Murder, mystery on stage with ‘And Then There Were None’

By From page B1 | March 07, 2012

Captain Lombard (Spencer Paquin), left, and Vera (Kimberly Weinberger) discuss who the mysterious murderer might be. Village Life photo by Pat Dollins

Kimberly Weinberger has been acting since she was 6 years old. It started with improv performances in front of family and friends at home.

“I was a huge pretender as a kid,” Weinberger said, laughing. “Huge, elaborate stories I would make up in my living room.”

Over the years Weinberger has performed in plays in El Dorado and Sacramento counties, including “Peter Pan” and “Annie” at Imagination Theatre. Last spring she performed in “Fiddler On The Roof.”

Now in her senior year at Oak Ridge High School she is taking drama and is cast as Vera Claythrone in the school’s production of  “And Then There Were None” — an Agatha Christie mystery.

It’s no mystery that Weinberger feels at home on the stage and she plans to continue her stage arts aspirations.

In recent weekends Weinberger auditioned for the drama departments at the University of California, Los Angeles; University of Southern California; and Chapman University, also in Southern California.

She is planning to major in theater.

“The auditions all went very well,” Weinberger said. “I would be lucky to go to any of those colleges.”

The play

Weinberger’s character, Vera Claythrone, is a young secretary coming to Soldier Island near England. In the mystery she is the object of affection of Philip Lombard, played by Spencer Paquin. While the young secretary is strong and independent, Claythrone relies on Lombard for support.

Weinberger said she thinks the play’s character is “pretty clever” and “definitely a good candidate for a murderer.”

The play is based on Christie’s best-selling novels about house guests gathering on an island off England. Once everyone has arrived on the island there is murder, misfortune, mayhem and a surprise ending.

Like all Christie mysteries there are plenty of suspects and clever detecting.

Magen Fregoso is the assistant director for the play. The junior joined Oak Ridge’s drama department her freshman year.

“It’s a different process,” said Fregoso regarding working behind the scenes instead of being on stage. “It’s a lot of work.”

Some of the work behind the scenes that Fregoso deals with includes reading and changing parts of scripts and “blocking”  — the points where the actors and actresses enter during a scene.

Fregoso knows the feeling of being nervous prior to performing in front of large audience. She has been involved in Oak Ridge productions for two years. She said she thinks she’ll be just as nervous behind the scenes the first night of the play on Thursday, March 8.

“I just want to make sure that everything goes smoothly,” Fregoso said. “There’s a lot of pressure on the director and assistant director to make sure things run right … and the audience likes what it sees.”

After Fregoso graduates from Oak Ridge in 2013 she plans to pursue acting in college. “It is a part of my life,” she said.

Like Weinberger, Fregoso loves working with the cast on stage and behind the scenes for “And Then There Were None.”

‘Hard workers’

“They are really hard workers,” said Fregoso of the entire cast. “They make sure they get things done. They are really funny and love having a good time, but they also know when to get things done. They make sure that their characters are fully emerged and they are really doing their best.”

The cast is: Rogers (Hayden Ganas), Mrs. Rogers (Courtney Wrba), Fred Narracott (Matt Lee), Anthony Martson (Zach Dryer), William Blore (Ryan Van Overeem), General Mackenzie (Keith Walisa), Emily Brent (Nicki Latini), Sir Lawerence Wargrave (Zach Royal) and Dr. Armstrong (Matt Kozak).

Understudies are Sarah Shelnutt, Haley Nelson, Austin Bottomley, Ryan Norton and Alexis Mercado.

Fregoso and Brooke Gibboney are assistant directors. Designing workers are Luke Rolls (set and lighting), Kristina Garrett (sound and designing back wall mural) and David Eitel (assistant sound design).

Members of the technical crew are: Holli Stapleton (stage), Kyler Killips (assistant stage manager), Teresa Salerno (property manager), Samantha Madsen and Connor Kelleher (lighting), Taylor Presnell (sound), Riley Boger, Alec Dietriich, Cynthia Mouzis and Preston Masters (stage crew) and Jonathan Conrad (house manager).

Parents and drama department supporters involved in construction of the stage are: Steve Brown, Max Fregoso, Jack Henke (husband of Oak Ridge drama teacher Janet Henke), John and Kelley Garcia, Luke Rolls, David Eitel, Madsen, Bogar, Killips, Dietrich, Gibboney, Frank Casazza, Garrett, Kelley Wrba, Holli Stapleton, Joe Weinberger, Peyton Adamcik, Samantha Summerfield and Brianna Marquess.

“And Then There Were None” will take place at the Oak Ridge High School Performing Arts Center, 1120 Harvard Way in El Dorado Hills. The center is near the tennis courts. Show dates are Thursday and Friday, March 8-9, at 7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, March 10-11, at 2 and 7 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, March 15-16, at 7 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, March 17-18, at 2 and 7 p.m.

Tickets for adults are $12, students and seniors $10 and students with ASB card $8.

For more information call (916) 947-7529 or visit oakridgedrama.org.

Mike Bush


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