Arlington High School’s drama department will put on the murder mystery/comedy “The Game’s Afoot” this November.
Showings will be held Nov. 2 to 3 and Nov. 9 to 10 beginning at 7 p.m. at the Byrnes Performing Arts Center at Arlington High School at 18821 Crown Ridge Blvd.
The play is about a fictionalized version of historical actor and stage manager William Gillette, whose longtime portrayal of Sherlock Holmes is what gave the character his recognizable deerstalker cap and curved pipe.
‘The Game’s Afoot’ is by Ken Ludwig, who also wrote ‘Moon Over Buffalo,’ a production that the school performed a couple of years ago.
There are a lot of tones that the students are balancing for the play.
“The show is really complicated. It’s a murder mystery, but it’s also a comedy,” said Arlington High School senior Grace Moberly.
“I like trying to find the comedic moments among the murder,” she said.
After the attempted murder of Gillette, he holds a Christmas dinner party among other actors and friends.
“I don’t want to spoil too much but there are a lot of murders that happen,” said Aidan Espinosa, an Arlington High School senior.
In traditional murder mystery and Sherlock Holmes fashion there is an element of trying to deduce the murderer as well, who is revealed at the end of the play.
“It’s a constant guessing game of who-done-it because everyone has an alibi,” said Moberly.
“You have to pay attention, there’s a lot going on all at the same time,” said Arlington High School senior Luke Rosson.
Many of the characters are hiding secrets as well, which presents a unique challenge for the actors, said Espinosa.
“It’s been a tough process because certain characters are pretending to be something they’re not, so you often have to go deeper into your character than you normally would,” he said.
He said his character is hiding something that he has to keep in mind while he’s acting.
“Throughout the show I have to be reacting to every line and little pieces that might not seem like a huge deal,” he said.
The characters also keep the levity up with humor as well.
“It’s very funny. It has a lot of jokes in it and it keeps you guessing the entire time,” said Arlington High School senior Kathryn Stevenson.
Stevenson plays Gillette’s mother and said “she’s a lot of fun to portray.”
Gillette is portrayed as a tinkerer in the show, coming up with strange early-1900s devices.
“I really enjoy the role because it allows me to be inquisitive and quirky,” said Rosson.
Espinosa said he is looking forward to a crowd for the play because actors feed off the laughs from a crowd.
“We, as actors, are waiting for laughs to fill that void and it’s scary being out there because you feel like it’s not going to be funny because you’ve done it so many times,” he said.
Tickets for the show are $8 for students and seniors and $10 for other adults.
They can be purchased at byrnesperformingarts.org.