Community Players thriller ‘DeathTrap’ opens Friday

When the Community Players’ thriller “DeathTrap” opens on Friday, it won’t be a typical production.

“It’s quite the departure from what we usually do,” said Dr. Peter Cuesta, director.

“There is no song and dance in this play. It’s not a musical. It’s kind of a whodunit but more of a thriller, in that genre, with plot twists and turns. It’s the kind of play where, afterward, you will need to sit down with your husband or wife and think it through again,” Cuesta said.

Written by Ira Levin, the two-act cliffhanger is “so perfect in its construction that it seems to have come from real life.”

“Using his penchant for plot, and out of his desperate desire to once again be the toast of Broadway, playwright Sidney Bruhl, along with his wife Myra, cook up an almost unthinkable scheme: They’ll lure the would-be playwright to the Bruhl home, kill him, and market the sure-fire script as Sidney’s own. But shortly after Clifford arrives, it’s clear that things are not what they seem,” promotional material states, explaining the plot.

Cast members are Samuel Barnes as Sidney Bruhl, Crista Kirkendall as Myra Bruhl, Sean Irwin as Clifford Anderson, Robin Mandelson as Helga Tendorp and Peter Evans as Porter Milgram.

“There are some good murder scenes going on. There are plot twists, sound and lighting. It’s PG-13. It’s not for kids,” Cuesta said.

The play will open at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 31 in Guerrieri Hall at Wor-Wic Community College. Other shows, all at Wor-Wic, will be at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 1, at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 7 and at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 8. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $13 for students and seniors.

Cuesta got involved in Community Players after helping with his daughters’ productions at The Salisbury School.

“That school has a very robust theater program that we built over 10 years. I built sets and I designed sets. I got to know a lot of Community Players members. I made a decision last year and said, ‘I’ve seen it done enough,’” he said.

“For DeathTrap, adults should get a babysitter. This is your date night show. Get dinner and go to the show. It’s a grown-up show. I like it because the plot is robust, the plot is robust,” he said.

“There are a couple of parts, if you aren’t sitting on the edge of your seat biting your fingernails, I haven’t done it right.”

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