Behind The Scenes: The Mousetrap

Feb 13, 2013

KRWG News takes a behind the curtain look at the long-running play, Agatha Christie's 'The Mousetrap' directed by Ceil Herman in Las Cruces.

The sun has just set over Main Street. It's another Sunday afternoon in downtown Las Cruces.

A sold-out crowd has gone home after watching The Mousetrap at the Las Cruces Community Theater.

Working on a production like this isn't about the money, but the community. "It's like being part of a family, something we accomplish together,” said Nikka Ziemer.

Nikka Ziemer plays the stiff upper lipped Mrs. Boyle.

“For me it's really fun to play someone who's just downright nasty. It’s not something one should indulge in everyday life…"

“…try to tolerate persons like Mrs. Boyle…” Gorton Smith becomes Major Metcalf in The Mousetrap.

“I felt like Terry Thomas sometimes, a British actor…he mumbles more than I do...”

There are some real characters in the play. Mr. Paravicini was certainly one of them.

“He’s kind of a sleazebag, a manipulator and those are his good points.”

Here's how Armando Sarabia says he prepared for his role. “I just watched a lot of WWE and impersonated pro-wrestler Santa Morina.”

Acting lets you do things you might not do in real life. I'm a news reporter, but I can play a British detective onstage.

There were two actors who had a bit of a head-start preparing for their roles…

“One of our friends goes, that's not acting, that's cheating,” said Rafael Medina. Medina plays Giles Ralston -- husband to Mollie Ralston.
Mollie, played by Marissa Bond, is engaged to Rafael in real life.

An easy relationship to play on stage, but there are some tough scenes. “The last scene was the hardest to play. Maybe it's just because I'm a hack but it's surprising how much emotionally a play can take out of you,” said Bond.

Agatha Christie, known for her mystery novels, wrote this play that's now the longest running in history. It just celebrated its 60th anniversary.

The play's director, Ceil Herman, started out with the script in her hands.

"Characters that are deep, not just just stereotypical. Everybody has a backstory that the audience has to figure out,” said Herman.

Christie wrote an entertaining script, but she went below the surface too. One of the themes hidden inside is childhood.

Katie Hulbert plays Miss Casewell and says being a kid is one reason she loves acting.

“I get to play pretend still as I’m an adult. Well as adult aged. I'm not a grown up…so getting to play pretend still with other people and getting to learn from those other people who have far more skills than I do.”

Donny Prosise is not necessarily immature, but his character, Christopher Wren certainly is…

“…kind of an eccentric young man posing as an architect, more childish in his manner.”

“It's really nice to work with a really talented group. There’s actually a lot of really talented actors in Las Cruces. It’s nice to come together and basically give birth to this production.”

It takes a lot of behind the scenes work to be ready for the curtains to open.

Elizabeth Turner was one of those important people behind the scenes.

“Everybody gets a chance to do something that they haven't done before. And I think that's what makes community theaters thrive,” said Turner.

Erica Valdez was another. She sums up what community theater is all about.

"I think it's in the name. It's not only bringing local actors together…we get to put on a show for them, share our laughs, share our moments."