This year, Avonworth Drama returned to its first post-COVID show in two years: The Mystery of Edwin Drood, which opened last weekend to a standing ovation all four nights and enthusiastic reviews.
The performance features a Victorian Era Music Hall atmosphere, lots of audience participation, and a murder mystery solved by the audience each night. The cast and crew prepared for hundreds of possible combinations of the four voting points that the audience decides on in real-time. With five possible detectives, seven possible murderers, and 21 possible combinations of last-minute couples, Drood is an experience unlike any other Avonworth has taken on. The most notable physical feature of the show is the return of a passerelle, last used by Avonworth in their performance of 1776. The cast uses the extension off of the stage to get up close and personal with audience members, talking and joking with them throughout the show.
While the cast memorized a myriad of amusing endings, the crew faced new experiences with Drood as well. The passerelle is lit by booms on top of the sound booth, the sound and lighting crews coordinate the sound of thunder and flashes of lighting throughout the show, and the stage crew makes several difficult changes between drastically different scenes.
Lucy Myers plays Rosa Bud, (pictured left below – from photos by Leinala Cabrera) one of the female leads in the performance. “Rosa is a very innocent, juvenile, sheltered character who is just now being thrown into more adult situations,” Lucy remarks. Rosa was voted by the audience to be the murderer for two nights in a row on the show’s opening weekend, and Lucy mastered the disturbing performance of revealing her innocent character to be the murderer of her own fiancé. (For those who only experienced one ending, Friday night’s murderer was Reverend Crisparkle and Saturday’s was Helena Landless.)
Killian Horigan and Zoli Eadie were finalists in the CLO Gene Kelly Awards, and the nominations released Wednesday morning announced that Olivia Holloway was nominated for best student artist and Drood was nominated for best costumes!
The Prime Stage Awards from the fall play were also released last week: Peyton Bauer and I were awarded for their performances in You Can’t Take It With You in November, along with Olivia Holloway and Jada Guiste winning best student directors! Congrats to the cast and crew! Avonworth Drama will be back for their next fall play in November 2022.