The curtain is about to go up for opening night at the Bluebird Theatre as the cast and crew culminates months of hard work for the Orangeburg Part-Time Players next show, Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap.”

The curtain is about to go up for opening night at the Bluebird Theatre as the cast and crew culminates months of hard work for the Orangeburg…

John Ott, director, said the classic murder mystery is the second show he has directed for OPTP. “It’s very different from my directorial debut, which was ‘Clue.’ ‘The Mousetrap’ is murder mystery and, in the London production, before every show, the audience is asked to not give away the ending. You may be surprised when you find out ‘who done it.’ “

John Ott, director, said the classic murder mystery is the second show he has directed for OPTP. “It’s very different from my directorial debu…

As the longest running play in history, running continuously in London since 1952, Ott said the film rights were sold in 1957 and were to be put into effect once the show stopped running. However, since the show never stopped running, he said, “Christie left the rights to the play to her grandson as gift when he was 9 years old. Since then, her grandson has earned millions, and all he wanted was a toy.”

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“The Mousetrap” is a murder mystery play that takes place at a Victorian-era estate that has been converted into a guest house. The cast includes many actors well known to Bluebird theater-goers.

The Orangeburg Part-Time Players are rehearsing Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap” at the Bluebird Theatre, featuring a talented cast in this murder mystery play directed by John Ott.

Beth White plays the role of Mollie Ralston, the wife of Giles Ralston and owner of the guesthouse, Monkswell Manor. White, who recently appeared in OPTP’s production of Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express,” said she is enjoying working in this show with her best friend, Jessica, and she likes portraying a character similar to herself. “The only challenge with this role was there were a lot of lines to memorize,” she said.

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Wesley Battle portrays Giles Ralston, co-host at the manor. “The biggest challenge is that I have to be the opposite of myself. I have to figure out ways to sound tough, loud, and aggressive, because I’m so used to being quiet, easy going, and calm,” he said. Battle has most recently appeared in OPTP’s productions of “The Haunting of Hill House” and “Clue.”

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Keith Smith plays the role of Christopher Wren, a nervous guest at the manor. When asked what he enjoys about being in the show, he said, “The cast. I love the energy we all have, and I love how John is directing.”

Smith said the British accent he uses in the show is challenging. Smith is also part of a family cast ensemble as his mother and grandfather are also in the show. His grandfather, Terry Smith, is portraying Major Metcalf, a retired British military officer, and his mother, Jessica Nuckolls, is cast as Miss Casewell, a guest at the manor, who is mysteriously aloof from the other guests.

The Orangeburg Part-Time Players will close its 2022 season with Agatha Christie’s mystery “Murder on the Orient Express” at the BlueBird Thea…

Nuckolls said she loves working with the cast “and getting to work so closely with my son, father, and my best friend (Beth). We have been having so much fun developing these characters and the mystery of such a classic show.” Nuckolls has appeared in many OPTP productions including “The Haunting of Hill House,” “Southern Fried Murder,” and “Bye Bye Birdie.”

“Miss Casewell is a deeply troubled and complex character and so different from everything I have done. So much of who she is she communicates not through dialogue but through subtle movements and expressions. I’ve had to focus more on the minutiae of every scene,” she said.

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Terry Smith, who has appeared in OPTP’s productions of “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” “Sister Act,” and “Bye Bye Birdie,” said he enjoys interacting with other actors but “this role is challenging because it is the most lines I ever had to learn.” He said he enjoys “witnessing all the aspects in how the production comes together, working as a group, and pushing my own interior limits to a higher level.”

Lisa Hawkins is cast as Mrs. Boyle, who is stern and generally unpleasant. She said playing the role of a haughty British aristocrat is challenging as the character “feels entitled to all of life’s creature comforts. No one is her equal in her eyes!” Although Hawkins has been on stage with different community theatre groups, this is her second show with the OPTP with “Clue” being the first.

Coe Dantzler is playing the role of Sergeant Trotter, who is trying to establish a relationship between any of the guests and a murder already committed at another location. “I love murder mysteries, and this time I am the detective instead of one of the suspects as I have played in past shows,” Dantzler said.

He said it is challenging to play a character who is so stern and serious. Dantzler has directed OPTP shows as well as acted in many productions including OPTP’s productions of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” “Sister Act” and “Clue.”

Longtime theater veteran Tony DeAloia portrays Mr. Paravicini, an unexpected guest at the manor when his car gets stuck in a snowbank during a terrible blizzard. Also cast are Shirley Reddick as Radio Voice Number One and Dyna Wactor as Radio Voice Number Two.

Ott said he has enjoyed working with the cast “and they have worked very hard to live up to my expectations which are to have fun but to take the show seriously and to challenge themselves.” He said he hopes the audience will enjoy the production and support community theater.

“The Mousetrap” opens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 20, at the Bluebird Theatre on Russell Street and is scheduled through June 23 with 7:30 p.m. showings and a Sunday matinee at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased in advance at or at the door.

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