By director Tony Adase
Ever since I saw the original film version of “And Then There Were None”, with Louis Hayward, Barry Fitzgerald and Walter Huston in 1945 at the Liberty Theater, in Elizabeth, NJ, I was always intrigued by the thoughts of what it would be like to be trapped in a mansion, on a deserted island with 9 other guests, with no phone or boat service to the mainland. No way to contact the outside world. What kind of fear would run through me, when one by one, each guest would be killed in some horrible way by an unknown hand. Not knowing who was doing the killing and when it would be my turn. I wonder how I would react in that type of situation. I enjoyed the film so much, I remember buying the book it was based on by author Agatha Christie. Yes, she was even big in 1945. The idea stayed with me throughout my adulthood, prompting me to see the 5 future different remakes of the film since it’s original showing. (A couple were called “Ten Little Indians” for some obscure reason)
So when Center Players asked me to direct this season, and told me the show would be “And Then There Were None”, I jumped at the chance. Because I loved original movie as well as the book, I thought how could I make this not just a cookie cutter of all productions of this play over the past 75 years since it’s first production in the early 40’s. I came up with the idea of doing it like I first experienced it in the movies. Do it cinematically, with lighting, thunder storms and in particular, like all of the movies of that period, underscore music throughout the play. Music to relate to what is happening on stage at that particular moment….I hope the modern audiences will accept this type of thing, as, of course, the show is not a musical. Anyway, I enjoyed doing it in this manner and I think my cast of 11 also did, some of them a little too young to remember this type of movie making and others just old enough to remember how they enjoyed it. Secretly..I tried to figure out how to insert in the play, two words that you absolutely do not see in modern movies anymore. Two words I miss so much. But couldn’t figure out how to do it…and what are those words? Two words that might also finish this article….(music flourishes to a crescendo) THE END.
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