Shhh… the clandestine operation in the Claudia Boettcher Theatre is all in preparation for the Mainstage fall production of “Trap: Can I Tell You a Secret?”
Just in time for spooky season, upper school theater teacher and play director Meg O’Connor calls this mystery thriller by Stephen Gregg “a play unlike anything we've ever done before.”
The documentary-style drama is based on interviews, letters and video collected after an unexplained mystery that took place in California. “It's not a traditional narrative,” O’Connor explained. “Most of the actors play multiple characters, and the audience gets to piece together the evidence, but nothing is spelled out for them.”
With 47 upper school students in the cast and crew, there are two casts for this play: one with ninth and tenth graders, the other with eleventh and twelfth graders.
“It's been surprising to see the strength of some of the relationships that have sprung up between counterparts,” O’Connor said. “The kids are helping each other with line memorization and asking each other questions about characterization.”
Saachi Bogavelli ’25 plays detective Gwendolyn Heche. “Being part of any production at Mainstage is always super fun but this show was especially fun because we got to learn how to build suspense with our acting,” she shared. “Through working with my underclass counterpart, Evie Leighton, I was able to see how one character can be played in two different ways but still portray the same ideas.”
Sophomore William Jin, who plays a firefighter trying to help a town after a major crisis, enjoyed the camaraderie in his first “real” play experience: “I thought having two casts was nice because it gave ninth and tenth graders the chance to take on bigger roles while still having a lot of interaction between upperclass students and underclass students.”
Gemma Gilmartin ’27 plays a complex character named Angela Lure. Gilmartin welcomed the break from her usual comedic stage roles. “It’s definitely the most emotionally captivating character I’ve ever had to play,” Gilmartin said. “When you first see her, she’s making the 911 call. When you see her next, she’s in a mental hospital and is terrified by everything around her.”
For now, this is all Gilmartin will say. “If I were to share one other thing about ‘Trap,’ it would be this: ‘Make sure you keep the secret.’”
Don’t miss “Trap: Can I Tell You A Secret?” which opens tomorrow evening, Thursday, October 26, at 7:00 p.m. in the Claudia Boettcher Theatre, with 7:00 p.m. shows also on Friday, October 27, and Saturday, October 28.