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Eden Troupe to Produce Mousetrap and Charlie Brown

January 31st, 2011

By Sarah Pride

CONTACT:  David Halbrook
Patrick Henry College
(540) 441-8722
OfficeOfCommunications@phc.edu

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Note: Tickets not yet available; they will go on sale at a later date, to be announced.

Poster from Leave it to Psmith, spring of 2008

Among the College’s strongest student-led clubs during the past ten years, Eden Troupe has consistently offered a creative outlet for students of every major. The club has entertained hundreds of audience members from the local community each semester, providing students a platform from which to exercise leadership skills in a venue with real-life consequences. The troupe’s board, elected from the club’s servant leaders, manages the club’s finances and decides which directors will have the opportunity to put on their plays.

“The last four or five semesters, our budget has grown,” notes junior Russell York, member of Eden Troupe’s current governing board. “We are considering investing in more resources.”

For the spring 2011 semester, two separate teams of students made successful bids to enact plays at Patrick Henry College. Sophomore Meredith Mantel and second-semester freshman Sarah Henderson are co-directing Agatha Christie’s Mousetrap, scheduled to perform March 17-19. In contrast to this suspenseful “who-dun-it,” juniors Amy Kucks and Marjorie Somerville are co-directing the whimsical You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, for performance April 7-9. Junior Bridget Degnan will produce, with sophomore Abigail Wolking serving as musical director, and freshman Chaedon Laman as backstage director.

Poster from Peter Pan, spring of 2010

“I love comedy. It’s great to feel the audience laughing with you,” explains Kucks, whose Eden Troupe credits include playing the part of Peter Pan in last spring’s major musical production. “[Charlie Brown] is a little cheesy, but the good part is that it is about a group of friends. About friendship, relationship, growing up.”

She hopes that her cast and crew will focus on prayer and Scripture, using the experience to bond and to remember the sincerity, vivacity, enthusiasm, and creativity of childhood.

For Mantel, who says that she “missed being involved with theatre” during her first year at PHC, Mousetrap “seemed to be a perfect fit for an Eden Troupe production.

“Anyone who’s ever read an Agatha Christie mystery will tell you that you’re kept guessing until the end,” she says. “That’s what I want our audience to experience. I want them to enjoy watching the play while trying to figure it out in their minds. I want them to appreciate the art of mystery-writing and the talent that Agatha Christie had for it.”

Her participation in last semester’s A Christmas Carol reminded her just how much she had enjoyed theatre during high school—a common experience among Eden Troupers. So she applied to direct a play herself, and the Board gave the go-ahead.

“I like Eden Troupe. I’m glad it exists,” states Russell York, summarizing his own three years of club participation.