FEATURE: Murder on the Orient Express

Theater department introduces new director Bryce Jones for the spring show, Murder on the Orient Express


Eleanor Roust

After discovering a murder on the Orient Express, Monsieur Bouc, played by sophomore Cooper-Atlas Hefty, calls for help. Although being involved since fifth grade, their theater experience was brought to a halt during the pandemic. “I missed the feeling of theater and how fun it was,” Hefty said.

Maura Langland

On March 3 and 4, the theater department put on “Murder on the Orient Express” with new director Bryce Jones. Jones is making the transition from assistant director to head of the theater department and lead director. 

For this show, Jones focused on letting his students express themselves through all of the different mediums of theater like acting or set design. 

“[My goal] is for everybody to feel as though they can put a piece of themselves on display for everybody,” Jones said. 

Jone’s new approach for the spring show was appreciated by his students. Junior Lindsey Landholm was excited for what his new direction brought, including a new cartoon-like approach to the play. 

“He [had] a very specific vision for it, and I think it’s really fun,” Landholm said. 

Concealing a ransom note, Samuel Ratchett, played by senior Tommy Taylor, converses with Hector Macqueen, played by senior Felix Janzen Chappell. Taylor has found that putting yourself out there has made theater more of an enjoyable experience. “You just need to put in the effort and you will get something out of theater,” Taylor said. “That’s probably my favorite part, watching someone struggling with inflection or blocking finally breaking through and making the character their own.” (Eleanor Roust) 

Landholm is a member of the hair and makeup team, and has been a member of the theater department for three years. Landholm said besides the experience of working on shows, the best part of theater according to Landholm is the community.

“It’s a weird amalgamation of people that are in it because there’s stereotypical theater kids, like me, but then there’s also people that you would never expect to try it,” Landholm said. 

The positive environment is another element Jones brought to the theater department; additionally, he let students have more of a say during their auditions for the show. 

“I really liked Mr. Jones’s process of partnership,” junior Ava Ayala.“It was cool getting to choose our own selections,” junior Ava Ayala said. 

Ayala acted in the show as Princess Dragomiroff, and according to her, the most demanding part of theater is the time commitment. 

“We will be at the school from the morning until late, but it’s worth it in the end,” Ayala said.

Seeing this upcoming show is just one way to support the theater department. Jones said another way is to consider getting involved in any way possible. 

“If you’d like to create anything really, whether that’s tangible or digital, there are spaces to get involved,” Jones said.