UNIONTOWN — "Rehearsal for Murder," a suspense-filled play within a play, will be presented by Francis Scott Key High School students at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the school's auditorium.
Director Suzanne Summitsaid a cast of 15 students will perform in the the murder mystery. The theme of the play focuses on finding the killer of a Broadway actress.
"The play has a lot of suspense. It's modern, almost like a 'Murder She Wrote' episode," explained Summit, who has been directing plays at Key for last 15 years. "It's the kind of play where the characters can be real characters. There are many layers to it."
"Rehearsal for Murder" is a television screenplay which was adapted for stage by D. D. Brooke. The original teleplay was written by Richard Levinson and William Link.
At the first act, character Monica Wells, a leading actress in a recent Broadway play, ends up dead. After finishing her role in the play, the star attends a cast party where she makesher final curtain call.
"Monica's death is thought to be a suicide, but at the end of the first act, the cast becomes aware that her death is a murder," said Jody Surguy, who plays Monica Wells. "The play becomes more intense from this point on. The cast in the play within the play knows who killed Monica, but they must prove who it is by making the murderer come forward."
Surguy, a 17 year-old senior, said portraying Wells has been fun, since there are many elements to Wells' personality.
"I like her. She is innocent and naive one minute, then cold and calculating the next," she said.
Virgil Cain, who is acting in his fifth play at Key, has found this production to beone of the most enjoyable.
"This play is very different from anything we have ever done," said the 17-year-old senior. "It's a welcomechange, it's very dramatic. The characters must carry the play with their acting ability, because there is no scenery."
The audience will also find the action does not always take place on the stage, which adds yet another dimension to the thriller.
"The audience can'thelp but become involved with the play," said senior John Purvis, whose character Lloyd Andrews is the director of the play. "At times, there are actors out on the floor of the auditorium."
Tickets for both performances will be sold at the door. Ticket price is $3 for adults and $2 for students and senior citizens.