A Washed-Up Actress. The Plastic Politician. Boy-Band Reject.
With names like these, the upcoming play at Washougal High School is sure to bring some laughs. And that’s why it was chosen, drama director Kelly Gregersen.
“This is a spoof on the classic murder mystery,” he said. “We’ve never done this before and it’s always nice to end the year on a lighter note. It’s pretty goofy and silly.”
The play was written by Johnathan Rand in 2007. He has written other plays including “Romeo to Go,” “Action News: Now With 10% More Action!” and “The Least Offensive Play in the Whole Darn World,” among others.
“There are 20 people invited to this estate of the Mysterious Host and the room is full of knives. Once the Mysterious Host is killed, the Inexplicably Omniscient Inspector appears for the crowd to see what everyone’s motive is. It’s such a spoof that there are no character names, just descriptions.”
Gregersen describes the style of humor as “very Saturday Night Live-ish,” but quickly added that it is suitable for families as well.
“If they want to laugh, this is the show,” he said. “It is good for most ages. Anyone who loves the big, silly, Saturday Night Live style will love the show.”
Robyn Matias-Jenkins, a senior, plays the role of the Washed-Up Actress.
“She’s very negative all the time,” she said. “She tries to prove the point that she is better than everyone else, often.”
Matias-Jenkins said she is enjoying the role.
“It’s fun to try different characters to see how you can grow as an actress,” she said. “You get to push yourself to do new things. I really like this play, and it’s a lot of fun.”
Cassidy Rodgers, a senior, plays the Plastic Politician.
“I’m pretty much an arrogant jerk,” she said. “I think I’m better than everyone else and I always have a fake expression on my face.”
It’s the first time she’s played this type of role.
“I’ve either portrayed some really nasty characters or been in the background,” she said. “I really like the cast, and it feels almost like improv. You can come up with a whole history for your character.”
Junior James Maguire plays two roles, the Probably-Faking-It Deaf Mute and the Inexplicably Omniscient Inspector.
“I can’t say much about the first character because it gives it away but the second one is like a mock Sherlock Holmes,” he said. “He’s ridiculous but fun.”
Maguire said he really enjoys the play because of the murder-mystery angle mixed in with the silliness of it all.
“It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “I’m constantly, almost always up laughing on stage. It makes it difficult to keep a straight face because the play is so funny.”
“Murder in the Knife Room” will show Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., and 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 13 and 14 at WHS’s Washburn Auditorium, 1201 39th St.
Tickets are $5 for adults, and $3 for students and senior citizens.