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updated: 1/22/2014 7:21 PM

Wheaton Drama takes on Agatha Christie classic

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  • Gathered in the drawing room, each of 10 people invited to a home by an unseen host hear themselves accused of specific murders in "And Then There Were None," formerly known as "Ten Little Indians."

      Gathered in the drawing room, each of 10 people invited to a home by an unseen host hear themselves accused of specific murders in "And Then There Were None," formerly known as "Ten Little Indians."
    Courtesy of Ken Beach

  • Lars Timpa as William Blore, from left, Geoffrey Maher as Dr. Armstrong, Sean Ogren as Philip Lombard and Sharon Vos as Vera Claythorne examine their mysterious situation by candlelight in Wheaton Drama's production of Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None."

      Lars Timpa as William Blore, from left, Geoffrey Maher as Dr. Armstrong, Sean Ogren as Philip Lombard and Sharon Vos as Vera Claythorne examine their mysterious situation by candlelight in Wheaton Drama's production of Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None."
    Courtesy of Ken Beach

 
 

Eight dinner guests, all strangers to one another, are marooned on an island with the house's butler and housekeeper. As they mysteriously die one by one, they eye each other with suspicion and confront their own guilty consciences.

Wheaton Drama presents the classic Agatha Christie murder mystery "And Then There Were None," formerly titled "Ten Little Indians," beginning Friday, Jan. 24, and continuing to Sunday, Feb. 16, at Playhouse 111, 111 N. Hale St., Wheaton. Show times are 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays.

Director Randall Knott said he's added his own touches to the familiar story.

"I'm sticking with the script," he said, "but I've found a way to make things different."

Directing this Agatha Christie classic is a wish come true for Knott.

"I have a particular passion for the piece because I read it in junior high and I loved it then," he said.

In the play, each of the victims has caused someone's death in the past. They include a doctor, a retired judge, a general, an adventurer and former governess.

"It can relate to anybody -- to have something hanging over your head and know the time is coming," Knott said.

Vera Claythorne, the former governess who thinks she has come to the island to be hired as a secretary, notices the similarity between the deaths and the nursery rhyme "Ten Little Indians," which hangs in each bedroom. As the death toll mounts, she shoots one of the other characters convinced that he is the killer. Knott said she is his favorite character.

"I find the character of Vera Claythorne fascinating," he said. "There's a lot of depth there."

All the cast members are dedicated to their roles, Knott said.

"The chemistry on stage is amazing," he said. "They (the audience) can expect a great night in the theater."

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