This week, I had the pleasure of sitting down with the leads of our season opener, Something to Hide. This mystery by Leslie Sands begins to unfold in an isolated country home in the 1960s when the mistress of philandering novelist Howard Holt meets her untimely demise. Enter his frantic wife, Karen Holt, and watch as the plot thickens like fog on a gloomy English night. Deceit, infidelity, and treachery are the formula for this smart British thriller--and also the Holt marriage.
Taking on the role of Howard Holt is Mike Prest, a Bobcat veteran and audience favorite. (Though audiences might be surprised to see Mike play such a different character!) His counterpart is Jennifer Kopach as Karen Holt. Jennifer is making her Bobcat debut, bringing her experience from roles onstage at places like Little Lake Theatre and Old Schoolhouse Players. Both were excited to talk about their experiences with the show so far before their first night of rehearsal without scripts began!
Casey: First and foremost, now that tickets are on sale, what would you say to encourage audiences to attend Something to Hide?
Mike: This play really differs from our "typical" shows here because it is so full of twists and turns--and that's what makes it so exciting. The show is intellectual and engaging, which I know our audience will appreciate.
Jennifer: I remember reading the script for the first time and being captivated by the plot as it unfolded. It was--and is--a real page turner! Everyone always says, "You don't want to miss this!" but it really holds true in this case.
Casey: What are the challenges of performing a mystery?
Jennifer: Keeping the suspense in tact is the hardest part of a mystery, because you rehearse it for so long that you start to forget the audience doesn't know what's about to happen next. But that's also what makes it so rewarding!
Mike: Because there is so much happening in this show, there are a lot of lines to memorize. This is probably the longest script I've worked with in quite some time.
Casey: What has been the most memorable OR surprising part of the process?
Jennifer: I'm really appreciating the time we have to develop our characters in this type of rehearsal process. Since I'm new here, it's also been great meeting everyone and learning the space.
Mike: I like to be challenged by the material, and I definitely feel that happening here. Howard has so many different motivations and can be so changeable, so it's really been a journey in character development.
Casey: What do you like--or relate to--most about your character?
Mike: That's a tough question for me, because Howard is nothing like me personally. What I can appreciate about him is that he's a quick thinker and is always on his toes. He's really a problem solver at heart, although that's mostly due to his own issues...
Jennifer: Without giving too much away, I'd just say that Karen has so many levels to her, which is what makes her so interesting. Understanding her is the kind of character study any actor would love to be exploring onstage.
And of course, Something to Hide wouldn't be complete without a crew of curious characters. Bruce Travers, last seen in our 2016 production of Neil Simon's The Good Doctor, naturally plays the insightful village detective--and you're going to love his accent. Bridget Yeager and Valerie Boyce play Julie and Stella respectively, and you probably still remember them both from their memorable performances in Meredith Dayna Levy's Decision Height. After her last role in Marc Camoletti's Boeing Boeing in 2016, Mary Romeo is back home onstage in another classic character role--this time as Miss Cunningham. We are also excited to have Jason Fernandez make his Bobcat debut as Mr. Purdie, though he is no stranger to the stage.
Under the direction of Bobcat president Keith Zagorski, Something to Hide calls to mind stormy shades of Alfred Hitchcock with its suspenseful twists and dark undertones. But don't take our word for it--come see for yourself! Something to Hide runs May 4, 5, 10, 11, and 12 with all performances beginning at 7:30 pm. Tickets are on sale now online, at the Hostess Gift Shoppe in Beaver, or can be reserved by calling our box office at (724) 494-1680. And don't forget to stay tuned for our next blog entry in two weeks featuring a special interview with Zagorski!