This show runs approximately 2-3/4 hours, including one intermission.
PLEASE NOTE: The electronic cigarettes onstage do not emit harmful chemicals.
THE HOUSE OPENS 45 MINUTES BEFORE CURTAIN. You may want to arrive early to enjoy the exhibit in our art gallery with refreshments ranging from coffee and cookies to beer and wine.
POST-SHOW DISCUSSION: Join the company of Towards Zero for a post-show discussion following the Sunday matinee on December 1.
AUDIO-DESCRIPTION: The Sunday, December 15th performance will be audio-described, based on reservations. Click here for a description of this and other access services at TRP.
About the Show
(company members are listed at the bottom, following the interview with the director)
Towards Zero is often thought to be one of Agatha Christie’s finest stories. The novel was first serialized in Collier’s magazine in 1944, and she later collaborated with a playwright in adapting it in 1951. However, just a few years ago, it was discovered she had written her own adaptation for the stage — and that is the version TRP opens this month.
The setting is Gull’s Nest, Lady Tressilian’s clifftop manor on the English seaside where an intimate group of friends, family and acquaintances have gathered. She has invited her ward Neville Strange for the long weekend, who surprises everyone by bringing Kay, his young, tempestuous, new wife as well as Audrey, his ex-wife. A boisterous argument is followed by a brutal murder — and the wonderful twists and turns of this true Christie script keep the audience guessing until the final moments.
Wendy Resch Novak returns to the arena to direct this latest installment in what has become a very popular TRP tradition of Agatha Christie mysteries for the holidays.
Interview with the Director
Q: The title of this play will be unfamiliar to many audience members since it was so newly-discovered. How would you describe the show?
RESCH NOVAK: I love the fact that this show was not discovered until 2015. I feel that this is a “Classic Christie” show where we are able to take the audience along on our journey of mystery and discovery to try to determine who did it!
Q: This is your 11th time directing on the arena stage – and your fourth Agatha Christie production. How does Christie work in-the-round?
RESCH NOVAK: After The Mousetrap this is my favorite Christie script I have had the opportunity to direct at TRP. I love directing mysteries in the round because you have no where to hide any information. The audience can see all angles of the set, actors and props at all times, which I feels lends itself to the element of surprise. I have a passion for truthfulness when I direct and you cannot lie when you are being viewed at 360 degrees.
Q: What do you think will be your biggest challenge in mounting this show?
RESCH NOVAK: I always want the audience to consider all the possibilities while they are trying to identify the murderer. Therefore, the cast and I talked frequently about how to throw suspicion onto certain characters. You often do not know until after you receive feedback from the audience as to whether or not some of the conventions you implemented worked.
Q: Anything else you’d like the audience to know?
RESCH NOVAK: I am grateful to be back at TRP and I am very grateful to my wonderful cast and production crew. I hope the audience enjoys the show as much as we enjoyed creating this mystery for them.
Peter De Costa: William Bauer
Inspector Leach: David Coral
Kay Strange: Annie Day
Dr. Wilson: James Degner
O’Donnell: Dwight Gunderson
Neville Strange: Ben Habel
Thomas Royde: Josh Jabas
Sergeant Harvey: Jacob Marcott
Lady Tressilian: Kristen C. Mathisen
Angus McWhirter: Mark L. Mattison
MacGregor: Stacey Poirier
Audrey Strange: Piper Quinn
Janet Collier: Jean Wolff
ARTISTIC & PRODUCTION STAFF
Director: Wendy Resch Novak
Set Designer: Laurie Swigart
Costume Designer: Deb Murphy
Lighting Designer: Peter Gustafson
Prop Designer: Robert J. Smith
Sound Designer: Lynn Musgrave
Stage Manager: Kevin Lindee