Production of play put on by ACT
By Jack Schembri
KU’s Actors Creating Theater club (ACT) is putting on a modern rendition of an old novel, Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None.” This rendition seeks to combat misogynistic and racist stereotypes present in the original work.
The novel was originally published in the UK with a title that was derogatory to Black people. The title was changed to its current wording for the US release in 1940.
“We try to pick more problematic authors and make it more inclusive,” Student Director Sara Lamana said. Lamana is a Secondary Education English major who has been a part of ACT since her first year at KU. This is her first time directing.
Angel Peña-Martinez and Rachel Day both play the role of Justice Wargrave, which has been altered for both actors. The character is now genderless and is called Justice rather than the traditional gendered titles Christie was known for.
“We are focused on the story without the race aspect in this play,” said Peña-Martinez. “If there is a role someone is good at and wants, they are always welcome to play it despite anything else like race.”
Gianna Dinardo plays General Mackenzie, who is now a queer character compared to the originally heterosexual male role. “My character is a lesbian and she is older as well, and we just don’t see a lot of older LGBT representation.”
Vera Claythorne is played by Bri Rivera, a Professional Writing major, and Ericka Csencsits, a Secondary Education History major.
Rivera stated, “Vera is such a vibrant character.”
Csencsits added, “The time period definitely constrains a lot of Vera’s identity, but she is very much a fierce character.”
Mrs. Ethel Rogers, who was traditionally a working-class servant, is being represented by Logan Gaiser as a woman who can speak her mind. This is Gaiser’s first year in ACT.
“Mrs. Rogers is a bit more educated since she is the chef,” Gaiser said. “She is also just breaking away from the standards of her time by speaking up for herself so constantly.”
ACT’s core value is “creating a space where people can come together to create theater performances that everyone can enjoy,” said Peña-Martinez.
The performances will be held at Schaeffer’s Little Theater at 7 p.m. from Oct. 6-8. The cost of tickets for students is $8, while non-students will have to pay $10.
From April 28-30, ACT sold out for their performance of “The Great Gatsby,” which was their first play with no COVID-19 protocols since the start of the outbreak.