The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Heidi Zemach
For The LOG 

Seward High drama class shows that 'Acting Can be Murder'


Nick Zweifel

The murder plot unravels as Dolores Gordon, played by Robin McKnight, tries to explain to fellow actors why she resorted to murder, and learn who stole the body. Jack Broughton, with fake knife, meanwhile performs his role as dead man.

Dan Marshall's drama class flawlessly performed their fall play, "Acting Can Be Murder" December 3-5 at the Seward High Auditorium. It was a dark sort of murder/theater comedy with plenty of double meanings, misunderstandings and craziness, but very little slapstick humor and only one set.

The play's star was seasoned actress Robin McKnight, as Dolores Gordon, the murderess who got the lead part in the play through her dastardly deeds, but who discovers midway that the body of the woman she killed and stashed away in a chest on stage has gone missing. Another seasoned actress, Ashley von Borstel played Beverly Gladstone, the community theater murder play's director, who seemed un-phased by so many of her actors and actresses carrying on about affairs of the heart and hiding other dastardly deeds of their own. The other actors included Sebastian Kratz, Hayden Tiner, Jack Broughton, Emily Brockman, Brandon and Matthew Moore, Kiesha Lynch, Veronica Wilde, Kara Knotek, Tannen Berry, Christian Tofson, Jack Broughton and Maria Lyman, the ghost.

Local actress and theater buff Hilda Lespron enjoyed watching Robin McKnight's acting job during the first act as her character slowly started going out of her mind, guiltily imagining everyone else to be talking about, or about to discover the murder that no one but she knew took place. It's not easy for an actress to pull off that mix of reality and imagination, but she played it really well, Lespron said.

"Another thing of course that I always love is the humor that comes across, especially with something so serious as murder; you've got that humor that goes along with it with some of the butlers and the maids. Of course, I really love Ashley von Borstel as the director. She's trying to get her show going and everyone's just kind of abandoning the show, with things like... 'What's that sound?' "

"It was kind of hard, and memorizing the lines was difficult, but the character's really fun," said Robin McKnight, who has participated in four SHS plays to date. "I like that she goes crazy because then you can add a little craziness in there, you can scream a lot, which is always fun on stage, so it's worth it."

"This is just like any other play, it's easy and its fun and I always love it every night," said Ashley von Borstel, of her sixth high-school play. She's already looking forward to the spring play.

"We've really never done anything like it before, so it was cool," said Hayden Tiner, who played the crooked womanizer Kendall Duncan. Discovering the characterization was the most challenging part for Tiner. "It was interesting finding that, because this wasn't a quirky slapstick type of play, this one was more of a dark comedy, so it was interesting," he said.

"This is my seventh play," said Matt Moore. "Honestly this was one of my harder ones, just because it was hard getting in character, but I think we pulled it off. It was scary but it's always scary until the very end – but it was fun."


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