeyer said. “With [my first show] there were people I didn’t really know at all. Here you can get to know everybody.”
Alexis McCullough, senior visual art major, who is APO’s president, said that this is the first time they have done anything quite like The Mousetrap.
“In the past we’ve done several dinner theaters where we’ve either had someone write a script or we’ve decided on a script as a group,” McCullough said. “This year we took a completely different path.”
What’s special about any show APO puts on is that it is cast and directed entirely by students. The only non-student involved in The Mousetrap is Jim Brothers, who built the set and runs some of the technical aspects of the show.
“I’ve been completely blown over by how fast this is coming together,” McCullough said. “It’s the first time I’ve ever directed a show, and it has been a great experience.”
Working under a student director has been a different experience for the cast and crew, many of whom have been in shows directed by Tammy McKenzie, professor of communication arts.
“Obviously, there does have to be that level of respect,” Hammerle said. “But I feel like I can trust Alexis pretty well. It’s more like a camaraderie than it is a superiority.”
Sophomore art major Hannah Morgan said working with a student director who is also a friend is a unique experience.
“It’s just very relaxed to be able to just be with my fellow students all the time, and have my director be someone that I consider a friend of mine,” Morgan said.
Being part of a show in college can be extremely stressful. Rehearsals for The Mousetrap take place almost every weeknight for more than a month. This commitment takes up much of the time that students normally spend studying.
Senior zoo and wildlife biology major Joshua Setty said that it is nice to work with a student director who can relate to the stresses of being a student.
“It’s very nice to be able to say, ‘I have classes, it’s really hard for me to get the stuff done,’” Setty said. “The student director can really relate to that.”
Sometimes the stress of being so busy can even help the actors in their roles.
Morgan’s character, Molly, is co-owner and hostess of the guest house that serves as the setting for the play.
“Molly is very anxious; she has way too much on her plate,” Morgan said. “I guess being a college student, that’s how I relate to her. There’s just a lot that needs to get done.”
Despite the time commitments and homework loads, the cast and crew are ready and excited to put on the show.
The Mousetrap will open on Thursday, February 14 and runs through Saturday the 16th.