St. Bernard Prep Drama presents ‘The Murder Mystery at the Murder Mystery’ May 6-8

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The cast rehearsing over the weekend. L-R: Maddie McBride, Willa smith, Kathleen George, Toni Schuper, John-David Gray. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Saint Bernard Prep Drama Department returns to the stage after the 2020 shutdown with the one-act play “The Murder Mystery at the Murder Mystery” this Thursday , May 6 through Saturday, May 8, under the direction of Ashleigh Russell. Showtimes are Thursday and Friday at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.  

Pioneer Drama Service, which licenses the show, offers this description: 

“The players at The Murder Mystery Playhouse are rehearsing a new show, ‘putting a Little English on it.’ It’s a not-so-good attempt at a British murder mystery, complete with cheesy dramatic music and British accents. As expected at the final dress rehearsal, the lights go out and a character dies onstage — only this murder wasn’t in the script! The authorities are quickly called and soon, the company finds themselves replaying the death scene. When yet another person dies at the end of the same scene, the cast finds themselves replaying the same scene over and over for other investigators, a theater critic and even the playwright himself! But every time they get to the end of the scene, someone else ends up with a fire poker in the chest. The actors are left scratching their heads at the strange circumstances and also worry that they could be next. It all culminates in a wild surprise ending in which the actors must work together to defeat the murderer before he murders them all.” 

Cast members talked about cranking the drama program back up and putting on this show. 

Marianee Pichardo said, “A big obstacle we had to face was, of course, the problem posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, with members of the cast being quarantined at various times. And, being at a small school, most of our cast was involved in other extracurriculars, so finding a time that worked for everyone was a challenge. However, because of the dedication of Mrs. Russell and the cast members, we adapted and worked together to put on an awesome production.” 

Maddie McBride shared, “Last year we were able to have choir and drama every day during school. This year, the main struggle was definitely not being able to practice daily for the show. However, I think that only practicing a few days a week gave us the opportunity to work harder and grow closer as a cast.”  

Russell encouraged the community to “Come support these students who have been working very hard to prepare and put a fantastic show together. You are in for a real treat!” 

At a glance 

“The Murder Mystery at the Murder Mystery” by the St. Bernard Prep Drama Department 

Thursday-Saturday, May 6-8, 2021 at the Byre Theater on the campus of St. Bernard Abbey 

Tickets are $10 and are available by calling the school at 256-739-6682 and will also be available the day of the show at the door. 

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W.C. Mann

craig@cullmantribune.com